The following guest post was written by Amy McKeever, a Pontiac School District teacher and the President of the Pontiac Education Association. Enjoy. While much attention has been focused on the horrendous condition of Detroit Public School buildings, the health and safety concerns are no less dire in the Pontiac School District, where the majority of buildings are over 50 […]Read more ›
Yesterday, I wrote about the activities planned for teachers at the Arts and Technology Academy of Pontiac (ATAP), a for-profit charter school run by Mosaica. These “Teacher Appreciation Week” activities featured a variety of what can only be described as humiliating activities planned for the teachers to raise funds for the school. They included: MANDIVA – Our 3 favorite male […]Read more ›
A great evening’s entertainment for a great cause. In May, I wrote about a terrific independent after-school program in Pontiac called Bound Together. The program provides tutoring in math, reading and reading comprehension three days a week, followed by a nutritious meal. Every other week, there’s also a one-day art group, filling a void left when the Pontiac schools cut […]Read more ›
Some Good News: US Court of Appeals sends Emergency Manager suit back to lower court to decide constitutionality issues
Well, this is pleasant news Earlier this year, public employee retirees from Pontiac filed a lawsuit to reverse a decision by Emergency Financial Manager Lou Schimmel to cut some of their health care benefits, increase their deductibles, and reduce their pensions. They said it was a violation of federal law regarding the impairment of contracts. In June, a district court […]Read more ›
Pontiac teachers’ health insurance cancelled when district uses insurance premiums to balance its books
They’re being attacked from ALL sides This story is truly outrageous. Pontiac teachers have filed a lawsuit against the Pontiac school district for collecting money from their paychecks for health insurance coverage and then using the money to make their bottom line look better to the state of Michigan rather than paying premiums. As a result, the teachers’ health coverage […]Read more ›
Michigan’s Emergency Manager law faces legal challenge from Flint & Pontiac retirees for favoring banks over people
This isn’t going away, governor
Retired government employees from both Flint and Pontiac have filed a complaint with the U.S. District Court in Detroit to have Public Act 436 and its predecessor Public Act 4 — Michigan’s anti-democratic Emergency Manager laws — declared illegal under the Bankruptcy Clause and Contracts Clause of the US Constitution, as well as Chapter 9 of Title 11 of the United States Code. The complaint (pdf) rests largely on the argument that these laws favored one set of creditors over others. Namely, they claim retirees and unions have seen their contracts negatively impacted while businesses and banks have gotten away without taking a hit.
Details are after the jump.Read more ›
We regret the error
While the State of Michigan has stepped in to save the failing Pontiac schools from closing its doors due to lack of funding, they have NOT done this for Buena Vista schools. Rather, the federal government has, albeit in an absurdly lame fashion. The school is closed for the remainder of the school year but the feds are providing money for a voluntary “enhanced skills camp”.
Much more including video of Congressman Dan Kildee speaking about this issue on last night’s All In With Chris Hayes on MSNBC.Read more ›
I’m sure another corporate tax cut is all that is needed
I mentioned this briefly in my post this morning about Buena Vista schools being closed for the fourth consecutive day but now the Detroit News is reporting it as a near-certainty: the Pontiac School District is out of money and will not meet their next payroll. They also have no money to pay vendors that provide custodial, transporation, and other services.
Click through for more.Read more ›
Pontiac – we build excitement?
There’s a pretty well-written, well-researched and fair piece about Michigan’s Emergency Manager crisis at Governing.com. It focuses heavily on Pontiac and their history with EMs including their current one, Louis Schimmler.
There wasn’t a lot in the article that I didn’t already know but there were two things that caught my attention…Read more ›
I find your quaint city constitutions mildly amusing… At a speech criticizing Michigan’s Emergency Manager law yesterday, former Pontiac Emergency Manager Michael Stampfler was talked about the importance of investing in capital infrastructure and something he called civic capital — engagement of the local citizens in the process of governing. Then he suggested that city charters were just “interesting reading”. […]Read more ›
Oh. NOW you tell us. Former Emergency Manager of Pontiac Michael Stampfler is giving a presentation to the Rotary Club of Wyandotte about why Public Act 4 – Michigan’s Emergency Manager law — isn’t working and cannot work. Stampfler says, “I do not believe EMs can be successful — they abrogate the civic structure of the community for a period […]Read more ›