Local educators say public education is under attack.
They say a package of bills moving through the legislature could bring destructive change to school districts
A letter from Waverly Schools calls it “devastating,” a letter from Lansing says it “will make public education nearly unrecognizable” and then there's the voicemail from Grand Ledge Public Schools.
Grand Ledge voice message to parents: “Public education is under attack by the Michigan legislature.”
The so-called attack is a proposal to expand the reaches of the Education Achievement Authority, or EAA, into schools that perform in the lowest 5%.
It's something the house education chair says makes sense.
Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons, Alto: “When the school board fails time and time and time again to do what they have to do to keep these kids educated, that's my constitutional obligation to step in and make sure these kids get a quality education.”
But Grand Ledge superintendent Dr. Brain Metcalf says the proposals would do the opposite.
Metcalf: “There's too many unanswered questions, its just too much too quickly, its not well thought out.”
And Waverly's letter points out that the EAA's power could be expanded beyond low performing schools, allowing them to open up new schools.
Metcalf: “It doesn't have to be the bottom five percent- he can decide that he's going to take any building.”
Something Metcalf argues would pull some students away from public schools and refuse others, all the while eroding funding for public schools.
Metcalf: “They would open up a new charter school, they would not have to take all students. Where will our special ed students be educated? Where will our advanced placement students be educated?”
For now the battle continues.
While some lawmakers say the move is what's best for students, many educators say it's nothing more than an attack.
Some lawmakers say they're confident the bills will pass in this “lame duck” session.