Saturday, March 5, 2011

Governor Plans to use Fiscal Starvation to Force K-12 Changes

WOOD-TV 8's newsline this morning shouts out: Snyder's education cuts aim at change

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's deep budget cuts for public schools could force school districts to close buildings, reduce staff benefits, privatize some services, share administrators and offer more online classes.

That might be just what the new Republican governor wants.

What our rookie Governor doesn't quite get is that school districts like Godfrey-Lee Public Schools HAVE been cutting budgets, closing buildings, reducing staff benefits, privatizing services, sharing administrators, and expanding online learning, owing in great part to the broken promises of Proposal A and steady erosion of state funding for K-12 education.  And we are facing even more deep cuts due to the Governor's plan to raid the dedicated K-12 school aid fund to support community colleges and public universities.

My question to you, Governor Snyder, is if schools have already been doing this for the past decade and you believe graduation rates and high-stakes test scores have not sufficiently improved, how will doing even more of this make our public schools any better?

As a former corporate CEO, even you understand that private business cannot retool or rebuild without sufficient capitol support for such an endeavor.  Why do you think public education can reinvent itself with ever-declining financial resources?  If this were possible, then General Motors and a number of financial giants should have been able to rescue themselves from years of corporate stupidity by simply starving to death, instead of relying on taxpayer-funded bailouts.  After all, you appear to believe that economic starvation is the way to promote change.

I'm chalking up your thinking on this to rookie errors and the lemming effect of listening far too much to failed former state superintendents, boy billionaires, and media wonks working feverishly to make a buck off of the problems with our education system, but I'm hoping that our kids do not become the victims of your mistakes.