EAA alternative bill discharged from Committee

Bills which provide an alternative to the expansion of the Education Achievement Authority (EAA) have been moved out of the House Education Committee and await action on the House floor. HB 5268 and HB 5269, sponsored by Rep. Ellen Cogen Lipton (D-Huntington Woods) and Rep. Brandon Dillon (D-Grand Rapids), will allow ISDs to have a part in assisting struggling schools.

Lipton’s HB 5268 calls for an audit of schools to find out specifically why they are performing poorly. The audit is more than a financial review; it would look at curriculum, hiring practices, parent involvement, and staff evaluations, among other things. Evidence-based recommendations for improvement would be given to the district.

The ISD and the school reform officer then develop a written plan to implement a transformation program for the next school year. If the plan isn’t developed or carried out by the school, the reform officer could then implement the plan for the school.

With Dillon’s bill—HB 5269—a study would be implemented to determine, once and for all, how much it costs to educate students in Michigan.

In the meantime, there’s still no action by the House on HB 4369, Rep. Lisa Lyon’s (R-Alto) bill to expand the EAA. The bill has the potential to put every school in the bottom 5 percent achievement ranking into the EAA.

MEA opposes the bill. The EAA has done nothing to improve student achievement, as evidenced by its recently-released MEAP scores. The EAA is a failed experiment which should be ended—not expanded.