A coalition of educators, parents and public school officials filled a meeting room at the State Capitol in Lansing Monday to push back at sweeping reforms to public education currently under consideration. And the Bloomfield Hills Schools was well represented.
School Board President Ingrid Day, Trustee Cynthia von Oeyen, trustee-elect Howard Baron and Superintendent Rob Glass joined four BHS parents in the standing-room-only crowd for a joint press conference by several groups opposed to the legislation.
The coalition – called Michigan for Quality Schools – said Monday the state should step back from the proposed changes and instead study and implement what it calls proven, successful education policies adopted by top-performing states, according to Mlive.com.
The proposals could be decided in the next few weeks, as legislators finish the 'lame-duck' session following the November general election.
"Today was about showing there is a broad-based coalition with deep concerns about this," von Oeyen said. "It's a Herculean task to stop these forces in motion because they are determined to move forward, and this is the opportunity for the general public to get involved."
The Michigan Association of School Boards and the Michigan Association of School Administrators were among the groups represented. State Board of Education President John Austin, a Democrat, also was present along with a host of educators, parents and observers who overflowed a Capitol meeting room.
"They, like all of us, want a smart, well considered, fully transparent process for making such sweeping changes so fast, especially when mandates from two years ago haven't been fully vetted nor implemented," Day wrote to Patch Monday evening.
"No one is against change or improvement but it must be well considered and not rushed!"
Supporters of one of the Snyder-backed programs – the Education Achievement Authority – also appeared at the Capitol on Monday to speak in favor of the new district, Mlive.com reported. The EAA – in its first year of operation and limited to 15 schools in Detroit – could be put into state law and expanded into other parts of the state through bills pending in the state Legislature.
- Your Guide to Michigan Education Reform Proposals
- See the list of remaining meetings scheduled throughout Oakalnd County