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Tue April 21, 2009
House calls for state to take over failing schools
By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network
Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI (MPRN) - Democrats at the state Capitol will introduce legislation today to require charter schools be offered as alternatives to failing public schools.
The legislation would allow a school turnaround chief to decide which Michigan schools are failing.
Parents in those districts would be able to choose to send their kids to a public school taken over by the state, or a nearby charter school.
Ed Sarpolis is with the Michigan Education Association teachers union.
He says K-12 education reform is necessary, but the state isn't addressing why schools are failing.
He says there are several proven methods by which turning kids around is essential.
But, Sarpolis says, all these methods fail to realize that some schools are failing because of poverty.
The Republican chairman of the state Senate Education Committee, Wayne Kuipers, says he's interested in the House bills, but is reserving judgment.
Governor Granholm supports the bills.