Senator Whitmer’s statement is as follows:
As I was reviewing Senate Bill No. 925, there was a glaring addition in this bill that is not related to the Race to the Top application and necessary. What it does is give the state superintendent the authority to waive law. Right now, the state superintendent has the ability to waive rules and work with these cyber schools that we are talking about that are new to this charter school bill. To give the state superintendent the authority to simply waive the laws of Michigan—laws that we’ve created to ensure that our kids are getting a proper education so that they can be competitive in the workplace—doesn’t make any sense to me.
It seems like an enormous amount of authority that we have placed into one person. It is completely out of character with all of the rest of this package, and we should strike it.
Senator Kuipers, under his constitutional right of protest (Art. 4, Sec. 18), protested against the adoption of the amendment offered by Senator Whitmer to Senate Bill No. 925 and moved that the statement he made during the discussion of the amendment be printed as his reasons for voting “no.”
The motion prevailed.
Senator Kuipers’ statement is as follows:
I have to disagree with the comments of the previous speaker. If this amendment is adopted, it essentially means that all of our cyber schools will have to operate within the four walls of the school building, which sort of defeats the purpose of having a cyber school. I would ask the members of this body to reject this amendment.
My children are in a charter school because the superintentant of the public school they were attending made it clear to me that there was nothing she could do about bad teachers due to their union and because teachers were being misplaced due to senority and tenure etc... However, the other side of the coin, I am finding, is that many teachers in my charter school (which tauts itself as cutting edge, progressive etc...) are afraid to be "creative" and progressive due to the fact that they can be fired easily. I've heard statements like: "I just do what they tell me to do" and "I've gotten tired of trying to make things better" and "I don't want to lose my job".