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Fri November 27, 2009
State lawmakers return Monday to debate school reforms
By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network
Lansing, MI – State lawmakers are back in Lansing next week after taking a couple weeks off for deer hunting and Thanksgiving. They will return to debate school reforms.
House leaders want to approve measures that need to be in place by the end of the year for Michigan to compete for federal education reform money. But Democrats are divided on much of the legislation - including a bill that would threaten the state's worst-performing schools with state takeover.
State Representative Alma Wheeler Smith says she's wants Michigan to compete for the money, but
"I don't know if we're in position to get it," says Smith. "We need to do a lot more than say we're turning the public school system over to charter schools if they don't succeed."
Smith says leading lawmakers also need to spend the next few weeks focusing on tax structure reform. She says she is frustrated by a "holding pattern" on discussions to fix a tax system most agree is outdated.