The state Senate on Thursday approved a measure that would allow public school districts statewide to set up all-boy or all-girl schools.
Advocates say single-sex schools would give families more educational options, improve classroom discipline and create a better learning environment for both boys and girls. But critics say the plan could be unconstitutional and could lead to educational inequality between the sexes.
The bill passed the Senate 33-5.
Voting against it were Democratic Sens. Liz Brater of Ann Arbor, Gilda Jacobs of Huntington Woods and Gretchen Whitmer of East Lansing, and Republican Sens. Bruce Patterson of Wayne County's Canton Township and Laura Toy of Livonia.
It now goes to the House. The House Education Committee passed a bill Wednesday that's similar but would limit single-sex schools to the Detroit school district.
Both the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Organization for Women oppose the measure. The ACLU says it might sue if the legislation, which it says would reestablish segregation, becomes law.