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Stateside: Education funding gap; play turns FBI interrogation into theater; history of quarantine

Boy in classroom with his hand raised
Mercedes Mejia
Michigan Radio
Michigan ranks among the worst states when it comes to the funding gap between the state's richest and poorest school districts, said EdTrust Midwest executive director Amber Arellano.

Today on Stateside, a new report calls on Michigan lawmakers to deal with the funding disparities between the state's poorest and wealthiest school districts. Plus, a staged reading of an FBI interrogation takes us inside one intelligence contractor's choice.

Listen to the full show above for find individual interviews below.

Report: State should fix funding gap between rich and poor school districts

Stateside’s conversation with Amber Arellano

  • The state needs to invest more in low-income, vulnerable students to fix the gap in school funding between the state's poorest and wealthiest districts. That’s the message from an Education Trust Midwest report released Thursday. Amber Arellano is the executive director of Education Trust Midwest. We talked to her about what’s behind the unequal funding in Michigan schools, and which students are most impacted by it.

Unrest in Bangladesh brings Indian cuisine to Grand Traverse Mall

Interlochen Public Radio’s Noelle Riley reports on Golam Rabbani’s journey from human rights lawyer to restaurant owner

  • Golam Rabbani celebrated the grand opening of his restaurant this month, but he's not a chef. Rabbani was a human rights lawyer before he was forced out of Bangladesh for opposing the government. Now, he’s making a leap into the restaurant business in his new hometown in Michigan. Interlochen Public Radio's Noelle Riley attended the opening of Taste of India and talked to Rabbani about his journey from lawyer to restaurateur.
  • This story was featured on Points North, a weekly show and podcast from Interlochen Public Radio.

A play on stage in Ann Arbor turns an FBI interrogation into theater

Stateside’s conversation with Tina Satter

  • In 2017, government prosecutors charged 26-year-old Reality Winner with leaking a classified report on Russian hacking. Winner is a former Air Force translator who was working as a contractor for U.S. intelligence services. She pled guilty to the charges, and is currently serving a five-year prison term. A new play features the word-for-word reproduction of Winner's interrogation by the FBI when she was arrested. It’s called Is This A Room: Reality Winner Verbatim Transcription. It’s part of No Safety Net, a University Musical Society festival showcasing provocative theater productions. Tina Satter is the show’s director. She spoke with Stateside about how this story captured her attention, and why she wanted the play to be a verbatim reproduction of Winner's interrogation.  

Across the political spectrum, activists pay a personal cost for political rewards

Stateside’s conversation with Christen Pollo

  • Over the weekend, Christen Pollo was one of thousands of attendees in the annual March for Life in Washington D.C. Pollo is the executive director of Protect Life Michigan, which works with anti-abortion campus groups around the state. But she came up, like many who do activism, as someone ready to dedicate hours of personal time to a cause. We talked to Pollo about the personal costs of her activism, and how she’s dealt with them.
  • Last week, we heard from progressive activist Vidhya Ararvind about her views on the cost of activism. She spoke about moments of isolation, and the way others sometimes define her by her activism. You can find both conversations here.

How quarantines have been used throughout history to try, with limited success, to contain disease

Stateside’s conversation with Howard Markel

  • The coronavirus quarantine that's left tens of millions in China confined to their homes has sent a shiver around the world. But it's not an unprecedented step in dealing with infectious disease. University of Michigan history professor and physician Howard Markel noted in a piece for the New York Times that the largest quarantine in human history has its roots in medieval remedies for the plague. We talked to Markel about the history of quarantine, and its mixed success in containing highly contagious diseases.

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Stateside is produced daily by a dedicated group of producers and production assistants. Listen daily, on-air, at 3 and 9 p.m., or subscribe to the daily podcast wherever you like to listen.