Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Business as Usual?

The Michigan Senate just passed the Emergency Financial Manager bill today. Your city, town or school district can be declared as having a "financial emergency" (think $715 per student budget cuts coming up) by our governor or a company he appoints. This manager will have supreme power to void all private contracts and collective bargaining agreements AND the power to dismiss elected representatives! BUT here's the rub - the EMF doesn't' have to be a PERSON - they have deemed it okay to be a CORPORATION. So, governor (or corporate appointee) declares your city/schools to be in an emergency...appoints a corporation to take over...dismisses your elected you see something WRONG with this?

Now, if you have children you should be worried. What this means is that in an effort to slash budgets and without the constraints of collective bargaining agreements, the most experience teacher and school leader may be the first to go. Why? Well, of course, it only makes sense that you can get two first year teachers for every teacher you release that has 15 or more years experience. It's Walmart shopping for you child's education. This is not to put down first year teachers. But without that experienced teacher in the room next door, um...will little Johnny really learn the skills to be competitive in college?, or will we be fumbling for the light switch in the dark?

Think I'm crazy? I hope you're right. Because I still have a child to get through 6 more years of public education and I'll be happy to eat crow if it means quality for him. For those of you who feel righteous triumph, erroneously thinking this will only affect Detroit and the likes - don't kid yourself. Most school districts and soon cities will be on the brink of financial collapse if the new budget proposed by Rick Snyder is passed.

Hmmmm, I wonder if they thought to put a provision in the bill that prohibits any corporation named as an emergency financial manager - AND their subsidiaries - from doing business with the public entity? Well, they can't think of everything, now can they?

1 comment:

  1. I Agree with you totally, Cathy...some scary scenarios.