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November 29, 2011

Senators Warren and Hopgood introduce constitutional amendment banning schools operated on for-profit basis

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Written by: Bruce Snook

LANSING – Senators Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor) and Hoon-Yung Hopgood (D-Taylor) announced Tuesday (November 29th) that they will introduce a constitutional amendment to ban schools operated by for-profit entities in Michigan. In October, Senate Republicans pushed legislation that would remove Michigan’s cap on charter schools, essentially opening the doors to business run, for-profit schools and increased privatization of teachers and school workers. This constitutional amendment aims to protect children from having their education compromised at the expense of corporate profits.

“Our education institutions should not be guided by a mission statement focused on making a profit,” said Warren. “Michigan’s children deserve to receive an education focused on their success and empowerment – a mission with no room for profits and corporate management.”

Already in Michigan, 4 of 5 charter schools are operated by private, for-profit education management organizations. Allowing these organizations to continue profiting off the backs of our children is unacceptable. The proposed amendment would put an end to for-profit schools, ensuring that the focus of Michigan’s education system remain on providing the best possible education to each child.

“An approach that encourages business to make a profit off educating our children is shameful and will make public schools an endangered species,” said Hopgood. “A quality education is not a commodity simply to be bought or sold. We must take action to prevent our children’s future from being auctioned to the highest bidder.”

Source:  News release from Michigan Senate Democrats






4 Comments


  1. Pete Bennett

    Amen. The use of taxpayers dollars to make a profit off children is just wrong. The amendment doesn’t have a chance in the current legislature and I would bet neither our state rep, Matt Lori nor our senator Bruce Caswell will support even though in their hearts they probably think it is the right thing to do.


  2. Jed

    Treating education as anything other than a business is denying the facts.

    “This constitutional amendment aims to protect children from having their education compromised at the expense of corporate profits.”

    Education is already compromised for “profit”– teaching to the test to ensure government funding.

    “Don’t get distracted by your interests, kid. How this applies in your life doesn’t matter. We have to get through this material ad nauseum to make sure you remember it long enough to pass the MEAP. ”

    To give children the appearance of progress, they are discouraged from attempting materials at the edge of their ability:

    “Don’t stretch yourself, kid. It might make us look bad.”

    What of the institutions already profiting “on the backs of our children” in government contracts to provide, for example, food? Pizza is being touted as a vegetable–due to its tomato sauce. Lobbyists are fighting any cuts in junk food to ensure profits keep coming. Potatoes are considered a vegetable. Ask a diabetic what potatoes do to your blood sugar. Last year, one St. Joe County elementary school was offering kids “breakfast bars” with more sugar than a candy bar along with orange juice (fruit sugar) and milk (lactose sugar). There was a no sugar policy at the school. Don’t send a cookie in the kid’s lunch, but we’ll ply them with the stuff first thing in the morning and watch them spin. Parents were not given the option to avoid this.

    Sounds like this legislation comes from governmental supervisors discomfort that their influence will not be exclusive or even preferable.


  3. Ernesto Green

    The Republicans are working on behalf of the American Legislative Exchange Council. Their intent is to privatize everything they can for the sake of profit for their friends and families. Before candidates will be hired to teach in their “charter” schools, they will need to submit a revised and improved application for employment. Among the questions will be: Are you an ardent supporter of the Free Market System of Capitalism? Are you or have you ever been a member of the Democratic Party? How would you integrate the science of Intelligent Design in your Science curriculum? Jed would have all our kids going through Confined Student Indoctrination Operations. More favorable results in less time. If your not already born and raised Authoritarian, they can fix that. Forward! March!

    See: http://www.alec.org/2010/11/a-look-into-the-2011-legislative-cycle-policy-initiatives-in-the-states/
    – Allow for more charter schools. This is especially true for those 11 states that currently don’t have any. Charter schools are funded in a way consistent with traditional public schools, but have the freedom to innovate in ways not available to those schools, such as allowing for longer school days, or by utilizing targeted curriculum like science and technology.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/03/08/953811/-Gov-Rick-Snyder-Sellout-Prefabricated-Corporate-Michigan-(Government)-Courtesy-of-Koch-ALEC-Excl
    http://www.wiredacademic.com/tag/the-american-legislative-exchange-council-and-the-state-policy-network-alec/
    http://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/Privatizing_Public_Education,_Higher_Ed_Policy,_and_Teachers


  4. Jed

    “Jed would have all our kids going through Confined Student Indoctrination Operations. More favorable results in less time. If your not already born and raised Authoritarian, they can fix that. Forward! March!”

    “Confined Student Indoctrination Operations” — surely this is a jest. That’s what we have now. Students confined? Check. Indoctrinated Operations? Yes: to obey first. Spend some time in a classroom and note how much of a teacher’s job is crowd control.

    Nay nay. I would have charter schools, homeschool vouchers, and part-time enrollment options.



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