From the Chair: MDP Messaging Guidelines

This week’s messaging from the MDP is on Public Education in Michigan.  Good for letter writing & social media…..Brigid

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Hi,

In this week’s guide, we’ll provide talking points on protecting public education in Michigan. This is the first in a series of education messaging guides. This guide will provide information on the lawlessness of the for-profit charter school model and educator salaries, and provide links to resources that delve into these issues. 

As always, we welcome your campaign or organization to reinforce any of these talking points in your own earned media, and encourage you to localize them as much as possible.

Additionally, all eligible members of the Michigan Democratic Party are invited to join for the 2020 State Endorsement Convention on March 21, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. In order to vote at the State Convention a person other than a precinct delegate of Democratic candidate for public office must be a member of the Michigan Democratic Party at least thirty (30) days prior to March 21, 2020 or by February 20, 2020. Click here to register. 

If you have ideas for additional trainings or messaging topics you’d like us to look into, or you’re hearing about something often in your district, please let me know. I look forward to working with everyone, in every part of the state, to take back the House. 

– Kate



WEEKLY CAMPAIGN MESSAGING GUIDANCE

March 6, 2020

IN THIS WEEK’S GUIDE: 

  • Issue: 
    • Protecting Public Education

Issue: Protecting Public Education

Background: Public education is under attack in Michigan. While we now have a governor who supports our schools, students, and educators, we’re still fighting for the resources our students, educators, and communities deserve. While we have some of the best educators in the state, we can’t expect to retain talent if our teachers aren’t paid competitive salaries, or if for-profit charter schools continue operating in their current lawless fashion. The DeVos agenda is viewed negatively across Michigan and the country, and contrasting a pro-public education stance with their destructive for-profit model is beneficial for all kinds of messaging. 

Talking Points: 

  • Starting teacher salaries in Michigan rank 32nd in the nation. Nationally, 37% of school districts have a starting salary of at least $40,000. In Michigan, only 12% of districts meet that threshold.
  • Michigan teachers do make above the national average, but that average is up 11% since 2009-10, and there was a 2% drop in Michigan.
    • That means Michigan teacher salaries dropped by 16% between fall 2009 and fall 2017
  • As of 2017, 80% of Michigan’s charter schools were run run by private, for-profit companies, a higher percentage than any other state
  • The report, “Still Asleep at the Wheel,” conducted by the Network for Public Education, found examples in Michigan where charter school operators paid themselves, or their family members, tens of thousands of dollars in consulting fees for schools that never opened. 
    • In Michigan, a federal program awarded $7.7 million to charter schools that never opened. No other state that received that money had that many unopened schools. 
    • Another 40 schools that received that money have since closed. 
  • When adjusted for inflation, the state’s total education revenue in 2015 was 82% of what it was in 1995.

Media: 


Messaging: 

  • In order to attract and retain excellent teachers and education professionals, we must pay Michigan educators competitive salaries. No teacher should be forced to work multiple jobs to make ends meet. 
  • Charter schools must be held to the same standards as our public schools. The lawless, DeVos-preferred model of for-profit education is bad for students, teachers, and public education across our state. 
  • Budget cuts force school districts to cut programs like music, counseling and vocational programs that prepare students to work in the skilled trades
    • With the cost of college being so astronomical, how can we, in good conscience, prepare kids to work in skilled trades when there’s no preparation in our schools?

Sample Social Media: 

No teacher should be forced to work multiple jobs to make ends meet. To attract and retain the best educators, we have to pay them good, competitive salaries.
#RedForEd #ProtectPublicEd

The DeVos family has made dismantling public education their life’s work. Last quarter, just 6 of them gave over $215,000 to Michigan House Republicans.
We need to fight back, elect more teachers, and stand up for public education.
#RedForEd #ProtectPublicEd 
Charter schools must be held to the same standards as our public schools. The lawless, DeVos-preferred model of for-profit education is bad for students, teachers, and public education across our state.
#RedForEd #ProtectPublicEd

In Michigan, a federal program awarded $7.7 million to charter schools that NEVER OPENED. No other state that received that money had that many unopened schools.
Our kids deserve better.
#RedForEd #ProtectPublicEd 

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