Failure to Represent…

fair representation

Our country was found on the principal of representative government. The Boston Tea Party was a result of colonists anger over taxes of goods without having an representation in the governing body the levied these taxes. Our we heading down a similar path today with our government? Will it lead to a revolution. Well here in Michigan it might seem that way.

Our legislative body seems to do its bidding without the consensus of the citizens it is supposed to represent. Public act 4 of 2011 allowed our governor to place Emergency Managers in cities and school districts experiencing financial crisis. In November of 2012 the citizens passed a referendum on the act, eliminating financial managers. The majority of our legislative body decided that the citizens were not right in their vote. In December they redrafted the Emergency Manager act signed by our governor December 27, 2012. This act has led to much turmoil in the state. Flint and Detroit Public Schools have seen disastrous out comes under Emergency Managers. The People of Michigan are not being represented  by the majority in Lansing.

In the last few years educators have felt that their voices fall on predominantly defeat ears in Lansing. From budget cuts to evaluation laws teachers feel out of the sphere of influence. The education committee that hears testimony and input for legal changes regarding schools, only meets during school hours/days. That is odd? Shouldn’t the ones most effected by legal changes be able to give input? Teachers can’t even attend the state board of education meetings which are also held during school hours/days. So who testifies? Lobbyist and others with political motives, not classroom educators.

The latest from Lansing  is a series of bills to prevent the sick-outs by the Detroit teachers.

SB 713-715: Provide for changes in provisions concerning designating what is a strike by teachers, and require suspension of teaching certificate for teachers engaging in strikes and deduct 5% in school aid payments from schools who don’t dock pay of striking teachers. Sponsors: Sens. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair; David Robertson, R-Grand Blanc, and Joe Hune, R-Whitmore Lake.

First, If these bills were sponsored by Detroit legislators I would understand. All three legislators live in areas, distant from Detroit.  Are they representing their district? or a donor’s political agenda?  Second, The reasoning behind the sick outs was due to the horrible learning conditions for the students, does firing teachers and fining the district solve the conditions in Detroit? Third, Teachers are speaking out for their students. They were not striking. They are raise voices for the voiceless.

We need representation in Lansing. One that looks to solve problems and make the world better, not look to blame others and punish those that speak out on behalf of those without a voice.

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