Bill would give parents more power over low-performing schools

Capital News Service
LANSING– Parents whose children go to a low-achieving public school would have a chance to redesign its administration under a proposal by Sen. David Robertson, R-Grand Blanc. Currently, “priority schools” that perform in the bottom 5 percent as identified by the Department of Education are required to implement one of four intervention measures under the the state School Reform Office. The intervention measures are progressively severe, according to the department: transformational, in which the principal is replaced and comprehensive reform strategies are implemented; turnaround, in which the principal and 50 percent of the school’s staff are replaced, a new governance structure is adopted and new or revised reform strategies are implemented; restart, in which the school closes and reopens as a charter; and closure, in which students move to a high-achieving school in the same district. Parents whose children attend such a school and want to convert it would have to file a petition with signatures of 60 percent of parents, or 51 percent of parents plus 60 percent of teachers. At the same time, they must submit an application with the plan they would use to convert their school.