This Week in Politics in 5 Sentences (or Fewer)
Early Thursday morning, the state House of Representatives defeated a bill that would have rolled back the state's income tax rate—at a cost to the state's general fund of over $1 billion—and put even greater pressure on the School Aid Fund to absorb general fund costs. The narrow defeat (52 yeas to 55 nays) came after a marathon session that started on Wednesday afternoon, but with at least three more months to go before 2017-2018 budgets are finalized, this issue could resurface. The Senate Education Committee met on Tuesday to continue discussion on Section 1280c of the School Code, which is the state law that dictates the intervention process for the state's lowest performing schools as measured by state assessments (which includes the School Reform Office and what is commonly known as the "Bottom 5% List"), and took testimony from a number of groups on various plans for replacing the current model. For its part, the MDE presented on its version of a new accountability system—the Partnership Model—which is outlined in the draft ESSA plan on which they are currently taking public comment. Finally, last week's debate on legislation to replace Michigan's current academic content standards and assessments with the Massachusetts standards and assessments from 2008-2009 was put on hold this week…a timeline for future action on this proposal is currently unknown.