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VIDEO: Hundreds attend ‘Future of Education’ summit in Kalamazoo


KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- While the Governor has delivered his ideas about public education in Michigan, many have very different thoughts. Those opinions were expressed Thursday morning at the Future of Education in Michigan summit.

One area where the public seems to agree with the Governor is on the importance of preschool education, which will be getting a boost in funding in the Governor’s next budget proposal.  The summit’s featured speaker Phil Power, founder of the nonprofit Center for Michigan, conducted a survey of some 8,000 parents who say preschool education is top priority, cited by 2/3rds of everyone surveyed.

A major problem voiced at the summit took issue with the Snyder administration’s stress on charter schools and online alternative education.  While the Governor wants to institute alternative learning opportunities, Power emphasizes that, according to the survey, parents are much more interested in improving the resources and support for public school teachers. Power says parents are also interested in doing more to hold teachers accountable for their own work.  Watch above for an interview from Phil Power.

The three hour conference was held in the Grand Ballroom at the Radisson Plaza in downtown Kalamazoo and attracted hundreds of interested members of the public.  Local lawmakers held a discussion panel during the summit to bring more information from both sides. The session included House Representatives Margaret O’Brien and Sean McCann and Senator Tonya Schuitmaker.