The Michigan Campaign Finance Network issued a detailed overview of the massive campaign contributions that Michigan legislators have received from just a few people over the past decade, encouraging them to vote against traditional public school districts.
"According to campaign finance disclosures, six of the stakeholders trying to sway the future of education in Detroit and their relatives have given roughly $10 million over the last decade to sitting state lawmakers, their caucuses and their political parties. The contributions have touched just about everyone in the Legislature.
The biggest donors have been members of the West Michigan-based DeVos family who are charter school proponents. Over the last 10 years, members of the family have given at least $6.1 million directly to the Michigan Republican Party, about $752,200 to the Senate Republican Campaign Committee and about $1.1 million to the House Republican Campaign Committee."
My name is Imani Harris. I am a very concerned sophomore at Renaissance High School.
I am writing this letter because I am appalled. I am appalled at the fact that there was ever a thought that already struggling teachers should work for free while our emergency manager, legislatures, etc. continue to be paid.
I am appalled that teachers had to resort to striking because they were not taken seriously with just their words. I am appalled that teachers were then shamed for standing out. Is it not their First Amendment right to protest peacefully?
I am appalled that adults that have never been to nor had children in a Detroit Public School (DPS) would dare tell teachers that they are wrong, while they sit at home and receive their paychecks. I am appalled that it took two days of me being at home for there to be some “solution.”
I am dumbfounded at the fact that Senate Bill 710 and 711 were rejected, and then changed to some sick version of what the Senate presented. I don’t quite get why the Detroit Education Commission (DEC) was taken out of the bill, when all they want to do is help. I am lost as to what the issue with the DEC was, and why we got no clarity on its issue.
On Tuesday, May 10th, 482Forward and MOSES organized an action at the Michigan State Capitol. The message to the Senate was to vote "NO" on the House bills and to stand strong on the original Senate Bills 710 and 711. Rally supporters also hand delivered thank you letters to Senators who voted yes on 710 and 711 and Representatives who voted no on House Bills.
Legislators are expected to vote within the next three weeks on some form of the education package in order to avoid a DPS bankruptcy. Please continue to contact your senator encouraging them to stand strong on SB 710 and 711.
"Accountability, transparency, honesty, we need a revolution of values" -- Hanan Yahya, Rally Speaker, DPS Graduate
Watch the news story here.
The Detroit Free Press is publishing a week-long special report on charter schools in Michigan this week.