Thursday, December 4, 2014

Classical Curriculum coming to Brighton??

Look for links and more details soon.

Those who are concerned about public education need to know the TEA PARTY is attempting to open a franchise of CLASSICAL EDUCATION schools around Michigan. One right here in Brighton.

The Brighton School Board has TWO TEA PARTY supporters who are willing to sign off on a school building for this STEP-FORD form of education. No one should ever forget that one of the leaders in the profits before kids charter school movement is Hillsdale College. Their brand of for-profit charter schools which they call, “Classical Education”, is a nice way of saying Christian conservative education that bears little relevance to what students actually need to be prepared in a modern workforce and world. Hillsdale College last year took some much needed criticism university president Larry Arnn commented that the state had come to investigate whether Hillsdale College had enough “dark ones” enrolled.

Larry Arnn’s racist comment is nothing compared to the scandal his predecessor left behind, but personal conduct or horrendous bigotry has nothing to do with running a Christian conservative college, or authorizing charter schools around the country.

Or does it?

Downstate near Holly, Michigan, lives a man named Pasquale “Pat” Battaglia. Self-labeled as a Christian husband father grandfather, he wants to open Hillsdale College-style charter schools in Southeast Michigan. Currently, he is working on securing a building to open a school in Brighton and another is projected to open in Warren in 2015. These schools according to him are based on the Hillsdale Academy model, which the college publishes reference manuals for $100 a pop so you too can run a for-profit charter school cleverly disguised as a Christian private school that fleeces public tax dollars.

He’s written impassioned letters on nearby local tea party websites asking people to help him open up new charter schools so he can bring back real education to American children based on what the founding fathers would have wanted. The letter begins with an obvious dog whistle:

I guarantee to you folks that the kids that we see who are in the process of completely soiling the tenants of our Western Civilization are a products of the government run school systems, kindergarten thru grad school. What do we do?

Apparently write letters with glaring spelling and grammatical errors. That will show people you’re the guy who’s qualified to operate a school. We can get a clear picture of what kind of person Pat is from looking at his online presence. Remember that bit about kids soiling the tenants of our western civilization attending public schools? What kids could he be talking about?

Happenings in Lansing, Michigan 12/3/2014

MIRS MIDDAY UPDATE: Capital Outlay Approves $370.4M In Project Planning

The story comes from MIRS. My comments in red

Emphasizing to community college and university officials today that it's "not a promise to fund," the Joint Capital Outlay Committee today approved a Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Capitol Outlay, which gives the green light for planning and fundraising to begin on 29 projects.

"This is not a spending bill," said Chairman Sen. Darwin BOOHER (R-Evart). "This is planning authorization only."
When does it become a “SPENDING BILL”? Who the hell does Senator Darwin Booher (R-EVART) think he is fooling?

SB 0761 provides funding for 13 university projects for a total state commitment of $291 million if the projects go forward. The total cost, including institution share of the university projects is $683 million.
Planning authorizations for community colleges covered 19 projects with a state share cost of $79.3 million. The total cost, including institution share of these projects is $158.7 million. Combined, the 29 projects will cost both the state and institutions $841.7 million.
Among the university projects, the largest is at the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan for the School of Dentistry. The $122 million project renovated half the space in the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Institute to correct overcrowded and outdated lab space.
f universities have multi-million / billion dollar endowments, why is the state contributing any funds?

Among community colleges, the largest is a $20 million project for Northwestern to renovate West Hall to provide an additional 35,000 square feet for a Student Learning and Simulation Center.
Wouldn’t it make more sense to require schools with LARGE endowments to spend that before the state contributes? That would free up more money for community college development and improvements.

A Senate Fiscal Agency (SFA) issue paper on the projects as well as S-1, Draft A of SB 0761 can be downloaded from MIRS' information page for SB 0761. The emphasis on "planning authorization" follows a restructuring of the Capital Outlay process in the legislature during 2012. Essentially, the way the system works now is state agencies, universities and community colleges submit a "wish list" of projects to the state.
Does the wish list items benefit the university or the students?

Then the Chair and Vice Chair along with the Department of Technology, Management and Budget review, evaluate and score all the project requests using specific criteria. This review and scoring has to be done by March 1.
In developing the FY 2015 Capital Outlay project list, DTMB required more time to gather information and input from the universities and community colleges. As a result, only three projects were included in the governor's FY 2015 budget recommendation.

Inkster DHS Building Proposal Approved

A move by the Department of Human Services to consolidate operations from three current spaces into a new leased building in Inkster got the blessing today of the Joint Capital Outlay Committee.

The project had been aired out in an earlier hearing (See "DHS Building Proposal In Inkster Questioned," 09/10/14). During that hearing, Sen. Glenn ANDERSON (D-Westland) voiced concern over whether the state was getting the best deal by leasing the new property at $20.71 per square foot.

Most commercial real estate in Inkster is priced at less than $10.00 a square foot. There is a commercial / industrial site with buildings listed at $690,000 and it is equipped with cranes. Just about the same size building and it comes with 3.38 acres of land. 2830 Beech Daly Road
Inkster, Michigan
24,775 SF Total Building Size
3 Cranes: 2-10 Ton and 1 5-Ton
Newer roof (5 years)
20' Clear 3.38 Acres Fenced Outside Storage
Status: Active

Price: $637,000

Bldg. Size: 24,775 SF
Cap Rate: N/A
Primary Type: Industrial
Sub-Type: Warehouse

Anderson and Rep. Phil POTVIN (R-Cadillac) were the only no votes this morning in approving the 25-year lease that will cost the state $680,900 a year in lease payments.
What would it cost to PURCHASE a building in Inkster?