Forgive the state debt so that our staff/students may finally teach/learn in peace.

Forgive the state debt so that our staff/students may finally teach/learn in peace.

12,777 have signed. Let’s get to 15,000!
Petition to
Governor, State of Michigan Gretchen Whitmer and

Why this petition matters

Started by Elnora Gavin

Follow our story on Facebook at peace4lifebh. For years, public school students in Benton Harbor, Michigan have endured constant turmoil under Betsy Devos influenced policies. Michigan's failed education policies have driven high turnover, unfair testing practices, and cuts to essential programs. Marginalized communities have suffered the most. Ironically, the majority of the students here are descendants of slaves who never received promised reparations, yet their daily journey is darkened by a cloud of debt from which they never profited.  Under extreme debt, students and staff in cash strapped districts have functioned under the threat of shutdown nearly every year for nearly a decade.

Imagine the stress of going to school not knowing if your school will even make it from one year to the next? Imagine your children's classes closing midyear and receiving incompletes though no fault of their own? Field trips cancelled, beloved teachers layed off, and the consistent trauma of staff trying to manage a district on a shoestring budget? It is time to give the children a fresh start and a fair chance. You can help.

Since schools also serve as voting polls, closing targeted schools is a creul form of voter suppression that sacrifices school children as political casualties of war. Although strategists have fought to push through takeover strategies that mimic corporate level political sabotage, our children and schools may not be able to survive much longer unless the debt against them is completely forgiven. Our babies need this fresh start. We need the state to eliminate and absorb the debt against our schools.

Once the debt is forgiven, under our new state level administration that values public education and equity, our district will be able to bring back important student centered programs designed to help students thrive. Incoming dollars will go directly to educating students. To ensure fiscal responsibilty moving forward, we also encourage the state to require the district to use an online financial accounting dashboard that will enable the public to track financial progress dollar for dollar.

I am a product of Benton Harbor public schools, a parent and a former teacher. My son graduated from Benton Harbor High School last year and I have another child entering next year. With the exception of the high school which hangs in the balance, I inconsolably watched every school I attended in this community forced to shut down at the most inhumane moments of the school calendar. I love my community and I believe that my children deserve a fair chance at education in our neighborhood schools. Please help us by signing the petition to call for a way overdue new beginning.

Click here to view further details regarding issues relating to the previous administration's decisions and mandates. 

Click here to view video of students advocating for a fresh start for better schools.

12,777 have signed. Let’s get to 15,000!