Fresh off a major embarrassment when his Administration’s secret “Skunk Works” project to defund public education was exposed, Gov. Snyder forced the group into the public eye. State Superintendent Mike Flanagan is now leading the project, and accepting public input on Facebook and through an online survey.
We saw earlier this week that Superintendent Flanagan cares deeply about public opinion. On Tuesday, he championed a “skills camp” as an innovative solution that would make up for punishing the kids of Buena Vista schools by closing the school down for the rest of the year. But in response to outcry from Congressman Dan Kildee and in the national media, less than 24 hours later he was downplaying the “skills camp” idea, claiming it was never his first choice for the kids in Buena Vista.
As if Buena Vista didn’t bring enough bad news in this week for Michigan’s community public schools, the school board in Albion voted to close the high school there, which has been open since 1872. Pontiac Schools, who made news earlier this year when teachers were asked to bring toilet paper and other supplies from home, narrowly avoided missing payroll. Flint Schools announced their plans to lay off 139 teachers and staff at the end of this year. Inkster Schools’ superintendent resigned, and the board will be laying off all teachers at the end of the year, shutting down the high school and allowing a charter school authorizer to reopen it.
The problem here is obvious. Lansing politicians must reverse their decision to keep making cuts to community public schools, and do what the people of Michigan are demanding by investing in public education, supporting educators, and expanding early childhood education. But they need to hear from you.
Click over to the new Facebook page for the new “Skunk Works” group. Leave a message on their wall, and take their survey, to send a simple message: it’s time to invest in our community public schools. Then share the page on Facebook and Twitter, so your friends can share their thoughts too. It’s not going to be easy to rebuild education in Michigan after Rick Snyder’s hard work tearing down our schools and professional educators. But with your help, we’ll get it done.