Statements from House Democratic Leader Richard E. Hammel (D-Mt. Morris Township) and House Democratic Floor Leader Kate Segal (D-Battle Creek) on the House Republicans moving a bill to "fix" the emergency financial manager bill for Highland Park Schools:
House Democratic Leader Hammel:
“The bill that House Republicans are trying to shove through the Legislature is short-sighted and could prove detrimental for the thousands of students in Highland Park. Republicans are more interested in winning an ideological argument rather than solving the problem at hand which is providing the children of Highland Park with a proper educational system. Moving these kids into different districts in the middle of a school year simply increases class sizes for surrounding districts and places financial hardships on our schools which are already struggling due to the unnecessary cuts passed by Republican lawmakers last year.”
House Democratic Floor Leader Segal:
“The House Democrats’ substitute would provide a temporary reprieve for these students and allow Highland Park Schools to continue educating kids through the end of the year until a permanent, and thoughtful, solution can be found without tying this critically important issue with unrelated Republican education projects. Instead of working with our caucus to address the problem in a bipartisan manner, the Republicans handed us a bill with no explanation or chance to find a compromise. Suddenly, we’re looking at an $84 million spending bill with $4 million tucked away for this troubled school system and its kids. Enrolling kids in a different school in the middle of the year farther away from their homes and families, for the sole purpose of pushing through a radically conservative philosophical agenda, could leave the community of Highland Park and its parents, employees and children without classes to attend through no fault of their own."