We are Education Advocates!

Taking the Message to Lansing and… In-the-Classroom in Pontiac….

Taking the Message to Lansing…

We’ve played a role!  They were listening!

Sometimes you just aren’t sure if your support for an important cause made a difference.  Was anyone listening?  Did anyone care?  Here’s a case where we all played an important role in advocating for something that really matters.

Public Education Rally

Almost two years ago, approximately 100 people attended a public education rally at the Congregational Church of Birmingham, United Church of Christ, in Bloomfield Hills.  The discussions at that event led to development of a public education platform addressing the needs of all children, providing adequate funding for all schools, investing in teachers, expanding early childhood opportunities, balancing state and local control and engaging with the community.  Subsequently this call to action was shared throughout our region.

Encouraged creation of the Michigan School Finance Research Collaborative

We’d like to think that in a small way our effort led to the creation of the Michigan School Finance Research Collaborative, which issued its findings in January 2018.  We were delighted that this study addressed all six of the planks in the platform that emerged from the rally in 2017.

Rally Support for Support for School Finance

Subsequent to the release of the study, last May the Congregational Church of Birmingham, UCC, hosted a program designed to build support for research collaborative recommendations for future education funding.  Attendees were encouraged to circulate yellow cards supporting the finance study.  Within a month or so, more than 1,000 cards were returned including passionate statements about the need for adequate school funding to meet the needs of all Michigan children.

…Governor Gretchen Whitmer Embraced the Recommendations of the Collaborative’s Study

It became obvious in the months leading up to the general election in November 2018 that school finance reform was an issue that could not be ignored.  Kudos to Governor Gretchen Whitmer for enthusiastically embracing the recommendations of the collaborative’s study in the budget which she presented to the legislature in February 2019.  As the legislature grapples with this issue, it is important that all of us keep pressure on our local representatives, reminding them that the future of Michigan children is at stake.

So, thanks to all of you who attended the meetings at the church, circulated yellow cards, familiarized yourselves about the need for reform, discussed the issue with friends, colleagues or neighbors, and considered this important issue before voting last November.  Your voice has been heard and you have made a difference!

For more information about the on-going work of the Michigan School Finance Research Collaborative visit fundmischools.org.   (Submitted by Bob Maxfield, March 28, 2019)

…In-the-Classrooms in Pontiac & Avondale

The CCB Tutor Teams are volunteering with Hispanic students at three elementary schools in Pontiac & Avondale.

Owen Elementary in Pontiac has 20 students in after-school tutoring sessions on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 4-5:30 PM, lead by Bob Maxfield, Chris Mead, Steve Olson and Lynn Wilsher along with a rotating set of high school student tutors from Rochester.  Margherita Fisher & Pat Parker are tutoring at Auburn Elementary on Mondays & Wednesdays from 3:30-5 pm.  Cynthia Martin & Elaine Winter are classroom assistants at Whitman Elementary.

More volunteers are always welcome.