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State Lawmakers Gearing Up For Battle Over Education In Lame Duck

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A battle over some proposed big changes in how Michigan handles education is brewing in the state Legislature. 

House Democrats on Wednesday vowed to fight Republican-sponsored bills that could move before the end of the year.

One bill would expand a district statewide for schools with poor test scores. The other aims to increase school choice by creating new kinds of schools, including corporation-run and online schools.

Supporters say the proposals would give students and families more control, and put more pressure on schools to improve their performance.

But Democratic state Representative Lisa Brown says lawmakers won’t have enough time to understand all the possible effects in just a few weeks.

“To just let our kids be guinea pigs, that’s not something we’re willing to take a risk on," she says. "We don’t want to gamble on our children.”

Some Republicans from areas with higher-performing schools have also expressed concerns over the measures.

It’s not clear if legislative leaders plan to move the bills before the end of the year.

Jake Neher is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He covers the State Legislature and other political events in Lansing.
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