Governor Snyder has made no secret of his intent to legislate his way around the repeal of Public Act 4, the Emergency Manager law. In last week’s post-(mortem)-election press conference he sat po-faced claiming the voters “were confused” when they suspended the law, and he was clearly scheming to once again do away with democratic home-rule in Michigan for the sake of fiscal expediency. He plans on thwarting the will of the people, claiming he knows better than the 2.3 million voters who struck the law down.
A zombie law is in the works, but a Frankenstein back-up plan is clearly part of their strategy — putrid chunks of the Emergency Manager law cadaver are being stitched into other legislation…
The House Education Committee met today (even though the House is not currently in session) to discuss their slap-dash ersatz emergency manager-like legislation for school districts — HB -6004. In a semantic twist, they are calling their unelected supreme being a Chancellor instead of Emergency Manager.
House Bill 6004 of 2012 in a nutshell:
The legislation is intended to codify into Michigan Compiled Law the absolute power of the State Educational Achievement Authority. If you recall, over a year ago Gov. Snyder carved-out a select group of at risk schools in the Detroit Public School system and lumped them into a new hybrid school district that didn’t…well, you know…hold elections. He then quickly moved to expand his dictator district to include any school in the state that he felt needed this special brand of “leadership”. This bill would consecrate into law that expanded authority.
This bill also suspends collective bargaining in the bottom 5 percent of schools — an ugly provision reminiscent of the failed federal law, No Child Left Behind, in which schools that did not meet AYP (adequate yearly progress) were summarily punished regardless of important contributing factors.
A racial component, again…
Snyder’s new rule would always punish the bottom 5 percent, no matter how much progress they make, and history shows that the lowest performing schools tend to be located in poor urban areas. Just like the Emergency Manager law, HB 6004, facially-speaking, does not have a racial component, but in practice — well, that’s another matter.
This is yet one more example of the kind of crooked rough-shod governance expected from a “business leader”.
Michigan deserves better.
Amy Kerr Hardin this article also appears in Voters Legislative Transparency Project