Senate Education Committee approves education reform

LANSING, MI – The state Senate Education Committee approved its plan for education reform Thursday.

The legislation would give parents and teachers the chance to take control of a school they believe is failing. A school deemed to be failing could then be taken over by a charter school.

State Senator Wayne Kuipers chairs the committee. He says the state needs to act quickly to be eligible for money from the federal "Race To The Top" program.

"I think it is important for the Senate to sort of put its marker in the sand right now and say - in terms of the Race To The Top dollars - the Senate also has a reform plan in place," he said.

The Democrat-controlled House passed its education reform legislation before the summer recess in July. The two chambers will need to find consensus before the end of the year to be eligible for school stimulus funds.