A bill that would bolster a state-run system for struggling schools could get a vote this week in the state Legislature. Right now, the Education Achievement Authority (EAA) is trying to turn around 15 schools in Detroit. The legislation would allow it to operate up to 50 schools across the state by July of 2015. “That means that the same school reform model that has failed in 15 schools in Detroit could be coming to a neighborhood school near you,” said state Rep. Collene Lamonte (D-Montague).
Lamonte and her Democratic colleagues in the Legislature say the EAA is struggling with declining enrollment, finances, and student safety. They are blasting the renewed push to pass House Bill 4369.
Some Republicans in Lansing are also skeptical. They say they want to make sure schools have a clear way to exit the state-run district once they show improvement.
But Republican legislative leaders say support is growing. "There’s still a stigma associated with the original EAA proposal -- this is really considerably different,” said Senate Majority Leader
Randy Richardville (R-Monroe). State House Speaker Jase Bolger says “it seems to me that the House is closer to having the number of votes that it takes to pass it."
Supporters of the EAA say its students are making significant academic gains.