Education — November 30, 2011 at 9:36 am

Michigan Democratic Senators propose constitutional ban on for-profit schools


I’ve been a bit critical of my Senator Rebekah Warren lately but this I like. Warren is teaming up with Hoon-Yung Hopgood of Taylor to introduce legislation to ban for-profit schools in Michigan.

Democratic Sens. Rebekah Warren of Ann Arbor and Hoon-Yung Hopgood of Taylor announced Tuesday they will introduce a constitutional amendment to ban for-profit schools in Michigan, saying Michigan has more charters operating for a profit than most other states.

The ban would only affect K-12 schools, such as charters, that receive money from the state School Aid fund. Already in Michigan, four out of five charter schools are operated by private, for-profit education management organizations, according to the senators.

“It’s not a ban on charter schools, and it’s not a cap on charter schools,” Warren said when announcing the proposal this morning in Lansing. “In these tight times, all those dollars should be going to the classroom.” […]

“If we can’t get it done through the Legislature, we certainly have another route to do it through a petition drive if we have to,” Warren said.

That last bit is important because, with both the state House and Senate controlled by Republicans, there is little chance it’ll ever secure the two-thirds majority vote needed to change the state constitution.

Michigan Radio has this quote from Sen. Warren:

“If those companies are doing such a great job and they want to come in and they want to educate our kids they can reformat their business model and become non-profits,” she said “This isn’t saying they can’t operate here.”

I feel about for-profit schools the way I feel about for-profit health insurance companies: if you’re in it for profit, there will ALWAYS be incentive to cut costs and thereby the quality of the service or product they supply. Always.

And the losers in that arrangement are sick people and kids.