Legislation expanding the Education Achievement Authority’s ability to take over failing schools stalled in the House late Thursday, representing another setback for Gov. Rick Snyder’s school reform project.
House members in both parties said they opposed the Senate’s sweeping changes to the bill, in particular the elimination of a 50-school cap on the number of buildings that could be placed under the fledgling EAA’s control.
The EAA is in its second school year running 15 Detroit schools with persistently low academic achievement, but has been dogged by questions about its curriculum, teacher turnover rate, declining enrollment and long-term financial viability.
“The EAA, I’m not sure it’s doing a good job,” said state Rep. Tom McMillin, R-Rochester Hills. “It’s still kind of an experiment.”
The EAA expansion legislation, which lawmakers have been debating for 13 months, was one of Snyder’s top priorities before lawmakers adjourned Thursday for a three-week holiday break. They resume legislative action Jan. 8.
But the EAA bill has found itself mired in political battles as the House sought to restrict its size and allow county intermediate school districts the option of taking over schools in the bottom 5 percent of academic achievement for three or more years.
Read More about what’s happening in the EAA in The Detroit News