Officials with the Bloomfield Hills Schools are urging residents concerned about potentially sweeping education reform in Michigan to attend a series of informational meetings starting Tuesday across Oakland County.
The series begins with Dave Randels, Assistant Director of the Office of Government Relations and Pupil Services for Oakland Schools, who will speak about Gov. Rick Snyder's Education Funding Proposal from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Doyle Center.
"Michigan is embarking on a very radical experiment with our children - one that is untested and untried," the alert on the district's website said. "We need to come together to learn about this movement and what we can do about it."
This proposals, if adopted, will have a significant impact on school systems and funding, and thus every child slated to attend public school statewide. Specifically, the method for how students are counted for state aid and removing restrictions on funding for each pupil that could be shared by districts, are in the proposal. It also calls for expanding online education program and removing school district stewardship of a student's per-pupil allocation by geographic boundaries.
Local fears intensified over the past two weeks as it became clear the changes were scheduled for consideration during the 'lame-duck' legislative session before the end of the year.
"Make yourself informed and understand what's coming our way, and educate your neighbors," BHS Trustee Ed Ford said at the board's last meeting. "Where ever you fall (politically) on what they’re doing, you have to understand what they’re doing. We're going to keep watching, and will be motivated to engage, but we can’t really do anything if the parents are not informed."
Ford also called for a meeting with local legislators to discuss the proposals. It was unclear Monday if one with them was scheduled.
The schedule for the other county-wide meetings:
- Tuesday, Nov. 27, 4 p.m. Royal Oak Middle School
- Tuesday, Nov. 27, 6:30 p.m. 709 N. Washington Ave., Royal Oak 48067
- Wednesday, Nov.28, 4 p.m. Novi High School
- Wednesday, Nov. 28, 6:30 p.m. 24062 Taft, Novi 48375
- Thursday, Nov. 29, 4 p.m. Farmington Schools– Ten Mile Building
- Thursday, Nov. 29, 6:30 p.m. 32789 W. Ten Mile, Farmington
- Monday, Dec. 3, 4 p.m. Rochester High School
- Monday, Dec. 3, 6:30 pm. 180 S. Livernois, Rochester 48307
- Tuesday, Dec. 4, 4 p.m. Clarkston Jr. High School
- Tuesday, Dec. 4, 6:30 p.m. 6595 Waldon Road, Clarkston 48346