News Release: Michigan Catholic Conference Statement On The Defeat of Proposal 1

November 8, 2000

LANSING—The following statement was issued today by Sister Monica Kostielney, R.S.M., President and C.E.O. of the Michigan Catholic Conference.

“We are most grateful to those voters who put kids first by voting yes on Proposal 1. We are disappointed that Michigan’s electorate voted as they did. It is our belief that Proposal 1 was all about advancing social justice and the common good through providing equal educational opportunity to every child in this state.

The last two years have been incredibly fulfilling in fighting for the noble and just cause of educational justice and freedom as represented by Proposal 1.

It has been our privilege to be associated with the various organizations and individuals affiliated with Kids First! Yes! Never in the history of our state have such diverse peoples come together to fight for the rights of children.

The opponents of Proposal 1, led by entrenched special interest education associations, had no shame in attacking, by any means, this reform plan. The winners of this referendum are simply put, fear and bigotry. As a result more than 200,000 kids will continue to be trapped in failing schools.

Unfortunately, for these kids, the status quo in education will reign leaving them further behind. And so, we pledge to continue the fight to secure the civil right to a good education for all students and particularly for those whom the government schools have utterly failed.

The defeat of Proposal 1 ends but a chapter in this struggle. The cause of educational justice will continue. And, the Catholic Church in Michigan will persist in working with people of good will from across this state to advance this noble endeavor. A good education is the right of every child in our state and should not only be for the rich, the privileged, and the elite. Only then will our state’s educational system truly exist for the common good of every child.”

Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.

-- 30 --