BHS Urges for Local Presence in Education Reform Debate

A series of meetings across the county is planned to educate and mobilize public school supporters, starting Tuesday in Bloomfield Hills.


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
-Elizabeth- November 28, 2012 at 03:44 AM
I wish you had gone to the meeting.
Neal Charness November 28, 2012 at 11:22 AM
The answer to all of your questions is NO. I do not have a conflict of interest. I do have an interest because I have two children in BHSD. Your comment was just another personal shot. Lets talk about the issues without the invective.
-Elizabeth- November 28, 2012 at 11:53 AM
I didn't see you. If I am mistaken, then I am sorry. Based upon your opinion above and the one that speaks out most to me is 'questionable educational outcomes to cost value' I respectfully disagree. You have a right to your opinion as everyone does. I urge you to look at the many different bills before the House and Senate Education Committees. If in the end we still disagree, then it will be what it will be. I personally find the actions being taken by the State Legislature, Governor Snyder and Mr. McLellan are not measured or inclusive.
-Elizabeth- November 28, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Since suppliers of education has been brought up, lets look to see what connections are there with online instruction providers and the other 'Special Designation Schools' as outlined in House Bill 5923 currently in the Committee on Education. Lets look to see who or what provided the dollars to the Oxford Foundation for this rewrite. Since it is a not-for-profit, we won't know until they file their 990 next May and if they file the EZ form, I am not sure it will be there. But like Linda said, only then will what is proposed and happening be understood in the proper context. Business contacts go both ways.
Neal Charness November 28, 2012 at 06:14 PM
Linda: I took the time to reread your post asking whether myself or any member of my family was involved in school administration, a school district partner, a union activist, etc. None of my activities or associations are within the ambit of your questions. Can we speak to your motives now: Have you or any members of your immediate family attended a K-12 school other than a public school? Have you or any members of your family donated money to a private school or private school foundation directly or through a family foundation? Are you or any members of your family a member of a local, state, or national Chamber or Commerce? Have you ever had business experience dealing with union negotiations as a member of management? Please answer so that both of our cards are on the table. Thank you.


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