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Education policy major focus of new state legislature

Jan 10, 2017

Lawmakers, business experts, and school superintendents are tackling Michigan’s schools from multiple angles in the first weeks of the New Year.

On the first day of session, Senator Phil Pavlov plans to introduce a bill to get rid of Michigan’s so-called “failing schools” law. The law determines Michigan’s worst-performing schools and puts them under the supervision of a state school reform officer.   

Sen Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Twp., is the bill’s sponsor. He says the current law was passed with good intentions, but has not worked.

 

“We want to put together a system that’s fair and balanced,” Pavlov said. “A system that districts understand where the goal post is, what the metrics for defining a failing school is.”

Business and education experts have also launched a School Finance Research Collaborative to study how the state funds K through 12 schools.

Wanda Cook-Robinson is the Oakland Schools superintendent and member of the research collaborative. She says the new study will build on the findings of the 2016 study on school financing.

“The newly formed School Finance Research Collaborative will build on those findings by conducting a truly comprehensive school study,” Cook-Robinson said. “And this is something that has not been done in our state before.”