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House panel battles over school resolution, alleging “radical politics” and “indoctrination”

Michigan Legislature
Lester Graham
/
Michigan Radio
The Republican-controlled state House Education Committee adopted a non-binding resolution Tuesday that takes aim at what it calls “radical politics” and “political indoctrination” in schools.

The Republican-controlled state House Education Committee adopted a non-binding resolution Tuesday that takes aim at what it calls “radical politics” and “political indoctrination” in schools.

The measure, House Resolution 210, kindled some sharp exchanges before it was adopted on a party-line vote.

The resolution accuses public schools of harboring purveyors of “radical politics” and “political indoctrination.” It also says “parents who try to object are either ignored, shamed, or silenced.”

Representative Matt Koleszar (D-Plymouth) questioned the use of those phrases.

“So what evidence do you have that there is ‘radical politics’ permeating public school curricula that amount to ‘political indoctrination?’” asked Koleszar.

The sponsor, Representative Pat Outman (R-Six Lakes) was reticent.

“Representative, I don’t want to get into specifics,” replied Outman.

Koleszar tried again.

“This really isn’t about that. It’s more reaffirming the rights of parents within their child’s education,” said Outman.

“OK, then,” replied Koleszar. “I question why it’s in there. Thank you.”

The resolution also blasts Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s veto of a bill that would have enacted a voucher-like system to help pay for private school tuition.

The measure goes now to the House floor. The GOP-controlled state Senate adopted a similar resolution last month. Resolutions don’t carry legal weight. But this does put on display the stark partisan contrast in Michigan when it comes to politics and schools.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.