JOEL RADDATZ: Franz is not working for the 101st District

TO THE EDITOR:

Wow. Representative Franz accuses “special interests” of lying in his recent guest column, “Education budget myth doesn’t add up,” published in the Sept. 29 edition of the News Advocate.

Suffice it to say that rarely in my career as a Michigan school administrator have I seen such a collection of out of context facts, half-truths and just plain nonsense.

Space does not allow me to discuss his shell game line for line, so let’s refer to the non-partisan and highly influential Bridge Magazine Truth Squad which on Sept. 14 reviewed Gov. Rick Snyder’s “The Numbers,” which I suspect are the source for Ray’s numbers, too.

“The Numbers” received a warning for being misleading. The truth is today’s public school funding still doesn’t equal the 2008 full time equivalent level.

For the sake of brevity, here are some observations I have made of Mr. Franz’s article:

  • All of Ray’s “numbers” concern the state. He writes NOTHING concerning the financial needs of public schools in the 101st District. Is Ray Franz running for governor or 101st District representative? The needs for our 101st school districts are very different than the needs of the rest of the state. As usual Mr. Franz ignores us;
  • Mr. Franz labels as “special interests” those who complain about his educational record. If he thinks gratitude is in order, I suggest asking our locally elected school board members who have had to deal with an annual budget crisis for years, if they applaud Mr. Franz’s efforts. As a former school board member, I assure you, they do not;
  • Mr. Franz’s apparent belief is that public education is a tax burden for the state, not an investment, and one we can only indulge in more affluent times. Research teaches that in hard times schools’ needs are even greater, as are their benefits. But again, ask your locally elected, non-compensated school board members how they feel about Mr. Franz’s record of financial support for local schools; and
  • Perhaps most telling, Mr. Franz’s column on educational funding mention’s “children” but rarely, and thus he squeezes by with a “Gentleman’s D-“ from this former Michigan teacher. Care to count the dollar signs in the article?

Choosing Tom Stobie for the 101st state representative in the coming election remains an easy decision for public education supporters. Mr. Franz has been and remains the wrong leader for the 101st District.

Joel Raddatz

MAPS grandparent

Manistee

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