If elected I will work towards the following:
Michigan can do a better job with both K-12 and college education policies.
K-12–Eliminate for profit K-12 charter schools. For-profit schools have one overidding goal which is to increase profits for the politically connected owners. The state sends for-profit operators a set amount per student. Every dollar of profit made either comes out of a teacher’s paycheck, or comes out of items like school maintenance or other cost saving items which hurt students. The nation has seen what for-profit colleges have done for the nation—massive student debt totaling $1.5 billion. This is another issue where there should be strong bi-partisan support.
In general, I am not a fan of charter schools-even non- profit charters do not have the transparency on administrator’s wages. For some reason Michigan Republicans have come to the conclusion that all the problems in Michigan K-12 education are because of unionized teachers. Nearly every teacher in Michigan wants to work for a unionized public school verses a charter school. Since school funding is set, there is simply a battle between current teachers and retired teachers over that set pile of money. K-12 education is always best when it is local. The tug of war between public and charter schools, and the introduction of school choice, which also leads to funnel school systems, moves the entire system further away from local school boards which are accountable to local taxpayers. There is a clear disconnect between elected state Republicans and their voters-very few Republicans want school choice or any kind of charter schools in their own school district.
College-The University of Michigan graduates 4,000 in-state undergrads and 4,000 out of state undergrads every year, most of whom go back to their home states. Convincing potential employers to locate in a state where its best school sends half its graduates to other states becomes a pretty tough sell. Public colleges, adjusting for inflation, have tripled their costs since 1990.
The state provides 20% of the revenue at the University of Michigan. The legislature should tie its money to two conditions-(1) A reduction in out of state undergrads, (2) A significant reduction in undergraduate programs costs—schools can play games with tuition, but because public colleges are non-profit, if they reduce their costs, the average Michigan student will pay less.
Tags: Public Schools