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issues - public education

In April, 2011, Governor Snyder announced that he planned to reform education in Michigan and move to a “performance-based funding plan” from the current “seat count” funding.  Snyder’s plan calls for an “Any Time, Any Place, Any Way, Any Pace” education system.  (Click here to read the April speech) The current “bundled” plan, whereby all services to students are bundled in one school district, would be “unbundled”.  Students would have a home district or charter school, which could be anywhere in the state (districts must accept out of area students), but they could also take online courses offered by other educational entities.   The money would follow the student, meaning the $6,900 state foundation level per pupil would be divided up between the home district and online and other providers.  Online learning is very strongly encouraged as well as part of the “open entry/open exit” component of the plan.  Working at their own speed, students would receive $2,500 in college scholarships for each semester they graduate early from high school, to a maximum of $10,000. 

The Governor entrusted the writing of this plan to the Oxford Foundation, which on November 19 released the plan in the form of a proposed bill—the Michigan Education Finance Act of 2013 and Richard McLellan provided a narrative.  Additionally, the State Board of Education has commented as well as school administrators.  Other voices in this discussion include the Center for Michigan's Bridge Magazine, whose mission is to inform Michigan citizens about their state, amplify their views and explore challenges of our civic life.  (Click on blue phrases to move to links.) 

At this time we are awaiting another revision to the first proposed plan from the Oxford Foundation and then Governor Snyder will decide what he wants to recommend to the legislature.  The dates for these events are not certain.  LWVMI will review the final plan and make recommendations for advocacy.

In addition, Governor Snyder and others are proposing a system for grouping low achieving schools in the Educational Achievement Authority.  Bills were introduced during 2012 and will probably be re-introduced in 2013.  LWVMI opposed the bills in 2012. 

On February 7, 2013, Governor Snyder released his proposed budget to the MI House of Representatives and Senate Appropriations Committee.  His budget added some new money for education including an increase for early childhood education.  The Michigan League for Public Policy has released an analysis of the proposed budget for education.  The Legislature will now hold hearings on the proposed budget. 


On March 13, 2013, the House Education Committee voted to report HB 4369, the bill to establish Educational Achievement Authority (EAA) statewide.  The vote was 9-5 with three members abstaining.  The bill would expand the authority which has 15 of the lowest-performing schools in Detroit to 50 in the state.  The Authority is appointed by the Governor, as well as the Chancellor, and reports to the Governor.  On March 21, 2013, the Michigan House of Representatives voted on HB 4369. It passed 57-53 after hours of debate. The bill now goes to the MI Senate.

LWVMI will be following any proposed legislation closely and will keep members informed via this website and social media

Click here to read an August, 2014 update of Public Education in Michigan.