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EAA Gets Expansion Vote from State House

FOX 47 News

EAA Gets Expansion Vote from State House

By FOX 47 News. CREATED Mar 21, 2014

The debate was fierce. Should the EAA be expanded from 15 to up to 50 schools? Both sides in the House of Representatives trying to get to that 56-vote majority.

In the end, the 'ayes' hit it right on the nose. Bill sponsor and House Education Committee Chair Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons, (R-Alto), says it's a victory for kids stuck in failing schools.

"We have a constitutional obligation and a moral obligation to make sure that all of our kids are able to receive a quality education," she said.

Pending a final Senate approval, it means consistently low-performing schools would be eligible for a takeover. Schools like Lansing Eastern High School, and that was on the mind of Rep. Andy Schor, (D-Lansing), as he voted 'no'.

"The EAA will remove local control," said Rep. Schor. "It will prevent parents from having a say in their kids' education. In addition to all that, it's an unproven model that we don't know if it's going to work or not."

Lansing School Board member Guillermo Lopez agrees and that's why he says the district is working hard to improve.

"We cannot fix things from the outside, in," he said. "We need to continue working and our district is at least in the right direction."

But time is quickly running out.

"The status quo is not working in these schools. Our kids have got to have a chance where they can learn," said Rep. Lyons.

The Senate could vote on the bill as early as next week.