The misguided, punitive plan to “rescue” Detroit schools — passed with no Democratic support in either chamber — basically abandons public school students while opening the door to even more abuses by profiteers in charter schools.

“The package of bills will force public schools to close, and allow unlimited expansion of for-profit charter schools with no accountability,” said Sen. Gregory.

“As the Detroit Free Press documented several months ago, charter schools are in too many instances nothing more than profit-making ventures which show uneven educational results. The bill passed by the Senate strips away any oversight of these schools and replaces that with a toothless advisory board. It allows non-certified teachers into the classroom, and attacks teachers by effectively taking away their contractual rights. Instead of punishing teachers, we should be thanking them for taking on such a huge challenge.”

Sen. Gregory noted that the current version of the DPS plan were passed in both chambers with the support only of Republicans. No Democrats endorsed the changes even though Detroit and suburban Democrats have the most at stake in the fate of the city’s public schools.

“Sadly the Republicans have taken the side of their wealthy benefactors, led by the DeVos anti-public-education lobby, and brushed aside the concerns of Detroit educators, Mayor Michael Duggan, and suburban leaders whose communities have a direct concern about the city’s schools. It is reprehensible for outstate Republicans to effectively impose their short-sighted ideology on the people of southeast Michigan.”

Sen. Gregory commended the efforts of Senator Goeff Hansen (R-Hart) to craft a bipartisan compromise that focused on helping Detroit children.

“Sen. Hansen developed a proposal which received bipartisan support earlier this year in the Senate, a plan that was backed by Governor Snyder. It was replaced by the punitive, ineffective and one-sided House plan which has now been advanced by Republicans in the Senate over Sen. Hansen’s objections,” said Sen. Gregory.

“It’s sometimes said ‘nothing good happens after midnight.’ Last night, charter school profiteers and enemies of our system of free public education won, and the children of Detroit lost.”

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