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End decriminalization of School Closure!

This petition had 81 supporters

School closures affect communities all over Michigan, and the people of Saginaw have been no exception. Schools considered for closure are in predominantly African American or low income neighborhoods which suffer greatly as the result.

The law that allows school closures and defines the State Reform Office is Public Act 192 MCL 380.1280c. Repealing this law is the only way to safeguard the future of education in Michigan. Senator Pavlov from the Thumb’s 25th district has proposed SB 27. This guarantees that there is no need for the SRO, and eliminates the $2.3m allocated to them. It would also eliminate another $10.2m for the CEO model the SRO has and to provide funds to schools where grants were lost under this CEO model. That’s $12.5m to redistribute back to the districts!

Officials in the SRO were not elected by its citizens, but appointed by Michigan’s Governor. Yet, in struggling school districts, the law allows them to usurp elected school boards that answer to the people. This amendment to the Revised School Code needs to be replaced with an appropriate alternative that’s structured around improving our public school system. The need for oversight doesn’t supersede the need for education. School districts need to govern their districts properly as per the power afforded to them in our states original constitution.

We stipulate action from our districts legislators, in exchange for continued support of the elected representatives of our communities and kids. These stakeholders demand abolishing of a SRO governance over local school districts, and the standards of education becoming the business of learning. This race to excellence is defined by lists, ranking, and ratings. It created winners and losers in a system that’s supposed to be equal, patient, and flexible. Districts advertising for students, academic pupil discrimination from public schools, and closure of any district that isn’t ideal is what legislation like this has caused.

Saginaw High School, one school slated for closure in our district, is etched in the Great Lakes Regions History. It was established in 1865 as East Side High School, 24 years before the East and West sides of Saginaw were consolidated to form the City of Saginaw of today! 152-year-old roots, while the city of Saginaw’s only goes back to 1889!

If the states control over education continues it’s likely we’ll see an increase in closures, class sizes, and failure rates. 6,294 pupils attend Saginaw schools every day, in 15 schools within the Saginaw Public School District including 10 elementary, 1 middle, and 2 high schools. Schools on the list subject to closure this year and next: Jesse Loomis Elementary, Saginaw High, Thomas Middle, and Mary G. Watkins elementary 1,941 students. That’s 32% of the district displaced, leaving parents no options for transportation. At that point it’s a “school of choice” matter for 8 out of every 25 children in Saginaw Public district. In Buena Vista school district 207 students continued in a local school out of 433 after the entire district closed at once in 2012 (47.8%). That’s 4 in 10 students staying in district, the remaining 6 take their $9,813 in per pupil funding to the Schools of their Choice.

Please help us give the students a voice. One voice, one mark, for one minute of your time. All it takes is one teacher to spark an interest in books instead of drugs. One student learning history to be inspired and ascend to presidency.

One signature on the petition in support of SB 27, for just ONE minute of your time!

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