Our last few posts have centered around the political games and lack of transparency regarding Senate bills 544-549 to create MI Education Savings Plans (M-ESP) being promoted by Senator and gubernatorial candidate Patrick Colbeck (R-Canton). M-ESP creates a new entitlement and expensive bureaucracy where money follows the child. The money can be used for MDE approved core and extra-curricular activities. According to the fiscal analysis provided by the Michigan legislature, “The bills would have a significant fiscal impact on to the Department of Treasury, Department of Education, and local school districts….”
A single hearing was held today by the Senate Education Committee and referred out with several amendments and a substitute. We’re not surprised the bills are on the fast-track. We expected it. In fact, I mentioned to several people last week that I wouldn’t be surprised if SB 544-549 were somehow linked to the bill (SB 81) to repeal and replace common core. SB 81 currently sits in the Government Operations Committee and has yet to hold any hearings on the bill.
These bills should NOT be linked/tie-barred directly or indirectly Placing conditions on bills and mixing the two issues is more dirty politics but typical of the way Lansing rolls these days on just about every issue. They will argue, we should all compromise! Get a little something you want in exchange for something somebody else wants. But this strategy is exactly what has motivated support for the idea to “Drain the Swamp.” A bad idea is a bad idea, even when attached to a good idea.
Politicians know that expanding government control into private and home education is a bad idea. Vouchers have been tried and failed. In order to gain passage, they are using the popularity of the common core repeal as a carrot to force the issue with the hope that promising the repeal of Common Core will provide the necessary cover to gain passage of the M-ESP scheme.
We’ll know more about the bills and their plans in coming weeks. Stay tuned. Meantime, don’t fall for the old “we gotta’ compromise” rhetoric!