A school superintendent in Michigan has written a public letter to the editor asking Governor Rick Snyder if his school can become a prison instead. The full text is below. What do you think?


Dear Governor Snyder,

In these tough economic times, schools are hurting. And yes, everyone in Michigan is hurting right now financially, but why aren’t we protecting schools? Schools are the one place on Earth that people look to to “fix” what is wrong with society by educating our youth and preparing them to take on the issues that society has created.

One solution I believe we must do is take a look at our corrections system in Michigan. We rank nationally at the top in the number of people we incarcerate. We also spend the most money per prisoner annually than any other state in the union. Now, I like to be at the top of lists, but this is one ranking that I don’t believe Michigan wants to be on top of.

Consider the life of a Michigan prisoner. They get three square meals a day. Access to free health care. Internet. Cable television. Access to a library. A weight room. Computer lab. They can earn a degree. A roof over their heads. Clothing. Everything we just listed we DO NOT provide to our school children.

This is why I’m proposing to make my school a prison. The State of Michigan spends annually somewhere between $30,000 and $40,000 per prisoner, yet we are struggling to provide schools with $7,000 per student. I guess we need to treat our students like they are prisoners, with equal funding. Please give my students three meals a day. Please give my children access to free health care. Please provide my school district Internet access and computers. Please put books in my library. Please give my students a weight room so we can be big and strong. We provide all of these things to prisoners because they have constitutional rights. What about the rights of youth, our future?!

Please provide for my students in my school district the same way we provide for a prisoner. It’s the least we can do to prepare our students for the future...by giving our schools the resources necessary to keep our students OUT of prison.

Respectfully submitted,

Nathan Bootz, Superintendent, Ithaca Public Schools


Via: http://bigthink.com/ideas/38573?lolamericanpriorities


This certainly puts things into perspective. I hope this gets more light.

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Years ago I saw a documentary about a state that began focusing almost radically on juvenile delinquency and school attendance.  The theory was that if they could get kids through school before they learned criminal skills then the costs would be recovered through a shrinking prison population.  Apparently the program began to pan out about the time another governor got elected and pulled the plug.


I'm looking for that documentary and some source documentation but I hope some one else here can help me out on this.  It seems to me that this program may have been in Florida and Jeb Bush may have been the one to put the kybosh on it.  I've believed in the potential for this strategy for years but I've never found any receptive ears at all.

HUGE Props to Nathan Bootz!!!!!!!  I'm glad i'm not the only one who thinks this country is backwards.
After deciding to go to college at age 26, I soon discovered that a bachelor's degree was going to require significant financial hardship.  I used to joke that I just needed to commit a crime and get sentenced to prison for about five years so that I could get an affordable degree.  This is yet another problem that could be solved by decriminalizing marijuana; all monies spent on incarcerating marijuana offenders could be poured into the public school system.  Of course, that would make entirely too much sense...
I agree that they should decriminalize marijuana and use the money for the public school system.
Capitalism doesn't want the masses to be very well educated. Just enough to think that choosing between a Lincoln Navigator and an Escalade is what freedom is all about.
I love this.  I live in Idaho, and our governor has some "in" with a computer corporation, so he's cutting all this funding in the schools (getting rid of teachers, sports programs, etc.) so that kids can transition to online learning.  But every child gets an iPad!  I am amazed at the stunning disconnect between the politicians in a state and their people.  This is a rural, redneck state.  The majority of its people are welfare-poor.  You give an uneducated set of parents a computer and expect their children to thrive intellectually-- it's absolutely ludicrous.  I am proud of my community, though, as every year a levy is held asking that the residents agree to a raise in property taxes in order to continue funding the school, and every year it passes.  We are all struggling financially ourselves, but our kids getting a decent education is worth funding.  Maybe I should write a letter like this. 
I place a high value on teacher to student interaction not via computer. A piece of electronic gear will not tool and steer the children in the right direction. I think they need to unplug from the technology once in a while and see what the real world is like. The kids need to be shown they are worth our time and money. In my household education is held in high regards as we push our kids to achieve and not just accept status quo.


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