Friday, March 21, 2014

EAA passes House

A bill expanding the Education Achievement Authority passed the House yesterday on a largely party-line vote of 56-54.  Although we haven't posted here a great deal about the fast-moving developments in this matter, we have emailed our list and our membership responded to speak out against this bill.  Unfortunately, it wasn't enough.

At this time, it's not clear exactly what's in the bill.  There hasn't been time to review it.  We'll bring you more careful analysis at a later date.  But, the broad strokes are clear:
The bill passed by the House would expand the district’s capacity to 50, and would reduce the time frame a school must spend at the bottom of the academic heap to two years. [Detroit Free Press, March 21, 2014.]
Final vote on EAA expansion.
So, if this version passes the Senate, the EAA will be able to take over schools more quickly, and take over schools anywhere in the state.  Previous versions of this legislation also conferred the ability to create charter schools on the EAA.  If that becomes law, the EAA could take over schools anywhere in the state (including Lansing), and start spawning spin-off charters.  We have never seen an argument explaining this helps struggling schools.

Rep. Harvey Santana (D-Detroit) was the only Democrat to vote yes. Rep. John Olumba (I-Detroit) also voted yes. Five Republicans voted no: Rep. Jon Bumstead of Newaygo, Rep. Ben Glardon of Owosso, Rep. Peter Pettalia of Presque Isle, Rep. Phil Potvin of Cadillac and Rep. Pat Somerville of New Boston.

It's not clear where this stands in the Senate.  We'll update as we learn more.

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