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GOP Power Grab or Path to Better Schools? Lame-Duck Votes Could Shift Some Mich. Education Powers

Lame-duck lawmakers in Michigan are moving to shift some crucial decisions about education — such as closing schools, a letter grading system, and the creation of innovative districts — away from elected school officials.

The Republican lawmaker behind the legislation insists it’s not a power grab. Democrats disagree. Either way, it raises some key questions for lawmakers: Is it legal and will it do anything to improve academic achievement in a state that’s been backsliding for the past eight years? How would the shift, reported Tuesday in Bridge Magazine, play out? Chalkbeat Detroit breaks it down.

So, what is at stake? Two education bills being considered during this year’s controversial lame-duck legislative session would establish a commission with some powers now in the hands of state education officials. Rep. Tim Kelly, the Republican from Saginaw Township who chairs the House Education Reform committee, introduced the two bills.