Michigan Parent PAC: Who we are
Who are we?
MI Parent PAC is a political action committee, committed to raising the profile of public education issues in statewide elections. We’re a group of parents and concerned citizens who realize that arguing about policy measures is not enough.
Why start this PAC?
Voters need to be paying attention to public education issues when they evaluate candidates for state office, and lawmakers need to understand that public education matters to their constituents. Our aim is to make sure that voters understand candidates’ positions on key education issues and that candidates know they’re not off the hook once they are elected. For too long, powerful moneyed interests have driven the public education policy agenda in Lansing, pressing measures which undermine and hobble community governed public schools. Under strong political pressure, lawmakers have bowed down to that agenda despite the fact that the majority of their constituents around the state support and value their community public schools.
What will MI Parent PAC do?
We want to shine a bright light on how our legislators and other state officials behave on education issues. Voters deserve to know when their elected officials are choosing to undermine their schools – or when they are fighting to preserve them. Voters also deserve to know when their lawmakers say one thing at home and do another in Lansing. We will be strategically using our resources to hold lawmakers accountable and to reward those who have done the right thing – especially when it was risky for them to do so. We will also make sure that candidates for office can’t run away from the things they have done and said in other settings. Voters deserve the whole truth.
Who are we working for?
No one! We’re a grassroots group of parents and other citizens who have been fighting for sensible public education policy for many years now. We finally decided that we could never have enough of an impact if we didn’t wade into the electoral process and try to counter some of the big money out there. We’re not affiliated with any political party, union, or business. In fact, we’re the political action arm of Michigan Parents for Schools, a statewide parent advocacy group which has been working to support strong public schools since 2006.
Even though many of the fights over public education seem to pit one party against the other, we don’t think it has to be that way. MI Parent PAC will work hard to identify and support candidates and officials of both parties who try to do the right thing by our state’s public schools. In particular, we want to show lawmakers that we will have their back if they do the right thing despite threats from members of their own party or well-funded outside groups. For many generations, all major US political parties agreed that local public education was the bedrock on which we built the Republic. We think we can once more forge agreement that strong, community governed, public schools are essential to the health of our communities, state and nation.
Where will the money come from?
From people like you and me. When you’re going up against people with gobs of money, it’s tempting to try and find people who can write you big checks. But that way you lose your independence and freedom to say whatever needs to be said. We’re going to ask people from all over the state, and from all walks of life, to contribute what they can to our efforts so that we can fight on their behalf. We’ll never have as much money as the folks working against us, but with your help we’ll have the support of thousands of regular people – voters – from across the state.