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Mackinac Center for Public Policy
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2009 House Bill 4787: Authorize failing school “turnaround schools” [charter schools]

Public Act 204 of 2009

  1. Introduced by Rep. Tim Melton (D) on April 2, 2009, to authorize the conversion of failing public schools into “turnaround schools,” which would be charter schools managed by a private charter school management company with a successful record. This would be one of the options the Department of Education could exercise when a school has failed to meet performance standards for four years in a row. Another would be to replace a failing school with a charter school within five miles. Reportedly this would apply to 30 to 35 schools statewide, mostly highschools.
    • Referred to the House Education Committee on April 2, 2009.
      • Reported in the House on June 18, 2009, with the recommendation that the substitute (H-3) be adopted and that the bill then pass.
    • Substitute offered in the House on June 25, 2009, to replace the previous version of the bill with one that revises various details, as described in the Melton substitute, which added some other minor detail changes. The substitute failed by voice vote in the House on June 25, 2009.
    • Substitute offered by Rep. Tim Melton (D) on June 25, 2009, to replace the previous version of the bill with one that revises various details that do not change the substance as previously described, and which lowers the proposed standards for schools to not be considered "failing" through 2014, but then sets them at a higher level thereafter. The substitute passed by voice vote in the House on June 25, 2009.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Tim Melton (D) on June 25, 2009, to clarify details of a provision that allows the manager of "turnaround school" to reassign (but not fire) an employee, notwithstanding union work rules that may limit this. The amendment passed by voice vote in the House on June 25, 2009.
  2. Passed 70 to 38 in the House on June 25, 2009, to authorize the conversion of failing public schools into “turnaround schools,” which would be charter schools managed by a private charter school management company with a successful record. This would be one of the options the Department of Education could exercise when a school has failed to meet performance standards for four years in a row. Another would be to replace a failing school with a charter school within five miles. The is tie-barred to House Bill 4788 (both must pass to go into law), and that bill was amended to expand the power of school employee unions to bargain for non-compensation related school management issues, such as decisions to privatize non-instructional services.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  3. Received in the Senate on July 15, 2009.
    • Referred to the Senate Education Committee on July 15, 2009.
    • Substitute offered in the Senate on December 9, 2009, to replace the previous version of the bill with one that essentially replaces the House-passed bill with the provisions of Senate Bill 925. The substitute passed by voice vote in the Senate on December 9, 2009.
  4. Passed 24 to 13 in the Senate on December 9, 2009, to authorize the establishment of “schools of excellence,” which would be charter schools authorized by either a local school district, Intermediate School District, a local community college or a state university. Existing charter operators in Michigan or other states that for three years have been given the state's highest designation would not be subject to existing state caps; up to 25 new or other schools (without a three year top score) could be authorized, of which three would be statewide "cyber-schools".
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  5. Received in the House on December 9, 2009.
  6. Failed 0 to 108 in the House on December 10, 2009, to concur with a Senate-passed version of the bill. The vote sends the bill to a House-Senate conference committee to work out the differences.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  7. Received in the Senate on December 19, 2009, to adopt a compromise version of the bill reported by a House-Senate conference committee. This would create a state "school reform/redesign" officer with the power to impose one of four school intervention models authorized under federal "race to the top" rules on a failed public school, which include either closing the school, imposing new management and personnel, or contracting with a charter school manager. This reform/redesign officer would have the power to revise teacher seniority and work rule provisions in an existing collective bargaining agreement (but not change pay scales of benefits). The bill would also essentially eliminate the state Algebra II graduation requirement, and increase the compulsory school attendance age from 16 to 18. Passed 23 to 8 in the Senate on December 19, 2009.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  8. Motion in the Senate on December 19, 2009, to give the bill immediate effect. The motion passed 25 to 1 in the Senate on December 19, 2009.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  9. Received in the House on December 19, 2009, to adopt a compromise version of the bill reported by a House-Senate conference committee. This would create a state "school reform/redesign" officer with the power to impose one of four school intervention models authorized under federal "race to the top" rules on a failed public school, which include either closing the school, imposing new management and personnel, or contracting with a charter school manager. This reform/redesign officer would have the power to revise teacher seniority and work rule provisions in an existing collective bargaining agreement (but not change pay scales of benefits). The bill would also essentially eliminate the state Algebra II graduation requirement, and increase the compulsory school attendance age from 16 to 18. Passed 65 to 33 in the House on December 19, 2009.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  10. Signed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm on January 4, 2010.

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