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New alliance seeks to restore public education funding through political action

A new political alliance says it will try to help elect Mark Schauer as Michigan Governor in November, along with other politicians who want to restore public education funding.

Michigan Teachers and Allies for Change held its first rally in Ann Arbor Thursday evening. 

About 250 people, many of them teachers, attended. 

Most were from Ann Arbor.  But one teacher drove all the way from Marquette to support the cause.

Speakers included Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor, Lisa Brown, and Jeanice Kerr Swift, Superintendent of Ann Arbor Public Schools.

Swift told the crowd that Michigan used to be ranked as having one of the best public school systems in the nation by Education Week.

Today, she said, it's different.

"This 2014 (Education Week) report ranks Michigan 42nd, behind Tennessee, Oklahoma, Missouri, and 39 other states," said Swift, holding the report aloft.  "Shame on our Legislature  if they cannot figure this out. And shame on us if we don't help them figure it out!"

MTAC founder Quinn Strassel says he wants teachers, parents and administrators to stop bickering over the impact of the cuts, and join together to do something about them.

He urged people to sign up to canvass neighborhoods where pro-public education Democrats have a good chance of winning in the November election.

He says MTAC will hold meetings across the state to get many more people involved.

To see some tweets of how last night's event unfolded, check out this Storify post.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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