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Posted on Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 3:24 p.m.

Sen. Rebekah Warren proposing constitutional ban on for-profit schools in Michigan

By Ryan J. Stanton

State Sen. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor, is planning to introduce a constitutional amendment banning for-profit schools in Michigan.

Details of the proposal aren't yet known, but Warren issued a media advisory today indicating she plans to make the announcement during a news conference at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in Rooms 402 and 403 of the Michigan State Capitol Building in Lansing.


Rebekah Warren

"In October, Republicans pushed legislation that would remove Michigan's cap on charter schools, essentially opening the doors to for-profit schools and increased privatization of teachers and school workers," the advisory states. "This constitutional amendment aims to protect our children's education from being compromised at the expense of corporate profits."

Warren is expected to be joined by other members of the Senate Democratic Caucus at the news conference on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, Warren hosted a town hall meeting at Washtenaw Community College to discuss the impact of the proposed expansion of charter schools and cyber schools in Michigan.

She was joined by David Arsen, professor of K-12 educational administration at Michigan State University; Jim Berryman, a former state senator and Michigan Education Association Uniserv director; and Gary Miron, professor of evaluation, measurement and research at Western Michigan University. The title of the event was “Eliminating the Cap on Charter Schools: A Look at the Impacts on Public Education in Michigan."

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's e-mail newsletters.


Mick Talley

Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 10:55 p.m.

Any institution under any economic system, if it doesn't make a "profit" to provide for innovation, maintenance and personnel is an institution that will quickly be out of business and collapse. "Not for Profits" do not distribution "profits" to share holders but traditionally should re-invest the profits in the organization to account for the attributes I have mentioned. Any institution under any economic system needs the appropriate level of profit to continue existence and account for innovation, maintenance, and personnel. Otherwise, it disappears as the Soviet Union of 1990 forthrightly suggests. Even China has gotten this message. Thanks. Mick.

Critical Thinker

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 7:01 p.m.

Here's the facts: Charter schools are not for-profit now. Not one is controlled by a for-profit company in MIchigan nor are they allowed to be for-profit. They all have non-profit boards that hold the charter, per the law. Yes, those boards may chose, just like a school district does, to hire for-profit companies to provide products and services that assist in the instruction of children, including books, technology, curriculum and management services. This Senator's attempt to use Socialist tactics by putting down companies that provide services to schools is ignorant and dangerous. I assume she's forbid taking any donations from for-profit companies for her campaign too. How sad... Just another political diversion to avoid focusing on a broken public school system that needs overhauling. TIme to focus on students, not the adults! If it works, replicate it. If it doesn't, scrap it.


Thu, Dec 1, 2011 : 3:16 a.m.

sophie12 - The management company may have been for profit, but the school by definition in Michigan could not be. You probably were hired by and worked for the management company, not the school. There is a difference. Unfortunately, Sen. Warren's amendment will not solve this problem. As was shown by what happened in the debt counciling world, for profit companies created one or two levels of non-profit organizations that fit with the rules - the real work and money was handled by the for profit company. The only way this can work is if not supplier to a school could be for profit - and that did not work in Russia.


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 12:47 a.m.

I wish I knew where you got your information. I worked for 4 years at a charter that was most definately for profit. They refuse to buy class books for the students instead "encouraging" teachers to be creative with lesson plans, in other words lets not waste money. They are not the place to send your children if you value your children's education.

Jeff Frank

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 5:04 p.m.

We already have for-profit education at the higher education level... and it's been found to full of fraud, broken promises and sub-par education. What makes anyone think that the same thing won't happen with K-12 for-profit schools? The resources are not and will not be there to make sure that these schools are doing what they're supposed to do... produce well-educated children. Heck we, as a state, couldn't even handle that when there were only traditional public schools to track. Instead, schools will open, draw in the kids (and their $7500 vouchers), under-perform for 2-3 years, close and take the profits with them, leaving the kids even further behind than they were. Not saying all, or even a majority, will follow that "business plan" but it's a virtual certainty that at least some will... there are too many "people" out there willing to do whatever it takes to get your money into their pockets... see boiler-room operators, Enron, the banking industry, etc.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 8:53 p.m.

Thick Candy Shell, I assume you are being sarcastic. However you are correct. The majoriy of the leaders in both parties went to Harvard, Yale, Columbia, princeton and a few elite west coast schools. The school of thought taught in the ivy leauge schools is government willl fix all problems. We need diversity of though in politics.

Thick Candy Shell

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 5:35 p.m.

Clearly Harvard, Yale and Princeton have failed!

Albert Howard

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 4:47 p.m.

Senator Rebekah Warren: Charter Schools in Ann Arbor will begin to emerge from every direction...Like satellite dishes, children will be birthed out of a Holy Wisdom that knows no defeat in Washtenaw County...A mark that cannot be erased!


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 4:45 p.m.

No matter where you are on this story you should look at a comparision on the results in U.S. schools vs various countries in the world. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 3:23 p.m.

This proposal will never make it out of committee, and Ms Warren knows this. So her goal must be to promote herself politically, increase her campaign contributions from the MEA, etc... Traditional school districts have been siphoning money from the class room to pay increasing salaries and benefits for decades. Remember Spelling textbooks? They've been replaced by a bulletin board with post-it notes. Handwriting workbooks? No where to be found. Extra-curriculars that are free to all students? Gone, it's pay to play now. But Charters offer all of these and more. AAPS constituents - how's that non-profit status working for you with your leader earning a salary of $245,000; and then having the audacity to hold meetings asking parents where they should cut next?

T. Kinks Heiss

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 3:12 p.m.

These for profit schools don't pay teachers what they deserve &amp; offer very little or no healthcare either. I believe children should get the best education possible &amp; the for profit school don't deliver it.

Critical Thinker

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 4:51 p.m.

Here's the facts: Charter schools are not for-profit now. Not one is controlled by a for-profit company in MIchigan nor are they allowed to be for-profit. They all have non-profit boards that hold the charter, per the law. Yes, those boards may chose, just like a school district does, to hire for-profit companies to provide products and services that assist in the instruction of children, including books, technology, curriculum and management services. This Senator's attempt to use Socialist tactics by putting down companies that provide services to schools is ignorant and dangerous. I assume she's forbid taking any donations from for-profit companies for her campaign too. How sad...


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 3:20 p.m.

...and your proof is where? What reports can you cite?

Ron Granger

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 3 p.m.

It is rare that I agree with Senator Warren, but on this I do. Do not divert my mandated tax dollars from public schools to for-profit corporations. Though even &quot;non-profits&quot; are sometimes robbing us. The CEO of non-profit Blue Cross in Michigan makes $2.4 million a year in salary.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 3:21 p.m.

Many not profit schools (including public schools) hire for profit management companies across the USA. So this will do little or nothing to change the game.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 2:43 p.m.

Once again, focusing on the private for profit sector as something that is wrong. Would'nt it be better to measure the sucess of all schools, regardless of whether they make a profit or not and reward those that work? The new mantra is &quot;we can have everything we want and need, and make someone else pay for it, by enpowering our wise government to take over&quot;.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 2:38 p.m.

Donbee et al, charter schools are doing WORSE, on average, than public schools. What part of that is confusing? They are doing worse, and ciphoning money while they are doing it.


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 3:07 a.m.

a2person - I would love to see a source. The Stanford Study - the one that Sen Warren and her friends are using to get this amendment passed, has a number of flaws in the methodolgy. Another Standford professor even wrote a public rebuke of the methodology and published it - a rare thing in the arena of public education. One of my major problems with this study is that it says &quot;in the first year students moved to a charter they did worse than...&quot; I note the students moved schools, this is a proven way to have children backslide. Study after study show that students who move schools don't do well in the first year. New teachers, peers, etc. The Stanford study does not account for this impact, when they could there are a number of peer reviewed studies that quantify the impact. So there are at least 2 flaws in the underlying proof that Charters are worse. If you have another study to bring forward, bring it on. I have reviewed 9 so far, and all of them have major flaws - some say charters to better, some say they do worse. None of them hold water in my mind.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 3:41 p.m.

What's your source? The studies that compare charter vs. traditional schools are confusing. When comparing charter schools with traditional schools in the same district, charters outperform. This is true across the state and includes, Detroit, Plymouth-Canton, Ypsilanti. The gap between traditional and charter has shown to increase in the Charter's favor the longer the student is enrolled. When grouping all charters together and stacking them against all traditional schools in the state; the traditional schools outperform. Why? Due to the current limits on Charters, most are located in communities that underperform/low graduation rates, etc. This has discrepancy has been detailed in the Free Press over the last month. The Michigan State Board of Education stated in a recent Free Press Editorial column, that charters outperform traditional schools; unfortunately, you have to be a Free Press subscriber to view archived material, otherwise, I'd provide the links.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 1:56 p.m.

olddog - According to the same study that Sen. Warren cites in her reasons to do away with for profit charters schools - nationally charter schools are: 26.6% black (above the national average of the population and all schools) 30.4% hispanic ( again above ) 7% special education (in line with the national average) 6.5% english learners (in line with the national average) 48.6% free or reduced lunch (again above) So you statements on the school populations of charters do not match the national reality of charter schools. Again this is from the Stanford University Study of Charter Schools that Sen. Warren is using.


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 3:02 a.m.

Mr. Witham - If I look in Detroit, most schools are high majority black, charter or public. The schools draw from a local area. This is a fact of life. If you want to talk about schools creating segregation - look at private schools - like Greenhills. I suspect even with scholarships that Greenhills does not match the demographics of Washtenaw County, it's supposed &quot;draw&quot; area. Most private (including religious schools) are very segregated. Charters, from having been in a number of them around the country, seem to come much closer to reflecting the local population. I would request you provide something more than a simple two school analogy if you want to refute the study from Stanford. Sorry, I am using your sides study against you.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 4:55 p.m.

DonBee - Speaking purely from a statistical standpoint, you're comparing apples to oranges. olddog's argument is that any particular charter school is a mostly homogenous institution. Your data is regarding charter school populations in aggregate across the country. Think of it this way: if there were only two charter schools in the country, one of them 100% black, one of them 100% white, the national statistics would say that charter schools are 50% black, and 50% white. However, looking at either school individually there is a clear lack of diversity. I don't know how the actual breakdowns go, or if that data even exists. I'm just pointing out that on this particular point you guys are arguing past each other, not with each other.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 11:58 a.m.

Can a for profit school meet the same standards as a public school? Is a for profit school equitable, does it serve all races, creeds and ability levels? If it can't meet these standards then they should not get a dime of the tax payers money. If they can, then hire their board to replace public administrators. Most for profit schools are very homogenous and serve only one demographic. If you want your kids educated in that environment, where everyone is like them - pay for it out of your pocket.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 6 p.m.

Wow.....where are your facts? &quot;Most for profit schools are very homogenous and serve only one demographic.&quot; Really? Where are your facts that this is the case? And which &quot;demographic&quot; would that be?

C. S. Gass

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 10:28 a.m.

Rebekah, every time you (or any other liberal, or neo-con, for that matter) try to 'fix' the schools, you break them just a little more. I like gridlock in government, simply because it means that you fools can't screw up this state anymore. We don't have this right now, the Reps. are in charge, and that scares me just as much as when the idiots in your Democratic party are running things unopposed. We don't need this. Please go do something else.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 9:43 a.m.

For every action, there is an equal and opposite... criticism.

Michael K.

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 5:57 a.m.

Anyone truly committed to education would be just as happy to open a charter school as a non-profit. That does not mean they won't be rewarded for the quality of their product, or the value of their efficiency. There are things called &quot;salaries&quot; and &quot;incentives&quot; that allow hard working, honest, committed people to profit from their work. We need to ensure, though, that these schools are not allowed to &quot;cherry pick&quot; only the best (in their case, cheapest to educate) kids, reap excess rewards, and walk away with millions in bonuses and stock options - while the remaining education system collapses under the costs of it's &quot;special education&quot; burden.

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 4:32 a.m.

More grandstanding from a shill for public unions. It's too bad there's no real competition in her district.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 4:28 a.m.

It's refreshing to hear about a Michigan lawmaker who is not attempting to further dismantle our public education system. Thank you Senator Warren!!

Stuart Brown

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 4:20 a.m.

We should extend the same concept to Healthcare!

J Shaker

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 3:59 a.m.



Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 3:53 a.m.

What a surprise - another union pocketed Ann Arbor democrat putting the Unions before quality education. I guess this is what happens when Unions run your campaign. Pathetic. Teachers unions should be outlawed.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 3:17 a.m.

For profit? You better than goodness for charter schools. They are outperforming public schools, that is what the MEA is so afraid of.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 12:03 p.m.

show us the data!!! cost/ student, graduation rate. employability rate, score on standardized test oh... and here is the big one heterogenous classrooms.

C. S. Gass

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 10:30 a.m.



Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 3:14 a.m.

Let's eliminate competition so the public schools can continue to be as bad as they want to be. Another great Democrat idea. Liberalism at its best.

A Voice of Reason

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 2:58 a.m.

Sen. Warren--Puppet---&gt;MEA (not teachers) -She needs to prove her loyalty so she can get their support to be re-elected. This is part of a organized effort by the MEA to stop charter schools because they are under no obligation to hire MEA members. AAPS Trustee Stead (opportunist) and Michigan Parents for Schools guy (not kids) are testifying in Lansing, letters to the editors against charter schools, a tug on the strings of Sen. Warren to come out with an outrageous, attention getting proposal that will never pass...... Political Strategy 101. Just ignore this. Warren is not a leader and does not have a independent thought in her head. She may end up a judge (if she has a law degree) or on some college board, but unfortunately, this small-minded gamesmanship is all she has to offer the citizens of our state.

Martin Church

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 2:52 a.m.

it's time the state legislature got out of the education field. so far public education has been a dismal failure. in 76 when I graduated from the Taylor school system each teach was responsible for 80 students each day. 40 in the morning and 40 in the afternoon. We accomplished more with less then the current school system has with 25 students in a class room. I chose to educate my children at home. the results they completed their Associates degree before they completed their high school diplomas. Why because the secret to education begins with expectations in the home. So Ms. Warren, stop playing with our schools and start getting real work done.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 1:55 a.m.

There ought to be constitutional amendment to prevent senators from accepting free lunches from union lobbyists. Hey senator, what about jobs, jobs, jobs being priority one. How about it &quot;being for the children&quot; apparently not in Warren's union purchased loyalty. How about we just provide government housing, transportation, and food for public school teachers and administrators since they actually make a &quot;profit&quot; too.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 1:15 a.m.

This clearly proves the success of charter schools! A ban.....preposterous! I propose we ban using snow plows on city streets because it puts those with shovels out of a job.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 12:57 a.m.

This is truly pathetic and disgusting. She needs to be recalled immediately. How dare she tread on the students and parents choice and right to find a better education ! Good Day


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 12:17 a.m.

While this works in districts like Ann Arbor, it does nothing for districts like Detroit. If Senator Warren wants to ban for profit schools and the teachers have stopped most of the non-profit charters (Like the ones that Mr. Thompson wanted to start and pay to run), she condems the students in Detroit to a 75 percent failure rate. This means those people will be permanent clients of the democratic party, always voting for more handouts, since they have no choice. This perpetuates the Democratic voter and the party. I would rather see better testing and monitoring of charters and even private schools in the state. Fail and you close, it would be easier with charters to impose this then with normal public schools. Throwing away 75 percent of the children in Detroit is a shame on the state, the state democratic party and Sen. Warren.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 12:37 a.m.

There's a point where Detroit should just be redistricted, just broken up into little sections, and redone essentially to give the area a chance.

average joe

Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 11:49 p.m.

It isn't much of a secret who sen. Warren is really looking out for. Let's just see the campaign contributor records &amp; that will tell the story. I'd be willing to bet that the charter school folks are not high on the list(if at all), while the MEA is at or near the top as in dollars contributed.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 11:43 p.m.

Rebekal is another Democrat shill for the teachers union. The teacher's union doesn't care about educating children. all they want to do is over reward themselves and protect their jobs. We need fewer public schools run by teachers unions, not more. The next time this Democrat comes up for election, remember, she put a teacher's union ahead of the education of our children.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 4:21 p.m.

Sh1, Anyone who knows anyone who works in the public schools hears the stories about how teachers are negitavely influenced be unions and union rules. There is a difference in teachers and union. Noone is saying teachers are not for the students.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 12:25 p.m.

Stephen, can you give me an example of teacher greed from any recent contract? One with a raise would be a great example.

Stephen Landes

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 12:37 a.m.

sh1 All you have to do is look at contract negotiations to see what teachers value -- job security and pay increases. It is always a struggle to get quality and productivity included in any union agreement and teachers are no exception.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 12:29 a.m.

Re &quot;The teacher's union doesn't care about educating children. all they want to do is over reward themselves and protect their jobs,&quot; I'm sure you must have some actual data to back this up.

Michigan Man

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 12:07 a.m.

Mike = Keep on preaching! Wish I still lived in Ann Arbor so I could cast my vote for anybody but this woman!

Stephen Landes

Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 11:35 p.m.

Per the article, SEN Warren says &quot;This constitutional amendment aims to protect our children's education from being compromised at the expense of corporate profits.&quot; Unfortunately the amendment is a total sell out to the unions and does absolutely nothing to protect our children's education. In fact it does just the opposite: Public schools and teacher unions need competition in order to improve their frequently awful performance. If your response is that public schools are pretty good and my comment overstates the problem take a good look at the people you meet on a daily basis -- those who cannot make change for you, those who cannot communicate effectively or with proper english, and those who have no clue about our history, geography, or economy. Taxpayers in general and Parents in particular are the ones footing the bill and they deserve to have options other than public schools and union teachers if they so desire. Attempting to forbid any kind of alternative for taxpayers to choose with their own money is outrageous.

average joe

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 3:30 a.m.

Stephen- I do 100% agree with you. I'm all for the charter schools, &amp; the better results they produce.

Stephen Landes

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 12:35 a.m.

average joe -- that' exactly my point: public schools aren't doing the job they need to do, so giving parents alternatives is a good idea.

average joe

Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 11:51 p.m.

As for your examples of people that can't make change, etc. Odds are that they weren't a student from charter schools.

Dog Guy

Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 10:58 p.m.

Our tax dollars should not be shunted to profiteers; our tax dollars should continue to be directed to public employees unions and the politicians they elect.

C. S. Gass

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 10:33 a.m.

LOL, sarcasm at it's finest!


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 10:44 p.m.

I am a charter school proponent and I have not agreed with the recent push to eliminate the cap on charter schools. Saturating the state with schools does not improve the quality of education being provided to them. I do believe that there was a state senator who claimed that if Michigan wanted quality law makers, then the state should increase the starting salary to attract them. Why doesn't this logic apply to education in Michigan? It only stands to reason that if we want a better system, we need to pay for it. Lifting the ban creates more schools. Even McDonald's and Starbucks know it is not wise to open too many stores in an area. More burgers and more coffee does not mean better burgers or better coffee.

Stephen Landes

Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 11:38 p.m.

People in the business of providing education without the protections of a public school monopoly are content to try and accept the possibility of a business (not an educational product) failure. We owe it to ourselves and our children to let business people with &quot;skin in the game&quot; give this their best shot. Eliminating the cap will simply eliminate an artificial restriction on the number and types of schools offered. The real limitation will be market-derived based on demand and quality of service and product.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 10:41 p.m.

Amendments take a great deal of consensus and common purpose. Let's hope there isn't a lot of wasted time, effort and tax dollars expended in tilting at windmills. As proposed, would the amendment also prohibit trade schools like broadcast, casino dealer or bartending schools? What about for profit Colleges and Universities? Inquiring minds want to know.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 10:35 p.m.

cette what public school do you teach at?


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 2:10 p.m.

&quot;This should read: Cette, At what public school do you teach?&quot; Public education, need I say more.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 3:16 a.m.

no, I really don't work for a school and never have.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 2:02 a.m.

I work in healthcare, and I agree with everything cette says.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 1:15 a.m.

Not that it matters, but I don't believe you......


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 12:39 a.m.

nope, I don't work for any school district and never have. I am in an entirely different field.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 12:27 a.m.

you must be a public school employee. and that's ok, you are fighting for your interests


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 11:33 p.m.

I'm not a teacher.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 10:57 p.m.

This should read: Cette, At what public school do you teach?


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 10:30 p.m.

There's a difference between Charter schools, which accept taxpayer money, and private schools, which do not. If she means the latter, it's time to get her out of office. The whole idea is wrong -- all you have to do is look at Blue Cross to see how a supposedly &quot;not-for-profit&quot; corporation can have much higher overhead than &quot;for-profit&quot; competitors. But Democrats love Blue Cross despite its 25% overhead, ridiculously high salaries, massive infrastructure, and continual purchase of competitors rather than lowering premiums.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 1:28 a.m.

wow that's weird for someone not to believe me. I'm so not a teacher. I once thought about being a teacher a long time ago, and thought it seemed like a boring job, and nothing I would ever want to do.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 11:46 p.m.

&quot;Details of the proposal aren't yet known&quot;


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 10:52 p.m.

We are talking here about charter schools, which accept tax payer money, but are run by FOR-PROFIT corporations. It's totally wrong.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 10:18 p.m.

As long as you are propsing that, Rebecca, why not sponsor a bill to keep the Legislature from stealing money from the schools by using lottery money to replace it? I watch the commercials for the Lottery, claiming that every penny goes to the schools, and I laugh. I guess no one is supposed to notice that for every dollar that goes in from the Lottery, a dollar that would have gone to the schools from the general fund is taken out so the Legislators can use it any way they see fit. So the net impact on schools by the Lottery is ZERO! But the ads still mislead the people who buy the tickets. What a mockery!!

average joe

Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 11:57 p.m.

But it isn't about the money.....Oh wait, the public school systems &amp; the MEA do want all the money....I'm confused...


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 9:54 p.m.

Where I wish to send my children to school is my own business, Becky. Okay? Next thing Senator Warren may want is to bar for-profit corporations, so only co-ops, and other non-profit entities will be allowed to register or transact business in our state. Does Senator Warren wish to create socialism as dreamed of by Karl Marx? She is clearly the farthest left of the 38 members in the Michigan Senate. Her political career took off after her marriage to local political scion &quot;Pay Up Conan&quot; Smith, the son of Alma Wheeler Smith, the daughter of Mayor Al Wheeler. She losta State Representative race prior to joining the Wheeler clan. &quot;A heritage cannot be transmitted, it must be conquered.&quot; - French author Andre Malraux


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 1:59 p.m.

We all pay taxes, therefore we should be allowed to send our children to whatever school we choose with the tax money we contribute. Don't you think we know better and care more what our children need than you or anyone else does?

C. S. Gass

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 10:41 a.m.

&quot;Does Senator Warren wish to create socialism as dreamed of by Karl Marx?&quot; -- Yes, it's question 4 on the entrance exam for Democratic Party entrance... Right after &quot;Would you sell your own mother?&quot;, &quot;Did you take your Prozac today?&quot; and &quot;Between trees and unborn babies, which one can feel pain?&quot;

John Q

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 4:11 a.m.

Send your kids wherever you want on your own dime. If you want my tax dollars, I want a say in how they are spent.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 11:58 p.m.

It is your business, but it becomes everyone's business when it's public money that pays the bill. Send your kid to a charter, do it. And when you want to have any input, remember the only way it counts at a charter is when you leave.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 9:32 p.m.

There is 7,500 dollars (or so) attached to your child. The public schools right now are fighting to get this money. School of choice etc. It will be the same when choice is further expanded. Schools will be fighting for your kids.


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 4:31 a.m.

Cette, still waiting for the proof that you say Charter Schools get rid of the kids after count day. Surely you have some proof of this.....don't you?


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 6:42 p.m.

Charters have to open their books...let them be fully transparent.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 4:57 p.m.

cette, Show proof that they get rid of your kid after count day? You stated it, show the facts.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 12:26 a.m.

I must be dense. Everyone fights for their self interest. I fight for choice.... you have to be in the MEA


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 10:27 p.m.

Ah see, you get 90% of the money after count day, then you get rid of the kid


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 10:07 p.m.

?? they don't get the cash if they don't get the kid


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 9:39 p.m.

No, they don't want the kid, they want the cash. It really is different.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 9:30 p.m.

I am going to repost this quote because I find it absolutely on point. &quot;Was this UAW needed once upon a time in America? Certainly, but that was long ago. In subsequent years the UAW became the purveyors of calculated entitlement, and this famously corrosive mentality has spread throughout local governments, to subsidiary industries supplying the auto companies, to the educational system, to basically every facet of life in this town and this region and this state, and it has absolutely devastated everything it has come in contact with.&quot;


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 9:35 p.m.

I don't like unions either, but I don't like management either, especially when they walk off with the cash.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 9:33 p.m.

no cross-fire with parental choice. I trust parents more than a teacher's union


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 9:32 p.m.

Yes, the point of having more charters is to nail the MEA, I got it, and some other people get it too, however, there's kids caught in the crossfire on this.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 9:28 p.m.

No, no,no. That's the same as back of the bus, buddy.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 9:26 p.m.

The whole point is choice, non-profit... for profit etc... Who cares as long as the product is better? If you don't like a for-profit school... don't go there.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 4:55 p.m.'s public money being used for for profit corporation.....where was/is your &quot;outcry&quot; &quot;shock&quot; when the taxpayers money was given to Solyndra? And to many many other corporations that never have to be paid back?


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 10:50 p.m.

Sorry braggslaw, you are wrong on this one. Public tax money does not belong to for-profit corporations. Period. And those for-profit corporations are, on top of it, further decimating our public school funding. You can talk and talk yourself into some sort of justification, but you are simply wrong on this.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 10:07 p.m.

Don't use them and don't dictate to me. Let me make my own choices.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 9:54 p.m.

Did you not see my reply? They are NOT doing better, even though they skim off the kids with the most involved parents, and the least disabilities -- they are, on average, doing worse.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 9:20 p.m.

It's easy to see she is a tool of the MEA. I don't have children and I could care less where any child goes to school. It is none of my business even though I pay taxes to support public school. I am not sure that the for profit schools (charters) get public tax dollars in the first place. I assume someone does know. Even so, it is no business of anyone but the parents where their children are educated. They pay taxes too. Those in support of this nonsense really should not have a say on the issue. What they are saying is that all tax dollars should go to the public schools and the MEA.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 9:53 p.m.

JSA, YES THEY DO! And that's a huge problem!


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 8:57 p.m.

While I applaud Ms. Warren for standing up for public education, I don't think banning for-profit schools is really the right approach. For profit schools shouold be allowed to operate any where in the state they want. They should pay a fee each year of $5,000 per student into the public school districts education fund in which they riside. Then if they can still operate at a profit, the public system benfits, as well as those that can afford the luxury of sending their children to a for profit institution. Sometimes if you let the free market and corporations decide everything- you end up with confederate flag waving, succesion yahoos, building korean and japanese cars that think buying cheap plastic stuff made in china from a Wal Mart that doesn't provide its employees benefits a testimonial to the greatness of capitalism.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 8:47 p.m.

Braggslaw, you made where you sent your kids to school everyone's business when you take public money to pay for it. It's like saying keep the government off my medicare entitlement! Sheesh.

John Q

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 4:09 a.m.

No, it's our money. I pay more than my share in school taxes. If you're going to take tax dollars, the taxpayers should have the right to see that it's spent on education, not to generate profits for private companies.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 10:09 p.m.

I pay more than my share of taxes. I consider it my money, not public money. I will never ever ever ever get back what I pay in taxes and social security, and I am ok with that. Just leave me to my own choices with the meager returns I get from my taxes.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 8:45 p.m.

I am for it, so long all teachers and school administrators are not for profit in compensation. The federal government sets the poverty level for good reason, so let's use it.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 11:12 p.m.

@cette This means that teachers and administrators are profit seeking just like everyone else. I have seen non-for profit organizations pay the directors some large amounts in compensation because they need to maintain non-profit status. I don't care if you are a government employee, elected official, a private sector worker or an owner, everyone has a profit motive. Profit motive transcends legal structure or organization mission. To say that people in public schools are somehow better becuase they fall behind a veil of non-profit status is wrong.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 8:47 p.m.

What does this mean?


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 8:39 p.m.

Why are citizen tax dollars going to businesses? What a waste. If the people of this state aren't entitled to the benefits of tax dollars, there is no way a business should be.

average joe

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : midnight

Then how will our roads, bridges, etc get built without tax dollars going to the businesses that do this?

Tex Treeder

Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 8:35 p.m.

Why a constitutional ban? Wouldn't a simple law be sufficient?

Billy Bob Schwartz

Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 8:49 p.m.

A law could be changed in a day, if legislators and the governor so wish. The current state legislature and their governor, or any other legislature and governor, could destroy our public education system in a blink of an eye. Undoing the damage would be very difficult, if not impossible. Once changed, it is gone. A constitutional amendment makes it much more difficult for a fad to destroy the educational system. So a law is no real protection against the use of our institutions to make profit for private companies. A constitutional amendment is a much greater protection. Thank you, Senator Warren, and good luck with this project! Help us protect our great public education system from corporate greed.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 8:34 p.m.

We can only hope there are some kinds of breaks on the for profit model. I still believe charters existences are meant to break the unions and drive down teacher's salaries. But the idea of a school generating profit from tax money and not plowing it back in to at least their own school is immoral. Honestly, what if the BoE of AAPS was running cheap and taking home a cool extra thousand per kid for their own pockets? It's basically what a for profit charter does. And don't even get me started on the poor special ed service that occurs with much too much frequency at charters. Driving expensive kids out of a for profit school is the surest way to make a profit at a school, and the rest of us are just chumps...


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 2:04 a.m.

Don't teachers profit from a public school system? Why does belonging to a union make you a better teacher? Why do parents send their kids to charter schools? Why do you show no respect for charter school teachers? Please cette, allow me to get you started on that special education issue. Show me that proof of a thousand bucks per kid profit. I think the unions have bought Warren's loyalty and she is pandering to &quot;special interest&quot; rather than Michigan needs. Self serving as always.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 8:33 p.m.

THANK YOU, Sen Warren!!! It is bewildering to me that our tax dollars should go to for-profit organizations trying to make money by opening &quot;schools.&quot; Our tax dollars should go to our public schools! And at the very least, any charters looking for those tax dollars should be non-profit, with one goal only -- outstanding education. Not money! Lest we forget -- it is in the public interest to ensure that all our kids get great education, and that our money is not shunted to corporate profiteers. Thank you for putting forth this amendment.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 1:01 a.m.

Recall her immediately, she doesn't care about the kids and the parents. It is all about taking care of the MEA and we all know they only care about themselves ! Good Day

Bob Krzewinski

Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 8:32 p.m.

Not only ban for profit schools, but also for profit jails. In Pennsylvania they caught two judges jailing kids for profit. Here's the scheme: Two privately-run detention centers are built. The judges make a deal with the companies, and order state juvenile detention facilities shut down for being in poor condition. Then they start sentencing lots of kids to serve jail time in the private facilities. Always jail time, for anything, and no lenience. The kids are taken away in shackles. The state gives money to the private facilities for taking the kids, and the judges get kickbacks. This is not to say our local judges are not honest, but when you have a for-profit jail, the company running it has a real incentive to keep it full.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 10:05 p.m.

There was a probation official in Metro Detroit that was fired because he advocated to judges for convicted drunk drivers to have a Breathayzer lock placed on probationer's vehicles; he had not disclosed to the courts that he owned 10% of the stock of the company that manufactured the locks he promoted to the judiciary.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 8:41 p.m.

&quot;This is not to say our local judges are not honest, but when you have a for-profit jail, the company running it has a real incentive to keep it full.&quot; The same kinds of incentives exist when you have government run jails -- for example, in California, the prison guard union has consistently used its money &amp; political power to block reforms that would reduce the flow of 'new customers' into the prison industrial complex: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 8:31 p.m.

Rebekah, Please stay out of my personal life. If I choose to send my children to a for profit school it is none of your business. You are a tool of the MEA and your primary purpose is to eliminate competition to the public monopoly on education.

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 4:33 a.m.

I wonder how many &quot;free&quot; lunches Rebekah accepted before introducing the union's (I mean her) bill?


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 3:13 a.m.

braggslaw, stay with me. A charter is a public school.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 2:13 a.m.

Send you kids wherever you want. PLEASE. But the tax dollars I pay for a child's education ought not go to a corporate bottom line or into a stockholder's dividend check. But love your logic. Government welfare for businesses? Good idea. Government welfare for the poor? Not so much. Good Night and Good Luck


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 2 a.m.

You are on a &quot;roll&quot; tonight braggslaw, great posts. You might live in A2 but you don't their water. Go Green Go White


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 1:16 a.m.

Ok... so send your kid to public schools &quot;voila&quot; problem solved. Just leave the choices for my kids ... to me


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 12:36 a.m.

Braggslaw, you're not paying attention. The charters have to take special ed and have to provide service. That's the deal with recieving public funds. So, if they do a bad enough job, they'll run the kids out...that's what is happening, or sometimes, the charter will up front redirect a prospective parent that the kid shouldn't attend their school and would get services at the traditional public school, which is quite illegal also. But, when the charters apply for the money to open, they promise they'll not discriminate...


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 10:52 p.m.

Braggslaw; You could have stopped after &quot;tool&quot;.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 10:06 p.m.

I am sympathetic to special needs children but I don't want the tail to wag the dog. 1 out of 5? that is hard for me to believe. That being said 20% should not dictate choice for 80%.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 9:47 p.m.

That's the thing... they are not better. Statistics bear this out -- they do worse more often than better. At the same time, they are ciphoning money from the public schools.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 9:41 p.m.

So here's the thing, a parent can sue the charter for non delivery of FAPE, the charters said they can do the same thing better and cheaper, but not that's not what they are doing, it's a bait and switch. They are as obliged to deliver special ed as the traditional charters. Some of the very people who run charters don't know this.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 9:38 p.m.

It's one in five kids, and you can't have them all in traditional public schools... and every other kid in a charter


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 9:36 p.m.

I assume your point revolves around special needs kids? I am sympathetic to the issue and I fully support paying for the added expense of special needs kids. BUT what I do not support is the elimination of choice for families based on a tenth of a percent of certain types of students.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 9:34 p.m.

well, what happens is that schools want to get 7500 for a kid and then want to spend less. God forbid your kid costs 15000. to educate..


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 9:32 p.m.

There is 7,500 dollars (or so) attached to your child. The public schools right now are fighting to get this money. School of choice etc. It will be the same when choice is further expanded. Schools will be fighting for your kids.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 9:31 p.m.

See braggslaw, there's a thing called the law, and it's illegal not to take all comers and give them an education...


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 9:29 p.m.

No, the school's picking , not the family....the tail's wagging the dog on this one.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 9:27 p.m.

Then goto a different school.... choice is the point.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 9:20 p.m.

oh what if that school won't take my kid, because they cost to much to maintain? Why the hell would I pay for that?


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 9 p.m.

Answer this: If a school is better, your children are learning, and there is no extra cost. Why do you care if the school makes a profit?


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 8:35 p.m.

Oh send your kids to private school and quit ruining things for everyone else.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 8:35 p.m.

Also, it's Sen. Warren. Not Rebekah.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 8:34 p.m.

WRONG, braggslaw. If your kids go to a for-profit school, making money for a big corporation, guess whose tax dollars are paying for it? MINE! It is absolutely everyones' business.