11/20/2012 04:51 pm ET

Michigan Board Of Education Discusses Legislative Proposals For School Choice, Other Changes

Members of Michigan’s Board of Education will mull several legislative proposals Tuesday commissioned by Gov. Rick Snyder that would have far-reaching implications for public education in the state, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Among them is the Michigan Public Education Finance Act, which would allow per-pupil funding to follow students to any district willing to accept them, according to to the Associated Press. Currently the state’s students can only attend schools of choice in adjacent districts.

The proposed bill, which would replace the School Aid Act of 1979, would eliminate boundary restrictions for districts willing to accept outside students.

Under state law, 90 percent of general education funding is based on October classroom attendance.

Michael Van Beek, director of education policy at the free-market think tank Mackinac Center, clarified to the AP that the plan is "not a voucher system. The money does not flow to private schools or independent schools.”

The Detroit Free Press reports another proposal being considered is House Bill 5923, which would allow for the creation of nine kinds of public schools, such as residential public schools and schools operated by corporations or municipalities.

"It's as close to an end run on vouchers that we've seen in my 15 years in public education," Don Wotruba, deputy director of the Michigan Association of School Boards, told the Detroit News.

The last proposal up for discussion is House Bill 6004 — and its companion Senate Bill 1358 — that would put the Education Achievement Authority into state law and likely make it easier to expand the system, reports. The EAA is the governing body of the Education Achievement System, which operates the lowest performing 5 percent of schools in Michigan.



Results Of State Ballot Measures That NEA Was Tracking