$400 Million Motivation To Reform Education

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

School isn't just a challenge for students anymore; it's a struggle for those who make the budgets and for those who teach, too.

"I think the school community has been very loud about how impossible it is to operate with this level of cuts," Governor Jennifer Granholm tells us.

With schools facing-- at the very least-- nearly $300 in per pupil reductions this year, there's a last-minute shred of hope. It's called "Race To The Top." It's a country-wide stimulus money competition that will require states to reform their education systems if they want to be awarded hundreds of millions of dollars to boost schools.

"This money is helpful because these reforms will be in place soon anyway, why not get money upfront to jumpstart it?" says State Superintendent Mike Flanagan.

Flanagan says the reforms needed for the money are changes that will help fix our broken education system. Some of the reforms would include giving the superintendent authority to intervene in failing schools, creating alternatives for certifying teachers and increasing the number of charter academies in Michigan.

"We are far better off because of these reforms. The money would be icing on the cake, but the legislation is a giant step," Flanagan says.

"I believe these reforms will be part of a permanent change for not just for Michigan, but other states," Governor Granholm says.

The first step in reforming education and getting up to $400 million in federal dollars has already happened; a Senate subcommittee approved reform legislation Tuesday. It could head to the Senate floor this week. And with the application deadline in January, we could be looking at some of the fastest reform in Michigan ever seen.

One of the Governor's spokespeople tells us U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan says there's no limit to how many states will be awarded the money; it's all about exhibiting true commitment to reforming education.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Chris Location: michigan on Apr 29, 2010 at 06:28 AM
    The government is making the schools worse. They are putting to much demand on the teachers, and students. Half the stuff that the students are required to learn will not be used in everyday life. They technology they use today is also putting a big increase in school budgeting. Technology has hurt our jobs, school, communication and every aspect of our lives.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 4, 2009 at 05:40 AM
    We should do reform, but it is because the education system is broken, not because we can get more funding.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 2, 2009 at 11:43 AM
    Does this mean that they have a better way to control the idiots in lansing to do what washington wants without paying the fools in lansing?
  • by Anonymous on Dec 2, 2009 at 05:47 AM
    One of the schools in Hillsdale Mi is closing.Many will be out of work,and over crowing of other schools class rooms will happen.This helps so much,right?So parents will be taking kids to school so they don't have to walk in the snow and ice,way across town to the schools still going.Due to high job loss in Hillsdale this helps how?Many have not got the money to do this.Closing schools is going to help the kids how?More will become jobless so this helps the economy how?Watch the new state police building go forth.We can surely afford that?
  • by Anonymous on Dec 2, 2009 at 05:29 AM
    Reform?Must mean many more will loose jobs in the education areas.That helps how?
  • by Doug Location: Michigan on Dec 2, 2009 at 05:06 AM
    How is making it easier to get a teaching certificate make education better? Seems to me that would make it worse. Less training makes someone better at their job? And with teacher layoffs here for some and coming for others in the state how is having more teachers helping anything? Just one part of this program that hasn't been thought through that well.
  • by Vikingstaff Location: Lansing on Dec 1, 2009 at 04:33 PM
    If this is an unprecedented race to reform in order to get federal money, I would like to see the details of reform. Reform for the sack of money OR reform because it is well warranted? Seems to me the jury is out for now on that question...
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