The Principal's Principles

A Middle School Principal, striving to make the world a better place, one day at a time.

Michigan Educators, Time Again to Advocate

In their most recent session, members of the state legislature of Michigan are in the midst of voting on SB-618, a bill that if signed would lift the cap on charter schools allowing community colleges and universities to open these schools anywhere they wish. Missing from the legislation is any kind of oversight or accountability measure for these schools to operate under. This is ironic considering the legislature has passed and the Governor has signed multiple laws that hold Michigan public schools more accountable. Below is the letter I sent to Brad Jacobsen, a Republican representing the district I live in. I hope others are sending the same kinds of letters to their representatives.

Dear Representative Jacobson,

Yesterday, as I reviewed the details of SB 618, passed by the House Education Committee, I grew very concerned. I write today, something I have done several times, to express the issues I see with this pending legislation. As a reminder, I am a Principal at one of Lake Orion’s Middle Schools, as well as a resident within your district.

After spending considerable time passing legislation to make changes to the accountability measures for schools, I’m concerned that the legislature would now open the door for for-profit schools to open that would not operate under the same measures public schools are expected to. I’d ask that you oppose any measure that would allow schools to open that would not be held to the same standard that is expected of Michigan’s public schools.

As someone who is a resident of Lake Orion, I’m confident you know that our school district provides an exemplary education. Our community schools, which currently compete with private school and schools of choice options, have a strong record of achievement in academics, athletics, and the arts. We have dedicated, professional staff, supportive parents, and operate “the right way.” For these reasons, I don’t fear the presence of a charter school; however, I do have a major concern with the total lack of accountability that would be seen if SB were passed in the current form.

As always, I appreciate your time,

John Bernia

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