Legislature Passes “Race to the Top” Reform Bills to Close Achievement Gap
Transformational legislation adds quality charter schools, promotes great teachers and requires intervention for lowest-performing schools
Lansing, MI – The state legislature today passed a series of transformational bills aimed at closing the state’s academic achievement gap and improving education for 1.6 million public school students in Michigan.
Prompted by the mid-January deadline to apply for a $400-$600 million share of the $4.35 billion in federal “Race to the Top” education funds, these bills allow for the expansion of high quality public charter schools, link student performance data to teacher effectiveness, and mandate state intervention for the persistently lowest-achieving schools in the state.
“These bills create more choice in public schools, encourage our brightest college graduates to become teachers, and provide hope for kids trapped in chronically failing schools,” said Dan Quisenberry president of the Michigan Association of Public School Academies (MAPSA).
“We owe a debt of gratitude to Senator Wayne Kuipers (R-Holland) and Sen. Buzz Thomas (D-Detroit) for their leadership and vision in developing much of this package,” said Quisenberry,
Charter schools that deliver exceptional academic success, especially those with high achievement among at-risk students, will have the opportunity to become 'Schools of Excellence' under the legislation, which will allow for the replication of additional high-quality charter schools and attract the nation’s best charter school models to the state.
“Michigan’s public charter schools are focused on achievement, choice and accountability. We look forward to preparing more students to be ready for college and meaningful careers,” Quisenberry added.
Specific bills included in the “Race to the Top” education reform package include SB 926 (Thomas); SB 981 (Kuipers); HB 4787 (Melton); HB 4788 (Johnson) and HB 5596 (Pavlov).
For more information on these bills, please visit www.michiganlegislature.org
MAPSA represents more than 106,500 students and 5,000 certified teachers in 243 public charter schools across the state. Click here for additional information about MAPSA.