Education Reform and Budget Cuts Sweep the Nation

By: Trenton Thompson

Throughout the country, there is an atmosphere of educational change. As a result of the terribly depressed economy, states are trying to reducing expenses. Many states achieve this by trimming the costs in public education. This is the case with the state of Michigan, where a bill to “privatize the public school industry” is being debated.

This bill was proposed by Republican senator Phil Pavlov. It states that Michigan would not privatize schools, but would allow for “competitive betting”. This means that companies and unions would be eligible to hire a teacher in Michigan’s public schools.

This year, Michigan has cut $500 million in public education. The bill has been called “the next stage” in the budget reductions of education. This is a part of the strategy of Michigan’s Republican state government.

In Pavlov’s interview with The Huntington Press, he said the bill would be adding flexibility for the school districts because of the more choices in teachers. He also said that the public’s negative attitude is unnecessary because Michigan already hires substitute teachers through partnerships with private corporations.

However, unions in Michigan worry that this bill will affect their members negatively by lowering their salaries and benefits. They have also said that the will is selling out the education industry by giving these teaching jobs to the lowest bidders.

In Arizona, people want to reform their poor educational system. Bonnie Winters, a math teacher at a charter school called Tri City Preparatory High, said that she would support reforms that brought consistency to the educational system. She wants scholarships such as AIMS to be continued indefinitely to increase student motivation. Winters also wants to see charter schools receive more funding, since public schools receive most of the funding.

Winters opposed a bill similar to Michigan’s for Arizona.

“Credentials come first, don’t hire someone just because they are cheaper than someone else”, she said.

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