In Light of Secret Workgroup on "Value Schools," Senator Rebekah Warren (D – Ann Arbor) today announced the reintroduction of a constitutional amendment to ban schools operated by for-profit entities in Michigan. In December 2011, Republicans passed legislation removing Michigan’s cap on charter schools, essentially opening the doors to business-run, for-profit schools and the increased privatization of teachers and school workers. The need for legislation to ban such schools became all the more evident in light of a news report uncovering a secret workgroup including Gov. Snyder’s top aides that aims to design a “value school” voucher system that would allow corporate interests to make millions of dollars off of Michigan’s public education system.
“Our children deserve an education which focuses on their enrichment and prepares them to compete in the 21st century global economy,” said Senator Warren. “I introduced legislation banning for-profit schools in fear of the very situation that now lies before us. The plan is clearly focused on corporate bottom lines rather than our children’s future, and demonstrates the need for legislation banning schools that aim to make a profit on the education of the next generation.”
The secret workgroup, referring to themselves as “skunk works” is working on creating a system that would hand over $7,000 per pupil to private corporations to run “value schools” while only requiring them to spend $5,000 of that on our children’s education, giving them a 30% profit margin at the expense of Michigan’s taxpayers and students.
The information made public today was part of an effort announced by Governor Snyder last year to have the Oxford Foundation design a plan supposedly focused on improving public education in Michigan, a plan that was widely panned as little more than a voucher system when a draft report was released last year.
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