In November of 2000, Michiganders went to the polls like they do every November to exercise their democratic right to vote. Most will remember that election as the one where Al Gore got more votes in Michigan, and throughout the United States, but didn’t become president. George Bush won the election because he received more electoral votes after the U.S. Supreme Court decided that a hand count of some unusual votes in Florida could not be done fast enough. What some may not remember is that same night voters denied a DeVos backed ballot initiative to allow students to receive vouchers in order to take their public school money to private schools. Michigan voters soundly defeated the initiative despite some 10 million dollars being spent on the campaign. Maybe Mr. Snyder doesn’t remember the details of the 2000 election. After all, he was busy serving on the board of Gateway while the company shipped jobs overseas. The voters spoke that November, but Rick Snyder wasn’t listening. Governor Snyder’s plan for public education in Michigan would allow students to receive instruction from “online educators.” That instruction would be paid for with money from the school aid fund. In essence, online education is private school without the building. I’m guessing you won’t be surprised that a controversial company called K12, inc, with ties to the DeVos family, would likely be ready to sell their programs to Michigan schools at a moments notice. I can’t help but think that we are on the same path as Gateway. Outsourcing our teaching jobs to online companies is not going to improve student scores or the unemployment rate in Michigan. It may however, make someone a bunch of money which could allow them to become a Governor someday.
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