Rochester PTA issues an open letter to Governor Snyder

The Rochester PTA Council Legislative Committee Calls for Best Practices in Education Reform.

January 15, 2013

Dear Governor Snyder,

The following statement appears next to your photo on the official state of Michigan website:

“Michigan must become a place where our children can live, work, play and prosper. State government can enable and encourage, but communities themselves must lead the way.” – Governor Rick Snyder,

As members of the Rochester PTA Council Legislative Committee, we are having a hard time reconciling that statement with your current legislative agenda of establishing a statewide, privatized school system, which would not let the “communities themselves lead the way.” A statewide school system that would effectively end locally controlled community schools, whose board members are elected by the communities they serve. A statewide school system that has no quality standards and little indicators of success, and that would put thousands of children’s educations and futures at risk. In other words, a school “reform” that, philosophically, is the polar opposite of your statement as it appears on the site.

The Rochester PTA Council Legislative Committee supports efforts to improve our public schools. However, we only support reform measures with a proven track record of success. And we believe in the sovereignty of our locally appointed school boards to make decisions regarding our school district property, built and maintained by our local tax dollars.

So, Governor Snyder, we appeal to you to make Michigan a place where children receive an education that is based on best practices, not best guesses. And make it a place where the community schools are part of the community not part of a private corporation or for that matter, part of an experiment. In other words, we expect your actions to match your words.


The Rochester PTA Council Legislative Committee

The Rochester PTA Council Legislative Committee meets monthly to discuss legislation pertaining to schools and their communities. This group is comprised of parents representing each school within the district. The Rochester Community Schools has an enrollment of approximately 15,000 students in a total of 23 schools.

Contact: Carolyn Claerhout, Rochester PTA Legislative Chair, 248-340-2680 or

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