Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Is the charter school industry paying off Michigan politicians to avoid oversight?

Is the charter school industry paying off Michigan politicians to avoid oversight?:

Is the charter school industry paying off Michigan politicians to avoid oversight?

killedschool

There’s a coordinated attempt afoot to dismantle America’s system of public education, and Michigan Republicans, for the past several years, have been at the forefront, passing laws to weaken our traditional, neighborhood public schools, while, at the same time, clearing the way for unaccountable for-profit charter schools to move in. While I don’t hold out much hope for our state, my hope is that others around the country can learn from what’s happening here, and take action before it’s too late… Here, for those of you interested in knowing just how all of this has come to pass, is news of our most recent battle, which was lost just a few weeks ago.
After struggling to come up with the votes in the Michigan Senate to pass a controversialRepublican House plan that would have funded the creation of a new Detroit school district, while, at the same time, allowing Michigan charter schools to continue operating without meaningful oversight, something apparently happened to tip the scales. The legislation, which was lauded by the Michigan charter school industry,passed the Senate on June 8 by a one vote margin. While it’s difficult to say for certain why Senate Republicans eventually agreed to get onboard and support the bill, some think the answer may be found in newly released campaign finance reports, which show large contributions being given to the Republican Party and several individual lawmakers through members of the DeVos family and their various “school choice” advocacy organizations, just days after the legislation was passed. The following clip comes froman opinion piece in yesterday’s Detroit Free Press by Stephen Henderson.
…The DeVos family, owners of the largest charter lobbying organization, has showered Michigan Republican candidates and organizations with impressive and near-unprecedented amounts of money this campaign cycle: $1.45 million in June and July alone — over a seven-week period, an average of $25,000 a day.
The giving began in earnest on June 13, just five days after Republican members of the state Senate reversed themselves on the question of whether Michigan charter schools need more oversight.
There’s nothing more difficult than proving quid pro quos in politics, the instances in which favor is returned for specific monetary support.
But look at the amounts involved, and consider the DeVos’ near-sole interest in the issue of school choice. It’s a fool’s errand to imagine a world in which the family’s deep 
Is the charter school industry paying off Michigan politicians to avoid oversight?:


LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION
EduBloggers

Latest News and Comment from Education