MI superintendent says Legislature must act soon for schools money

LANSING, MI – The state school superintendent told lawmakers Thursday that they are running out of time to compete for school-reform money in a federal program called "Race To The Top."

Michigan could be eligible for as much as $500 million that would go toward fixing the state's worst-performing schools. But the Legislature must approve legislation in the next few weeks to be eligible to compete.

State Superintendent Michael Flanagan says these reforms need to happen anyway, because too many students aren't getting the education they deserve.

"The system is much more oriented to adult needs - it just is," he says. "It's not with malice, I mean the best people I know get into the education business."

Lawmakers from the House and Senate will have to reach consensus before the end of the year, including how to appoint a chief who could take over schools with failing curriculums.