You are hereReps. Lipton and Knezek Vote Against Gutting Public Schools

Reps. Lipton and Knezek Vote Against Gutting Public Schools

March 13, 2013

Education reform plan fails students in struggling schools

House Education Committee Vice Chairwoman Rep. Ellen Cogen Lipton (D-Huntington Woods) and committee member Rep. David Knezek (D-Dearborn Heights) today voted against an education reform proposal that enables for-profit charter school companies to take over public schools and opens a back door to school vouchers.

“House Bill 4369 is little more than the corporatization of public schools masquerading as education reform,” Lipton said. “Rather than looking for real solutions that will benefit students in the state’s most troubled schools, this plan does nothing but throw open the door to the corporate takeover of public schools. Our kids deserve more than that, and that’s why I voted against this bill.”

House Democrats on the committee offered several proposals that would have held the EAA accountable to voters and protected students in EAA schools. They included prohibitions against converting public schools into for-profit charter academies, requiring monthly meetings for each school in the EAA system akin to a local board meeting, placing the EAA under the authority of the elected state Board of Education and subjecting the EAA to the Freedom of Information Act. The amendments were rejected by Republicans on the committee.

Despite a lack of support from every Democrat on the committee, HB 4369 was voted out of committee and is expected to make its way to the House Floor. A similar bill proposed last year also made it out of committee but never reached a vote in the House.

“The people of Michigan don’t want their local schools turned over to for-profit corporations,” Knezek said. “This proposal failed last year because even some Republicans found the measures too extreme. The proposal is still too extreme, and that’s why I voted against it in committee and will continue to fight against it.”