More of the same -- Senate introduces anti-public education bills

With the Legislature back in session, they are wasting no time pushing their so-called “education reform” agenda.

Today, Senate Republicans introduced a package of seven bills focusing on the expansion of charter schools, school choice, dual enrollment, and cyber schools; privatization of instructional staff; and siphoning of school aid funds to nonpublic school students.

All of the bills have been referred to the Senate Education Committee. All of the bills have been referred to the Senate Education Committee.

The bills include:

  • Sen. Phil Pavlov (R-St. Clair) introduced SB 618 which expands the number of charter schools and allows school districts to outsource teachers and SB 624 which requires school districts to participate in schools of choice.
  • Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R-Canton) introduced SB 619 which authorizes cyber schools.
  • Sen. David Robertson (R-Grand Blanc) introduced SB 620 which allows a public school to be converted to a charter school with a vote of parents and teachers.
  • Sen. Geoff Hansen (R-Hart) introduced SB 621 which revises the conditions under which a public school may receive school aid for instruction to nonpublic school students.
  • Sen. Judy Emmons (R-Sheridan) introduced SB 622 and SB 623 which both address dual enrollment.

Many of the concepts introduced in these bills were first mentioned by Gov. Snyder in his education message this spring. But it's apparent that the attacks on public education continue. None of these bills are meant to improve education. This is more of the same push to destroy public education: schools run by private entities, back-door vouchers, policies based on rhetoric rather than research, and more state mandates -- despite the Republican cut of $1 billion from public schools earlier this year.

MEA is reviewing the many details in these new bills and will be providing analysis and talking points as the bills come up for hearing over the coming weeks.