Quick, before anyone hears about the all of the problems!
The folks at Oakland Schools have posted an urgent call for people opposed to the expansion of the Education Achievement Authority to contact their state legislators THIS MORNING. Why? Because Republicans are in a mad tear to pass the legislation this week.
I’m guessing all of the negative publicity they’ve been getting is starting to worry them and they don’t want the full truth to emerge before they are able to codify this failed system into state law and expand it statewide. There is a lot of profit on the line for the vendors of the software platform used by the EAA if they can expand this district. EAA Chief Officer of Accountability, Equity, and Innovation Mary Esselman is reported to have a financial stake in the company. This false “solution” to “failing schools” looks good in an election year, as well.
Here is the new version of the EAA legislation. House members have been told they have 24 hours to review and then will vote on it tomorrow. We believe that vote may be as early as NOON.
PLEASE call your state representatives and senators to express your opinion on this newest version.
This bill establishes the education achievement authority as the state reform district – codifying that organization into law. In doing so, the bill caps the total number of schools that can be placed under the EAA and prevents any schools from being ordered into the EAA until 2015 (schools may voluntarily be placed in by their home district still).
Here are the KEY DISCUSSION POINTS FOR YOUR CALL:
1- Under the new bill, no schools may be ORDERED into the EAA prior to January 2015. The bill establishes a cap of total schools within the EAA of 27 schools through June 2014, 39 schools through June 2015, and 50 thereafter. Note that during the next several months, no schools may be ORDERED in, but the EAA can increase the number of schools they have up (by chartering or voluntary placement/agreements) up to the 27 cap immediately.
2- There is no viable ISD option or alternative to the EAA. The language in here just says that districts could voluntarily agree to some sort of ISD involvement as already allowed under current law, but no authority is granted to the ISD.
3- As a public school district, the EAA would have the authority to charter schools anywhere in the State.
4- The legislation encourages K-8 schools into the EAA, perpetuating the cherry-picking of these schools which are less expensive to run.
5- The bill includes no clear criteria for entrance into the EAA, NOR does it include clear exit criterias to get out of the EAA and back to a local district.
6- The bill does not address the stranded cost issues of retirement and thus further erodes the MPSERS/retirement system.
7- There is no clear mandate that the EAA would have to follow and meet the requirements in the Open Meetings Act and Freedom of Information Act. In fact, the decision is left to a department and could change over time.
8- It is unclear if charter schools can be ordered under the EAA like traditional public schools.
9- The EAA has failed to show any competency at turning schools around.
Your opinion counts! Please contact your legislators asap:
Governor’s Office – http://michigan.gov/snyder
Michigan House of Representatives – http://house.michigan.gov
Michigan Senate – http://senate.michigan.gov