As education advocates we come from many backgrounds. We champion diverse policies, have diverse backgrounds, and believe in diverse solutions to life student achievement across our state. But I firmly believe - whether you reside in the traditional district, charter, private, parochial, etc. realms - that we are all united under a common goal to support kids, and by extension, their families.
Let me be clear: charter schools are an integral part of the public school fabric that thrives in Michigan. Our students are public school students, our teachers are public school teachers and our principals are public school principals. To say that charter schools are “raking in cash on the backs of our kids and taxpayers,” is not just hurtful and insulting, it’s untrue.
How dare anyone suggest that our teachers do not have to meet the exact same licensing requirements as all other public school educators. Paula, how dare you suggest that charter schools are guilty of “highway robbery.” How dare you suggest that “profit - not student achievement - is Priority No. 1” for us. Paula, we've talked. You know better.
The truth is that the challenges MI's traditional public schools are facing are the same ones we face in the charter sector - and hurtling blame, rather than working together, is no way to reach viable solutions. Paula, I urge you to engage in a different conversation. Let's envision where we want MI's public education standard to be, and work together to get there.
With or without agreement from the MEA, we’ll continue to work toward the day when 100% of students in Michigan are valued equally; where every student in Michigan is able to receive a quality education in a quality school. For us, ignoring 10% of students who choose a school outside the traditional district system is simply unacceptable. Paula, I know you claim to be an advocate for education - this should be unacceptable to you too.