DETROIT — Yesterday, the Michigan Civil Rights Commission held another of several public hearings they’ve hosted throughout the year on the issue of discrimination in K-12 schools across the state. State Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D-Detroit) attended the hearing and gave testimony which focused on challenges and opportunities brought on by the proliferation of charter and alternative schools across the state. In response, Rep. Gay-Dagnogo issued the following statement:

“Equal access to a quality education is a civil rights issue, plain and simple, and when we continue to ignore the barriers in and out of the classroom that affect student performance, we don’t treat the problem, we treat a symptom. For too long the conversation has been focused on building new schools rather than fixing the ones we have and providing equitable funding and wrap-around services for the students in those struggling districts, and it has resulted in a messy system that allows some schools to put profits before students while depriving other schools of the resources our students need to thrive. While there are divergent views on traditional public education and public school academies, there are some areas of synergy, including the need to focus on students living in poverty, the need for a robust academic accountability system, supporting and increasing our high performance teacher pipeline, and literacy.  Every child in this state deserves the opportunity to receive a world-class education, and until every school is held to the same standard of accountability, that simply will not be possible. I am very appreciative of the members of the Civil Right Commission championing this very important civil rights issue.”