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Fri June 26, 2009
State House passes education reform package
By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI – The state House passed a package of bills last night that would give Michigan's worst-performing schools an ultimatum to either raise proficiency levels or risk being shut down.
House Education Committee Chairman Tim Melton spent the past couple months debating with Democrats and Republicans, and making concessions to teachers unions to win support for the plan. Melton says now that the legislation has cleared the House, he's beginning discussions with the Senate education chair, who is also working on a plan. Melton said he wanted to get the plan done before next school year starts so the process could get started before another year is lost. Republican state Senator Wayne Kuipers chairs the Senate Education Committee. He said he hoped the legislature could do something that benefits children and reduces the number of failing schools in Michigan. Kuipers says that, unlike the House plan, his would avoid the prospect of a state takeover of academically struggling schools.