The state of Michigan is going on the fast track to expand our state government. Senate Bill 1359 and House Bill 6004 if passed will do exactly that. These bills contain a major change that will affect public education in our state.
What these two bills will empower in part is as follows:
1. Open the doors for more charter schools at the expense of public education.
2. Those schools under the Department of Education will have to let the state use any closed school building for a charter school. The school district will then have to pay for the maintenance of the same for a period of four years. This will cost the district more dollars out of the ever tight budget they are now seeing. No doubt school district will be asking voters for more dollars for operational cost.
3. The charter schools will have a separate department head appointed by the governor. Unlike the Department of Education elected by the people and input by the public. Note: The State Department of Education will have no power over the charter schools.
It will be interesting to see what are present elected officials for our district will do after we had two failed vouchers system for education. Will they truly support and fully fund public education without taking dollars out of a district for new charter schools and will they support bigger state government.
Will our state representatives fully explain these two bills before it become law and obtain our input this remains to be seen. When a recent hearing concerning this two bills was held there was a period of two and one half hours for support and only a quarter hour for opposition. It is called a fast tact route for these two bills as I stated before.
Robert Bruce Carlson