Samples Arguments: Medium Length


A. The quickest way to destroy any system public system that works is to be in a position to defund it. Here in Michigan the first thing republicans did when they gained absolute control of the state legislature and governorship was to decrease state funding for public education. Then as systems that were marginal because local funding was insufficient began to fail local schoolboards were replaced and school systems were and are turned over to private contractors to enhance the image and viability of charter schools. In Michigan republicans have successfully set up an ongoing process of public school failure that if allowed to continue will eventually put all K-12 education into the hands of private contractors through the concept of Charter Schools. Education that is furnished in the public eye by public schools can be improved. Education that is furnished by private entities with taxpayer money has no public accountability and no incentive to improve. Turning education in this country over to the private sector offers no assurance of quality or efficiency. Comment on

REPLY: It is simply not true that Michigan's K-12 education system has been defunded under Republicans. State dollars spent per pupil have increased every year since Rick Snyder's first budget in 2012. Yes, there was a cut in K-12 funding immediately after Snyder took office, because Governor Granholm ( a Democrat) had spent 3 years' worth of Federal stimulus money in 2 years and there was no money left.

Far from unduly favoring charter schools, Michigan's legislature moved the money that public school districts are required to contribute towards pensions and retiree health insurance out of the per-pupil allowance and now pays much of it directly to the pension fund. That's because charter schools do not participate in the education employee retirement plan, but do get the same per-pupil allowance. Furthermore, charter schools have only the students whose parents have applied and who are willing to transport their students to and from school each day. Stanford's Center for Research on Education Outcomes says that Michigan's charter schools, on average, do a better job of educating students at lower cost than the traditional public schools which those students would otherwise have attended. See https://urbancharters.stanford

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