EAA Debate Heats Up In Lansing, Final Vote Possible This Week

Apr 22, 2014

Michigan Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville hopes to hold a final vote this week on a bill to expand the state’s Education Achievement Authority.

But as The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher reports, there’s still plenty of opposition to the legislation in Lansing.

The EAA is the entity the state uses to take over persistently failing schools. Right now, it runs 15 schools in Detroit. Richardville wants to pass a bill that would pave the way for it to expand up to 50 schools statewide.

“I feel that we would be remiss if we didn’t make an attempt to help these kids out,” he says.

Mechelle Stieglitz is a former EAA teacher. She says she fears for students’ safety, especially if the authority is expanded to dozens of new schools.

“I’ve seen kids get punched in the face, I’ve seen kids get pushed into the ground, I’ve seen security guards just push a kid for no reason,” she says.

EAA officials say they’re not aware of any reports of physical abuse. They say students are showing improvement.