By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI –
State lawmakers are running short on time to approve several education-reform bills to make Michigan eligible for a half-billion dollars from the federal government.
The Legislature is expected to meet for two weeks in December before the winter holiday break. The deadline to compete for the schools-reform money is mid-January.
Chuck Wilbur is the governor's education advisor. He told lawmakers that the money is important, but the reforms should happen no matter what.
"These reforms are the right thing to do on their own merits - these are things that will move our schools forward, in many cases they take ideas that have emerged as best practices around the country, and try to make them practice in Michigan," he says.
Among the most controversial reforms is a bill that would allow people to receive teaching certificates through alternative programs, rather than through a college degree.