It wouldn’t be a normal day in the heartland without disheartening education headlines.
On Friday, The School District of Philadelphia issued 3,783 pink slips to nearly 20 percent of its employees. Today, the Michigan Legislature will take up two bills aimed at dissolving school districts.
There’s no getting past the pure politics of these situations. Pennsylvania and Michigan are both states with business-minded Republican Governors and budget slashing Republican Legislatures. Over the past two and a half years, these men have slashed revenue sharing for education while pursuing massive business tax cuts — over $300 million in Pennsylvania’s case. Now they want to shudder 23 public schools in Philadelphia and as many as 55 school districts in Michigan to preserve these business tax cuts.
All I can say is that November 4, 2014 can’t come soon enough. I hope my fellow teachers across this country will stand up for our students, our schools, and our communities at the ballot box. By and large these school closures disproportionately impact low-income and/or minority students. The students we commit to serve as Teach For America corps members. I believe that any educator who subscribe to the idea of educational equity must stand up before it’s too late. Please join me.