Months after similar bills died in the Legislature’s lame duck session, Michigan House Republicans have reintroduced legislation to create a statewide “takeover” district called the Education Achievement Authority, or EAA.
MEA members are urged to contact their lawmakers and urge them to oppose the EAA legislation. Click here to find contact information for your legislators.
House Bill 4369, introduced Tuesday by Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons, R-Alto, would allow the EAA to take over up to 50 public schools deemed by arbitrary and flawed rankings to be in the state’s bottom 5 percent. It would also allow the EAA to create new charter schools within two miles of a so-called “failing” school.
HB 4369 would allow Lansing bureaucrats to assume many of the responsibilities currently entrusted to local school board members, parents, teachers and education support staff — all while essentially eliminating the time-honored tradition of “neighborhood schools.”
The bill fails to include an in-depth audit of existing issues in both the school building and district that are causing the lack of performance. Rather than finding and addressing specific problems through audits, the bill simply assumes that a board and bureaucrats appointed by the governor can simply do a better job than those already doing the work – regardless of the challenges they face.
The bill removes local communities’ ability to establish education policy, direct curriculum and manage community resources, by shifting power to state and federal bureaucrats. It also does not provide any substantive local controls to establish standards, create missions and goals, monitor performance, or audit finances of new schools created by this legislation.