GOP's K-12 cuts result in Pontiac schools running out of toilet paper
The massive underfunding of public education by Gov. Rick Snyder and the Michigan Legislature has created an untenable crisis for educators in yet another Michigan school district.
Last year, MEA members from across the state stepped up to the challenge and assisted the students and educators of the Benton Harbor Public Schools with thousands of dollars' worth of basic school supplies.
This year, it is the Pontiac schools that are in dire need of help to meet the basic needs of their students. MEA members, teachers and support staff across the state have collected supplies and cash contributions to deliver to the students and staff of Pontiac schools.
The critical shortage of classroom supplies in Pontiac is not unique -- nor is it a crisis of their own making.
Staff in Pontiac, like many school employees across the state, have experienced severe wage and benefit reductions, while paying significantly more for their retirement benefits. Yet, the school district still cannot afford to purchase adequate supplies of paper, writing utensils, copying supplies and other essential items -- making it difficult for teachers to teach and students to learn.
Conditions in the Pontiac schools have gotten so bad that they are not even able to provide an adequate supply of toilet paper. Since the beginning of the school year, Pontiac teachers have been paying for many of these critical needs out of their own pocket.
Last year, it was Benton Harbor. This year, it is Pontiac. Many other districts will soon face the same plight unless the governor and Michigan legislators decide to provide more than mere rhetoric to public schools. Actions speak louder than words. For lawmakers to say education is a top priority is one thing -- actually providing the necessary funding is the real test.
So far, they have failed.
To find out more about how you can help school employees and students in Pontiac, contact Pontiac EA President Aimee McKeever at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (248) 253-1867.