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Funding doesn't equal education success

I spent more than 20 years teaching at the university level in southeast Michigan. I can speak first hand about the failings of our education system.

I live in Grosse Pointe Park. In addition to the Michigan basic 2018-19 foundation grant of $8,409 per pupil, we pay steep taxes so that our per-student annual budget is about $14,193.

Yet according to the U.S. News and World Report: Grosse Pointe's high schools are only ranked 23rd and 27th in the state in terms of educational performance.

Our parents are some of the best educated, most successful people in the state, and understand, appreciate and support educational achievement.  But if 23rd and 27th are the very best we can do when other, less well -funded, less-supported school systems in Michigan are clearly outperforming us, there must be more to success than simply money.

Clinton R. Andrews

Grosse Pointe Park

Michigan businesses need healthy Great Lakes

As a member of the Great Lakes Business Network, a Michigan business owner, and lifelong resident, I recognize the critical role that the Great Lakes play in maintaining a strong regional economy, thriving communities, and a healthy environment. With this in mind, Michigan must take every possible action to protect our water from the threat of the Line 5 pipeline.

Operating since 1953, Line 5 currently transports 23 million gallons of oil and natural gas liquids per day through the Straits of Mackinac, where the aging pipeline is subject to frequent freighter traffic and damaging anchor strikes, such as the one that gouged the pipeline last year.

Each day that Line 5 remains in the water introduces additional risk to the Great Lakes, my business community, and the well-being of the 200 people I employ. It is extremely irresponsible to jeopardize the success of the vast network that relies on Michigan’s most valuable resource, particularly to protect Enbridge, a single Canadian company that is moving Canadian product to profit in export markets. 

State leaders must take immediate action to remove Line 5 from the Great Lakes by directing the Department of Natural Resources to revoke the pipeline easement. Enbridge is welcome to explore feasible alternatives, but Michigan leadership, as a top priority, is obligated to protect the Michigan businesses and communities that will bear the burden of a disastrous spill.

It is in Michigan’s best interest to shut down Line 5, protect our most sacred resource and the businesses that depend on it, and diversify delivery methods to foster a more resilient energy system.

Chris Shepler, president

Shepler's Ferry

Mackinaw City

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