Hamtramck Public Schools teachers were right to walk.
Last week they held a “walk-in” – their twist on a “walk-out” that students across the country have held to draw attention to the ongoing crisis of school shootings.
In this case teachers assembled outside their schools before students arrived and walked around their buildings once before re-entering to protest the underfunding of schools.
And they were correct to do so.
The problem is that we as a state and a nation have been eroding public education, both through underfunding as well by as the allowing charter schools to operate, which further drains public funding.
We won’t get into the issue of charter schools and will leave that discussion for another day.
Public schools have long been the foundation for this country’s democracy. Over the last few decades we have allowed decreased spending on education.
Hamtramck in particular has been hit hard. We are shorted about $1,000 per student in funding each year.
On top of that, this district has a unique challenge – namely most of the students do not speak English as their first language. That means the district has to spend more money to bring these students up to speed.
The district does an amazing job in doing that, but it costs a lot of money – money the district has to scramble to find.
This is an election season, and we need to vote in candidates who take education seriously.
June 1, 2018