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Letter to the Editor: Lifting Cap on Cyber Schools Wastes Taxpayer Dollars

Becky Barnhart of Northville adds that businesses come to Northville because of the strength of its school district.

If we are trying to grow the Michigan economy and increase job growth should we pay millions of taxpayer money to out-of-state firms seeking financial gain? No!

We all agree that the state should not throw taxpayer dollars at firms without proven success. But the cyber school would do just that. Just as a business would not award bids to venders who had mixed quality ratings, the state should ensure that quality controls are firmly in place before farming out education. A business would insist that quality testing had been complete and proven. The state planned to complete a study of cyber providers operating in Michigan. However, we understand that the state is looking to pre-empt the quality study and open our state up to an explosion of cyber education providers. All this is on the taxpayer’s dime. Is this the best use of taxpayer money? Is this the best we can offer to the children of our state?

We want our property values to be strengthened by outstanding local public schools. There is no real estate market in cyber space. We want the neighborhood schools in our community to educate our children and help attract more businesses and families to our area and maintain our investments in our homes.

When the local schools are successful, as demonstrated in Northville, the entire community enjoys the benefits. We have new high-tech firms opening facilities within our boundaries expanding the job market as well as an expansion of restaurants, shops and cultural venues that everyone can enjoy. These business owners came to Northville because of the opportunities - including the successful local public school district.

Advice for legislators: put down Senate Bill 619 and focus instead on investing in one of the real backbones of the community - the local public schools.

Respectfully submitted,

Becky Barnhart

Northville, MI

Would you like to submit a Letter to the Editor? Email it to editor Nancy Kelsey at nancy.kelsey@patch.com.

Denise Nash March 29, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Becky, you are 100% correct. The largest of these schools are under investigation. This article contains some excellent investigative journalism that prompted the investigation: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/13/education/online-schools-score-better-on-wall-street-than-in-classrooms.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

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