“Teachers continue to face an onslaught against them by the Legislature, apparently because education is not a priority for Republican leadership. Today I voted against a plan that increases contributions for retired teachers, current teachers and future public school educators. Not only does this bill break the promise made to retirees, but it is essentially another cut to classrooms, as it makes it more difficult for teachers to make ends meet. Perhaps most troubling, the bill will make it even harder for Michigan schools to attract the best and brightest to become new teachers. Charter schools now have access to seemingly limitless public resources in the form of tax breaks – like HB 5287 passed by the House yesterday, which gives new tax exemptions to for-profit companies managing charter schools. These changes will make it nearly impossible for public schools to compete on a level playing field. If we want to drive our public education system into the ground and effectively privatize our schools, this is another step to get there.”