With most schools opening next week a group of parents, teachers, and other supporters of public education are holding a rally Thursday night in Ann Arbor's Liberty Plaza. The rally is designed to focus on the positives public schools bring to communities and the need for additional funding.
In living rooms in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Dexter this summer a group of teachers, parents, and other community members have been meeting. The discussions have centered on the great things public schools provide and why they need more funding. Quinn Strassel is co-founder of Michigan Teachers and Allies for Change. He says as summer comes to an end they wanted a chance to bring together all public education supporters.
The rally also serves as a kick-off to the campaign season with Lisa Brown the Democratic Nominee for Lieutenant Governor expected to call for more education funding.
Linda Carter is the president of the Ann Arbor Education Association and will also be speaking. She's inviting lawmakers in Lansing to spend a day in their local public school. "They need to have a realistic viewpoint on what goes on in the day of the life of our public education students and our public education teachers," she says.
Jeff Irwin is one of those elected officials, representing the 53rd District in the State House. The Ann Arbor Democrat says voters need to do more than just encourage lawmakers tour public schools. "I'm going to talk about what it is people can do between now and November to make sure that we select elected officials to lead our state who are going to make education the number one priority," Irwin says.
Irwin says class sizes are up as state funding for schools has been cut to what districts received a decade ago.
The rally starts at 5:30 pm at Ann Arbor's Liberty Plaza.