Michigan PTA Statement Regarding U.S. Secretary of Education Nomination
While Michigan PTA does not endorse or oppose political candidates or nominees, we are committed to being a leading voice in advocacy for all children and families in Michigan, and when appropriate, across our nation.
Since it’s inception, Michigan PTA has been a strong proponent for public education and is committed to assure that every child, in every school, in every community receives a quality, well rounded education.
The U.S. Department of Education should be led by an individual who understands the plight of every child and family in every community. He or she must be committed to providing fair and equitable education for all students in this country, assigning funds and programs to make public schools stronger and safer, rather than creating an unnecessary, ineffective, for-profit alternative that weakens the educational options for all.
Over the past 25 years, Michigan’s Public Education has been slowly and intentionally dismantled and sold to the highest bidder. This has resulted in the creation of significant inequalities and unnecessary obstacles including, but not limited to: 1) the proposal and defeat of a voucher system (twice), 2) charter school expansion with little accountability, and no transparency, 3) detrimental cuts in school funding, 4) bankrupting or near-bankrupting school districts, 5) expansion of the Achievement Gap, 6) unpreparedness to enter career and lack of college readiness.
Michigan PTA does not support using Michigan’s Public Education track record as a blueprint for the country’s public education system. The proven priorities are in direct conflict with Michigan PTA’s purpose, specifically, to advocate for fiscal responsibility regarding public tax dollars in public education funding.
Michigan’s proposed voucher program and for-profit charter schools divert desperately-needed dollars and resources away from the public school system to fund the education of a few, select students, with limited, if any impact on student academic achievement. Voucher programs have proven ineffective, lack the accountability and transparency to taxpayers, and deprive students of rights provided by public schools. They provide sub-par teaching standards, curriculum, reporting, and testing requirements as compared to the public schools. Private schools receiving voucher students are exempt from select federal civil rights laws, religious freedom protections provided under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and public accountability standards that all public schools must meet, including those in Title IX, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and ESEA. If you oppose what has happened here in Michigan, please let your representatives in Congress know that Michigan is not the model that should be duplicated across the country, but rather learn from our mistakes and understand what NOT to do to provide a world-class education system . Michigan PTA mobilizes the forces of school, home, and community in order to ensure a quality education and nurturing environment for every child.