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Education Committee chairmen to meet with state school board

By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network

LANSING, MI – The chairmen of the state Senate and House education committees will meet with the school board this week in Lansing. They are expected to pitch their ideas for major statewide education reform.

The meeting won't produce any decisions or votes on reform, but it will kick off a process to find middle ground on the House and Senate plans.

House Education committee chairman Tim Melton says, "It's just to lay out our visions and see where they stand on some of this stuff."

Melton's plan would threaten the state's worst-performing schools with state takeover if they fail to improve test scores. The Senate plan would allow parents and teachers to vote to take control of their failing public school and turn it into a charter school.

Senate Education Committee Chairman Wayne Kuipers says they will work through the budget crisis to find consensus on school reform.

"Sure, we'll be here anyway, so we might as well be talking about some education issues," Kuipers says.

A deal between the chambers must be reached before the end of the year for the state to compete for federal education reform funds.

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