Educators: Prop 2 Could Devastate School Budgets; Force Staff, Program Cuts
School Boards, Superintendents and Principals Warn Proposal 2 Could Take Hundreds of Millions of Dollars Out of the Classroom
Lansing, MI, October 9, 2012—Educators across the state today asked Michigan parents and voters to support their local public schools by voting NO on Proposal 2. The groups warned that the deceptive and confusing ballot proposal could cost local schools $400 million a year by overturning desperately needed government employee health care reforms enacted last year. The education groups also emphasized that Proposal 2 would overturn laws allowing districts to contract with a third party for non-instructional support services, allowing for parent volunteers in schools and ensuring the best teachers remain in the classroom. These changes could cost schools additional hundreds of millions of dollars per year and force Michigan public schools to lay off staff and cut critical educational programs for our kids just to balance the books.
“Locally elected school boards across Michigan are responsible for ensuring that our kids get the best possible education and for using our resources wisely, but Proposal 2 would set our schools back—eliminating critical reforms that help students succeed and driving costs through the roof,” said Kathy Hayes, Executive Director of the Michigan Association of School Boards, representing 600 boards of education across Michigan, nearly every public school district in the state. “We urge parents to protect our students, protect our schools and to vote no on Proposal 2.”
William Mayes, Executive Director of the Michigan Association of School Administrators, which represents public school superintendents in 584 school districts and 56 intermediate school districts (ISDs) said: “Proposal 2 would cost school districts $400 million in potential health care savings alone. Should this initiative pass, eliminating these critical cost savings, districts will be forced to eliminate educational programs and cut valuable and effective staff. That is the last thing parents want and the last thing our children need.”
The Attorney General has identified 170 laws and reforms that would or could be overturned by passage of Proposal 2, including a dozen or more student, parent and taxpayer protections, such as laws that cover cost-savings, teacher discipline and placement. Laws that would likely be overturned upon passage of Proposal 2 also include:
- OVERTURNED: The law permitting districts to fire teachers who rate “ineffective” on three consecutive performance reviews.
- OVERTURNED: The law guaranteeing parents’ rights to volunteer at school.
- OVERTURNED: A law setting minimum safety training standards for school bus drivers.
- OVERTURNED: Law prohibiting schools from using “Last in, first out” policy to protect bad teachers from removal based solely on seniority.
- OVERTURNED: Laws protecting the best interests of students by empowering school leaders to make decisions regarding:
o The placement of teachers;
o Personnel decisions for teachers during a reduction in force, recall or hiring after a reduction in force, as set forth in MCL 380.1248;
o Teacher evaluation systems, including the format, timing or number of classroom observations, as set forth in MCL 380.1249 and in the Teachers’ Tenure Act;
o Teacher discipline policies;
o Performance-based compensation systems for teachers, as set forth in MCL 380.1250; and
o Notification to parents and legal guardians that children are being taught by ineffective teachers, as required by MCL 380.1249a.
Educators and school groups formally opposing Proposal 2 include the Michigan Association of School Boards; Michigan School Association of Secondary School Principals; Michigan Association of School Administrators; Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators; and the Michigan School Business Officials.
Partners working together to protect Michigan’s Constitution include:
- Michigan Association of School Boards, representing 600 boards of education across Michigan, nearly every public school district in the state;
- Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals, representing nearly 1,800 school principals and assistant principals across Michigan;
- Michigan Sheriffs Association, representing law enforcement officers across the state;
- Michigan Chamber of Commerce, which represents approximately 6,800 Michigan employers spread across every county in the state;
- Michigan Farm Bureau, representing over 200,000 family members on farms in 67 county Farm Bureaus;
- Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan, a statewide trade association dedicated to providing Michigan with high-quality, affordable, safe and on-time construction;
- Business Leaders for Michigan;
- Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, representing 20,000 members and affiliates that employ over three quarters of a million workers;
- Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, representing more than 2,700 west Michigan job providers including over 2,100 small businesses;
- Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators, representing the superintendents and administrators of 56 Intermediate School Districts;
- Michigan Association of Realtors, which represents 23,000 realtors across the state;
- Michigan Association of School Administrators, representing public school superintendents in 584 school districts and 56 intermediate school districts;
- Michigan Manufacturers Association, representing 3,000 manufacturers responsible for more than 90 percent of Michigan’s industrial workforce;
- West Michigan Policy Forum
- Michigan School Business Officials, representing more than 2,000 finance and support services administrators across Michigan; and the
· Small Business Association of Michigan, which represents small businesses across the state from accountants to appliance stores, restaurants to retailers.