Dearborn School Supt. Speaks Against Legislation

The following is a guest column from Dearborn Schools Supt. Brian Whiston.


Supt. Brian Whiston

Dear community member,

– 26 consecutive years of increased enrollment

– Graduation rate up 6%

– Five schools in Dearborn recognized by the state as “Beating the Odds”

– Continuous improvement on local and state tests

– A five year program allowing students to graduate with both a high school diploma and a two year college degree at no cost to parents

– Students earning millions of dollars in scholarships each year

– Districtwide Response to Bullying and Positive Behavior programs ensure a safe learning environment

– Choices for students include magnet programs, Early College program, STEM program,

AP courses, and dual enrollment

Does this sound like a school district that needs to be overhauled, reformed, and taken-over by a state controlled board? I don’t think so, but obviously some legislators in Lansing do.

If two bills, HB 6004 and SB 1358, currently sitting before lawmakers in Lansing are passed in the next few weeks school districts in the state could face drastic change that will have a devastating impact on your child’s school.

These bills shift control away from local school board trustees that you elect and give a great deal of power to a single statewide school district known as the Education Achievement Authority (EAA) that is accountable only to a board appointed by the Governor, not elected by the people.

Even more troubling about these proposed changes is that the important job of educating children will be turned over to for-profit operators who can pick and choose the children they want to allow into their schools.

We are fortunate that our representatives in Lansing, Mr. George Darany, Mr. David Nathan, and Senator Morris Hood, understand how wrong these proposals are and they need our support. We need to contact our representatives in Lansing and let them know that HB6004 and SB1358 must not be approved. It is vitally important that we take action now to make sure these bills are not passed before the legislators leave for the year.

It is important to share your own personal concerns about this legislation. On our district website we have placed key points that you may want to include in your correspondence and we have provided names and addresses of our legislators. You can find out more information on this legislation by visiting HERE.

Despite the many challenges we face, our district has made a great deal of progress and has had plenty of student success. This success can be attributed to the hard work and dedication of our staff. I want to thank all of our staff members and our parents for making student achievement a priority and believing that each child can have academic success in our classrooms. We are also very fortunate to have a supportive and knowledgeable Board of Education that understands the needs of the children in our schools. I urge you to take action today and make sure that this legislation is not passed! welcomes your views and encourages lively -- but civil -- discussions. Comments are unedited, but submissions reported as abusive may be removed.

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