Education Committee to hear about federal stimulus requirements

LANSING, MI – State lawmakers must approve education-system reforms before the end of the year to be eligible for federal school-improvement dollars. The state House Education Committee will take testimony this week from a group that will tell the legislators what the state needs to do to qualify for the money.

The House Education Committee passed a school reform plan in June that would threaten Michigan's worst-performing schools with a state takeover if they don't improve proficiency levels. But the legislation stalled in the Senate Education Committee and now the House and Senate must reach consensus on a plan before December to be eligible for the federal money.

Representative Tim Melton chairs the House Education Committee. "I mean we could be looking at 400 or 500 million dollars for the state and the question that's going to be to our caucus is, you know, should we do these things?" Melton asks.

Melton says it's especially important to get the education reform money to help struggling schools that have had their state funding cut.