Educators Say Enough to Lame Duck
Politically Charged Climate & Lack of Time Reinforce Why Education Policies Should be Left to Next Legislature
Lansing — Educators today are sending a clear message to legislators that the extremely politically charged climate they have created inside the Capitol has made it impossible to have legitimate discussions on education policies being considered. That climate, being highlighted on the national stage as a result of extremely controversial & politically motivated legislative efforts being pushed over the last few weeks, combined with having very few legislative days left scheduled this year, has reinforced the opinion of educators, parents, school board members and business leaders that there should be no consideration given to any policies impacting schools until the new legislative session convenes in January.
“Educators have said all along that lame duck is not the time to try to rush through fundamental changes to Michigan’s education policies when there simply isn’t the time to properly review or debate their impact on schools, teachers or students,” said Dr. George Heitsch, President of the Tri-County Alliance for Public Education (TCA) and Superintendent of Farmington Schools. “Now, in addition to a lack of time, we’ve seen a lack of trust build up inside the Capitol because of the partisan fueled agenda being pursued. There is simply no scenario in which good public education policies can be pursued before the end of this year and we are steadfast in our opposition to any legislative activity taking place in these last few days of their session.”
TCA released a statement of opposition to activity on public education issues during the lame-duck session recently and, since that time, the State Board of Education and a growing number of local school boards have passed resolutions in support of TCA’s position including, in the last week, the Lake Orion, Garden City, Riverview and Hamtramck School Boards.
“Educators stand ready to engage in productive discussions about policies that will help educate our students, but when stories in the news today are highlighting legislative attempts to create a partisan ‘shadow state board of education’ it’s impossible to imagine productive discussions being possible right now,” said Dr. Russell Pickell, Superintendent of Riverview Schools. “Our message to the legislature is simply that no bills impacting public education should be brought up for consideration over these last, chaotic days of session and we’ll be ready to get to work with them on issues that will help our students achieve success come January.”
The Tri-County Alliance for Public Education is a coalition of education leaders committed to fighting for strong K-12 schools across Michigan. Comprised of Superintendents from every district in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties, they are collectively responsible for educating over 500,000 students.