Originally published in the Dec. 4 issue of Between Headlines.
Items being discussed in Lansing have the public education community on high alert as the Legislature's lame-duck session heads into high gear today.
First on the list is the Oxford Foundation's initial draft of its plan to revamp public education funding as we know it. Take a look at the 300-page draft bill here, and take advantage of the public comment period (through Dec. 14) to make your opinion known. Thankfully it isn't likely this complicated bill will be brought up for a vote during lame duck, but that's not the case with other bills.
The second bill that would remake the face of public education in Michigan is HB 5923, which contains a laundry list of changes to the school code including the creation of new types of schools and governance models. As it stands, this bill could open Michigan up to various new categories of charter and charter-like schools, many of which would be run by for-profit school management companies.
The third major item is codification of the Education Achievement Authority (EAA) into state law. This plan would take the deal that created the EAA—currently a contract between Eastern Michigan University and the Detroit Public Schools—and solidify its status by making it state law. This push is coming just a few months after the EAA first opened its doors to students with little evidence of its progress or success.
Last week's issue of Headlines contained detailed coverage on the Oxford Foundation's draft plan, the drastic changes to public schools contained in HB 5923 and the codification of the EAA. Read the issue online or download a PDF copy now.
The list doesn't end with those three issues. Here are other items we're watching in lame duck that could impact education, funding and more:
Stay tuned for more information, and be ready for action as we head through this potentially dangerous lame-duck session.