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Stakeholder Engagement is Critical, Not Optional

Op Ed by: Ruthann Jaquette, President Michigan PTA

This year, states and schools are grappling with a new education law—the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). While many teachers, students and parents won’t see immediate change in their schools and classrooms, work has begun behind the scenes to implement ESSA with the creation of new education plans that, hopefully, will soon make high-quality, well-rounded education a reality for every child. 

For the first time, K-12 education law acknowledges the critical role parents and other community members play in student success and school improvement efforts by requiring that they be “meaningfully consulted” in the development of new education plans and implementation of the law. Parents and their children are the consumers of our nation’s public education system, and parents have always been essential partners in education. But, they haven’t always had a seat at the decision-making table. ESSA provides a unique opportunity for parents and families to give their input and hold states and districts accountable for their children’s educational experience.  Read More


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.

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School Aid Funds Diverted to Private Schools

June 15, 2016 - Included in the 2016-17 school aid budget recommendation is a line item that would divert $2.5M from the school aid fund to private schools. We are extremely concerned about this issue and the potential precedent that this would set for future fiscal actions that are not in the best interest of public education.

Michigan PTA has joined other concerned associations in a request to Governor Snyder to veto section 152B of Senate Bill 801, the Fiscal Year 2016-2017 Education Omnibus Budget, recently approved by the legislature.

Read letter to Governor Snyder

The link below is a related op-ed written by the Executive Director of the Michigan Association of School Administrators:

Open/Concealed Gun Carry in Schools

November 10, 2015 - Michigan PTA has consistently advocated for gun free zones, gun safety and school safety and our positions have not changed. SB 442 attempts to address what has been described as a loophole in the current law which allows for the open carry of firearms in schools. We believe this legislation will not solve the problem, nor benefit the children in Michigan.

Read More | SB 442 Toolkit

Report on Charter School Authorizer Accountability Released

February 19, 2015 - Accountability for All, a report released today by The Education Trust - Midwest (ETM) on charter school authorizer accountability in Michigan, provides a balanced and fair assessment of both the strengths and weaknesses in the charter school landscape across our state.

When it comes to charter schools, parents in Michigan have in many cases been left to base decisions about educating their children on misleading information — promises of a better alternative that, often times, was never going to happen (if we look at prior performance data of the authorizers and/or operators). ETM's report is a valuable resource for parents that will allow them to ask targeted questions and make more informed decisions about potential new charter schools and those that already exist.

Charter school leaders should want to utilize the information in this report as a tool for building a stronger charter school initiative throughout the state by strengthening authorizer decision making where needed.

The bottom line is that all children deserve an excellent education.

It is time for Michigan to closely examine what is taking place within our charter schools and Accountability for All is a good place to start. Find the report and related documents at


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