State Senator Rebekah Warren to propose constitutional ban on for-profit schools in Michigan

    Occasionally, I scoop AnnArbor.com, like yesterday, with my story about the break-in at Beezy’s. But, more often than not, they scoop me. This, I suppose, is to be expected, as, from what I’m told, they employ several people who work all day, and not just at night, after they’ve put their daughters to bed. At any rate, they scooped me today, and, because it’s something that I think you’ll find interesting, I’m going to encourage you to read their article, which you will find here. And, for those of you unwilling to follow the link, here are the first three paragraphs.

    State Sen. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor, is planning to introduce a constitutional amendment banning for-profit schools in Michigan.

    Details of the proposal aren’t yet known, but Warren issued a media advisory today indicating she plans to make the announcement during a news conference at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in Rooms 402 and 403 of the Michigan State Capitol Building in Lansing.

    “In October, Republicans pushed legislation that would remove Michigan’s cap on charter schools, essentially opening the doors to for-profit schools and increased privatization of teachers and school workers,” the advisory states. “This constitutional amendment aims to protect our children’s education from being compromised at the expense of corporate profits”…

    I know I haven’t mentioned it lately, but I like Rebekah Warren, and I’m happy to see that she’s taking on this fight. For-profit education is a terrible idea, and it needs to be stopped. The same goes for for-profit jails. For those who disagree, I’d encourage you to look into the case of Pennsylvania juvenile court judge Mark Ciavarella. The judge was recently sentenced to 28 years in prison for his role in a “kids for cash” operation in which thousands of juveniles, some of whom were clearly not guilty, were sentenced to lengthy stays in private detention centers in exchange for bundles of cash. I can’t imagine what the equivalent scandal will be in for-profit education, but I can assure you that, if we continue to follow this path, it will happen. More importantly, though, I’m sure that thousands of Michigan children will receive substandard educations in the interim, and we cannot allow that to happen.

    If someone finds footage tomorrow of Warren’s press conference, please leave a link… In the meantime, here’s a link to some video I took of Warren earlier this year, when she was talking at Washtenaw Community College about our Governor’s then proposed budget. If you’re unfamiliar with Warren, I’d encourage you to check it out.

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      25 Comments

      1. Elvis Costello
        Posted November 29, 2011 at 7:33 am | Permalink

        Mark, While Rebekah is good on some issues, I’d like to know why she skipped the “Reforms, Restructuring, and and Reinventing” Committee Meeting where they held hearings on the new Workman’s Comp changes. The committee is moving a bill to determine your Workman’s Comp based on what it is believed that you could potentially be making, if there were jobs…It’s a horrible piece of legislation. Also, she is 4th on the list of Lawmakers who take free lunches from Lobbyists.

      2. Posted November 29, 2011 at 7:37 am | Permalink

        I don’t think that you need to be competing with AnnArbor.com.

        For profit schools should be illegal.

        For profit hospitals should be illegal.

        For profit health insurance should be illegal.

        But I might just be old.

      3. Edward
        Posted November 29, 2011 at 9:11 am | Permalink

        Everything should be for-profit. Companies like Enron should control our power. Companies like University of Phoenix should educate our kids. Companies like Blackwater should fight our wars. And companies like Haliburton should do the rest. Just think of how efficient everything would be.

      4. John Galt
        Posted November 29, 2011 at 9:42 am | Permalink

        Not only should schools be for-profit, but children should be made to work as part of their curriculum. Apprenticeships in manufacturing firms, for instance, would not only teach children a trade, but it would provide the inexpensive labor that we need to be competitive with China. And, the money made by the school, which would then be distributed to shareholders by way of dividends, would then be spent on things like vacation homes, servant whips and imported cheese, keeping the economy moving.

      5. Maria
        Posted November 29, 2011 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        I really like Rebekah Warren. She’s right on this one..

      6. Mr. X
        Posted November 29, 2011 at 10:27 am | Permalink

        It’s amazing to me that we even have to have this conversation. Capitalism, has it’s place, but I thought it would be obvious where the boundaries were. Education is not something that needs a profit motive. Administrators should not be in a position where they’re rewarded for delivering less education. This will lead to larger classes, teachers with less experience (thus cheaper) and, ultimately, less informed children, which is the last thing America needs right now. I have no problem with making schools accountable for what they spend, but this is draconian.

      7. Eel
        Posted November 29, 2011 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        I disagree with you on Warren, Mr. Costello, but I very much like what you had to say today about the price of your new box set.

        http://www.elviscostello.com/news/steal-this-record/254

      8. Meta
        Posted November 29, 2011 at 10:43 am | Permalink

        From the Detroit Free Press:

        A pair of state Senate Democrats said this morning they plan to introduce a proposed amendment to the state Constitution to ban the operation of for-profit charter schools in Michigan.

        Sens. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor, and Hoon-Yung Hopgood, D-Taylor, said public education needs to be focused on the needs of school children rather than for-profit companies. Michigan, they said, has the highest percentage of for-profit charters of any state in the country.

        State aid for schools “should go to kids not corporate bottom lines,” Warren said.

        The proposal would need the support of two-thirds majorities in both the House and Senate to be placed on the ballot in November 2012, a prospect Warren conceded is unlikely with charter-friendly Republican control of both chambers.

        She said a petition drive to qualify the amendment for the ballot is another alternative, “if that’s what we need to do.”

        http://www.freep.com/article/20111129/NEWS06/111129024/Proposed-amendment-state-Constitution-would-ban-profit-charter-schools?odyssey=nav|head

      9. TeacherPatti
        Posted November 29, 2011 at 10:56 am | Permalink

        You can probably guess how I feel about this! As I know I’ve said a BAZILLION MF’ING TIMES, I am a special ed teacher. Whilst performing my job duties, I come into contact with many lovely children who could be labeled “hard to educate”. By that I mean that they have shittastic home lives–poverty, abuse, neglect, stepdad of the week, but most of all poverty. These kids take more resources which means more money is needed to pay staff which means less money for the profit-mongers.

        So what will happen to these kids? If they can’t turn a profit, then what?

        (I have some ideas of what will happen to them, none of them awesome)

        Anyway, thanx to Sen. Warren. It be awesomer if she could say that not only will they be illegal, but all charter schools must accept AND KEEP AFTER COUNT DAY all students with disabilities and recognize teachers’ unions (or at least not treat their teachers like shit), but I know there is only so much she can do.

      10. mark
        Posted November 29, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

        I cant believe TeacherPatti with her foul mouth is even allowed near children. WOW!
        So what we have is warren telling poor people in bad school districts that they dont have a choice and to just suck it up. I guess the free lunches warren is getting are paying off. The fact that we are saddleing our children with our debt we should at least provide them with a education that will help them pay this debt, remember these are the kids who will pick our nursing homes.

      11. Mr. X
        Posted November 29, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        You should be aware of the backdrop this is playing out in front of. “The Republican-led House Education Committee is resuming discussions on legislation to allow more charter schools in Michigan while Democrats continue to oppose the plan.” That’s from the Associated Press this afternoon. Presently, Michigan has 250 charter schools, and the Republicans, in an effort to destroy public education once and for all, are pushing for even more privatization. Warren is to be commended for trying to draw attention to this, but it should have happened years ago.

      12. Thom Elliott
        Posted November 29, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        If they can’t turn a profit on the child resource then the defective units are deposited (fed) into the gigantic set of metallic teeth leading to an everlasting abyss constructed on the outskirts of every factory (school). This is all clearly outlined under the new “plan” to “fix” “our” “economy”.

      13. Eel
        Posted November 29, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        They could turn the non-performing kids into that pink animal scrap paste they make chicken nuggets out of.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T67DvoH2H3E

      14. TeacherPatti
        Posted November 30, 2011 at 9:21 am | Permalink

        mark, I know, right? Can you BELIEVE that a WOMAN is allowed to talk like that?? Next I’ll want to wear pants and vote and drive a car!

        Because that’s what this is really about, isn’t it?

        PS: In my single days, I fucked on the first date, too.

      15. TeacherPatti
        Posted November 30, 2011 at 9:22 am | Permalink

        Btw, “mark”, that’s a capital W in Warren. I know this because I am, as my user name says, a teacher.

      16. Posted November 30, 2011 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        Wow public schools must be so amazing in Michigan. I have never seen such high standards set like the ones in Detriot. Such achievement to have a graduation rate of less than 25% dispite receiving some of the highest amount of funding per student in the country. The best thing is that there’s never been any corruption like having people on the payroll receiving tax payer money who never worked there. Plus the teachers have unions and tenure so dispite job performance they can never be fired. Or like in the Atlanta school districts the teachers were correcting students standardized test so the kids could pass and they receive more federal funding. I even heard like in New Orleans that after Katrina charter schools came in and students dramatically improved on standarized tests, due to smaller class sizes, more accessibility from teacher to students, and they even cost tax payers less money, those bastards! How dare they offer a different option from what fine educations our kids are getting in public schools.

        Patti I just wanted to say bravo! I’m sure your boyfriend or husband would love to hear that you would put out for the price of a descent dinner and a movie. Way to set the bar high and be a example for the children you teach, stay classy ;)

      17. Jeff Irwin by proxy
        Posted November 30, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

        Today, the House Education Committee passed SB 618, removing the cap on charter schools in Michigan. Unfortunately, the Republicans rejected 16 Democratic amendments aimed at providing accountability for charter schools. I suspect we’ll be seeing these bills on the House floor soon. I intend to oppose this bill.

      18. Andy Cameron
        Posted November 30, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think that private for-profit schools should necessarily be banned, but there should be a total ban on any state aid reaching any for-profit school of any kind.

      19. wetdolphinmissile
        Posted November 30, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

        Oh yes. all public school teachers should have special censors, because of course they must be held to a higher standard than the normal grunge I read on this site. What a load of sexist crap. Is it because she is a woman or because she is a teacher, or maybe because she is a special ed teacher…or maybe because she is protected by a union (albeit a sucky situation in the big D for teachers). And we all know just how effective those charter schools have been…I mean look at the data… The data says that the individual teacher is what matters and Teacher Patti is a fantastic advocate for her students under adverse conditions. Teacher Patti…I Fucking salute the work you do and the fun you have at play!

      20. TeacherPatti
        Posted December 1, 2011 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        Thanks WDM. :hugs: We should go bathroom together at the Corner sometime soon.

        And it’s always the same things that are said “stay classy” and “yikes!” and “foul mouth”…interesting.

        Btw, we have a (male) teacher here who tells the kids he just wants to eat and fuck. Talk about classy….

      21. wetdolphinmissile
        Posted December 1, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

        It is why teachers unions formed in the first place…bias against women. Used to be you could teach till you were pregnant and then out you go..god forbid if a kid wonders where babies come from. A bunch of Madonna vs. Whore bullshit. Have to sick the moon goddess on the ignorant. And I would prefer to see you and drink at the bar rather than the bathroom

      22. TeacherPatti
        Posted December 1, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

        Me too WDM! Let’s coordinate on the Book of Faces.

        As I said in another thread…I was honestly being facetious when I said that about the first date thing…I got it from the movie Saturday the 14th or maybe it was April Fool’s Day…I was kidding. I can put you in touch w/ some of my exes to verify if you would like. :)

      23. mark
        Posted December 6, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        Patti I dont have a problem with you swearing like a sailor or wearing pants, or having sex on the first date, or that you drive a car. Its the teacher that cant express yourself without being so foul that gets me. I just expect better from a educator. In fact I like skanks like you, your kind are what makes this world fun,I mean you make getting laid easy and I like that. I just hope you wash your hands before you go to work, not sure my kids vaccines are up to date. I know you want so bad for me to be a sexist pig so you can be all high and mighty. Rock on skank, just make sure you wash the funk off yourself before going to work.

      24. Meta
        Posted December 15, 2011 at 9:52 am | Permalink

        From the Associated Press:

        A proposal designed to allow more public charter schools in Michigan neared final approval in the Legislature, surviving a key vote late Wednesday in the Republican-led House.

        Lawmakers approved a measure lifting some restrictions on the number of charter schools by a 58-49, mostly party-line vote.

        The House bill is somewhat different from a version passed by the Republican-led Senate earlier this year. The two chambers could resolve differences in the legislation and send it to Republican Gov. Rick Snyder with votes as early as Thursday.

        The state now has 255 charter schools. New ones can open, but there are some geographic and other restrictions. Public universities, for example, can authorize or sponsor no more than 150 schools statewide.

        The Senate version would allow that university-authorized cap to be lifted without restrictions. The House version would gradually lift the cap, moving it to 300 through 2012 and 500 through 2014. There would be no limits starting in 2015.

        House Republicans say they also added measures aimed at improving quality, transparency and accountability for schools.

        http://www.annarbor.com/news/michigan-house-approves-charter-school-expansion/

      25. K
        Posted May 26, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

        Did anything ever come of this?

      One Trackback

      1. By My pilot light is out on December 16, 2011 at 9:21 am

        [...] And, you'll find our last conversation about the movement toward for-profit schools in Michigan here.] This entry was posted in Civil Liberties, Mark's Life, OCD, Uncategorized and tagged Arlo, [...]

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