The Michigan House adjourned without signing-off on the Senate version of the Education Achievement Authority. The lack of action came as a surprise to many who expected speedy approval in the wake of State Superintendent Mike Flanagan’s statement last week that the EAA will be expanding from 15 schools to approximately 25 as early as January.
The Senate version of HB-4369, approved this week, differed slightly from what the House passed back in March of 2013. Senators stipulated that no expansion could occur until the 2015-16 school year — effectively putting the brakes on the state’s rush to seize low-performing districts from local control.
Rep. Lisa Posthumus-Lyons (R-86), the original sponsor of the House version told the Associated Press:
“The members haven’t had much of a chance to look at it. That’s OK. The beautiful part about this December is it’s not lame duck. It’s the end of a quarter, not the end of the game.”
The Senate version also removed the cap on how many schools may be in the Authority — a condition which didn’t seem to worry Lyons:
“Don’t be in the bottom 5 percent of schools if you don’t want to be in the EAA.”
The House is expected to revisit the legislation as early as January. Lawmakers will probably take the deal the Senate has offered considering it took them nine months to get a vote on the amended legislation in 2013 — House proponents of EAA expansion may not wish to take their chances on sending it back to the Senate.
Amy Kerr Hardin