Public education is under attack in Michigan. The State has put landlords in our education system by destroying public schools and providing fertile ground for for-profit charter schools.
Underfunding, school-closures, outrageously expensive college education, and failure to care about our low-income, ESL, and high-need classrooms have led to a vicious cycle of underperformance that is used as fuel for further cuts.
The future of Michigan depends on how we reform our education system. Our children deserve better than the unequal system our state uses right now.
EARLY CHILDHOOD/ PRE-K
We must have universal Pre-K for our young children. This is crucial to level the playing field for children born into families of all income levels and races.
K-12 PUBLIC EDUCATION
Fix the Funding in our Public Schools:
- Increase funding to $9,000+ per pupil. Provide additional funding for high-needs students such as ESL.
- Prohibit for-profit charter schools from receiving public funding, and pre-empt loopholes whereby non-profits are shells for for-profit institutions.
- Couple state budget line-items so that it is impossible to spend more on incarceration than on public education
- Target State Lottery funding to underperforming school areas and areas co-located with lottery purchases.
- Reduce property tax-specific school funding, which perpetuate geographical funding disparities.
Make our Public Schools Models for Justice:
- End the school-to-prison pipeline. Implement programs to prevent at-risk youth from getting involved in criminal activity. Give schools the tools to tend to the physical and mental health of students, and take an active path of restorative justice, rather than punitive justice, in educating students.
- Implement discrimination audits to test for racial bias that violates Brown V. Board of Education in public schools.
- Prevent attempts to arm educators, and maintain safety standards in schools. Every school district needs to prepare a plan for an active shooter scenario.
- Defund in-school “security” and reinvest in educators, extra-curriculars, and student needs.
Prioritize Standards of High-Quality Education:
- Literacy is mandatory. Provide sufficient support to attain literacy in all but those students with learning impairments that prevent it.
- Invest in schools that need support- eliminate mandatory school closures for underperforming schools.
- Invest in and value our teachers. Teaching needs to be recognized as the respectable and crucially important position that it is.
- Open channels for input from teachers and administrators in underperforming schools.
- Increase standards and oversight for online schools.
- Limit tuition levels and tuition hikes for publicly funded universities
- Provide grants and/or forgivable college tuition based on attendance, performance, and work contributions.
- Fund pathways for trade schools and college education with public service reciprocity such as work-for-tuition public works projects.
- Create compensation caps on the salaries of staff and faculty at publicly funded post-secondary education so that administrators’ compensation cannot exceed 20 x the base rate of the lowest-paid employees.
- Protect our labor unions at secondary education institutions, often fighting against administrators who are paid exorbitant amounts of money.