This Week in Politics in 5 Sentences (or Fewer)

Bob Kefgen's picture

Lame Duck is in full swing and the slate of potential issues that the Michigan Legislature could take up between now and Christmas is longer than Santa's naughty list. The Senate Education Committee reported out a quintet of legislation: a bill to make Pre-Labor Day start waivers permanent so schools don't have to reapply (SB 885), legislation to eliminate the requirement that substitute teachers be 22 years old to teach in high school (HB 4421), a pair of bills which would create a School Safety Commission to establish school safety standards (HB 5828-29), and legislation to eliminate the sunset on the law that created Michigan's OK2SAY program (HB 5850). The House Education Reform Committee moved a pair of bills (HB 6314-15) dealing with so-called Public Innovative Districts (PIDs)…though the version of the bills that passed committee move the focus away from creating pathways for competency-based education programs to establishing a pupil accounting structure that will be more friendly to shared time and homeschool partnership programs. The PID bills now join a host of other legislation currently sitting on the House floor and awaiting potential action during lame duck, specifically: HB 5526, sponsored by Rep. Tim Kelly (R-Saginaw Twp.), which would create an A-F letter grading system for schools; HB 5707 and 6401, sponsored by Reps. Aaron Miller (R-Sturgis) and Jeff Noble (R-Northville), which would maintain the percentage of student growth factored into teacher and administrator evaluations at 25%; and a K-12 supplemental budget bill that has yet to be revealed.