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The sad reality is that we have no problem putting more people behind bars but find it difficult to educate more of our young people, who are the future. That is such a ridiculous priority for leaders who claim they know best regarding what is best for the future of the state.
When Granholm announced that she wanted to release some 5000 parole-eligible inmates in the midst of the financial crunch, all hell broke loose. Lawmakers and their counterparts in government were screaming that our streets will be unsafe.
During the campaign against releasing prisoners, they never told us that there are many prisoners behind bars today eligible to be released, but are still incarcerated and taxpayers are paying for their upkeep.
The pushback against Granholm’s prison proposal was so strong that some elected officials used it as a political milking pot to show how strong they were on crime.
Yet these same elected officials, some of whom are not lawmakers in Lansing, are now nowhere to be seen defending the right to education.
We cannot expect them to add their voices to the call for the restoration of the Michigan Promise, even if it affects students in their own areas.
The political theater and contradictions unfolding now are disturbing.
And like Marcellus telling Horatio in Shakespeare that “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark,” to which Horatio responded “Heaven will direct it,” we have to accept the fact that something is rotten in the state of Michigan.
Our problem is that we don’t know who will direct it and whether the 2010 gubernatorial campaign will have answers when many of the same problem starters will pretend to have the cure to Michigan’s ills.
The double jeopardy will only continue to encourage students graduating from Michigan colleges to leave in record numbers to other states, seeking greener pastures.
The state has about 15 public universities that are supposed to be serving 300,000 students every year.
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