LANSING (WWJ) – Just ahead of the start of a new school year, a battle is looming over whether Michigan kids should be allowed to go to any school they want.
Governor Rick Snyder could be battling the school lobby in the state this fall when he proposes the idea of state-wide schools of choice. Under his proposal, a student from one district could attend classes in another district anywhere in the state.
“The Governor is opening up a real educational can of worms with this proposal,” WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick said.
The School Board Association and others are dead set against the plan, but Republican Representative Bob Genetski said it’s the right thing to do and not “a solution in search of a problem.”
“We’ve got an obligation to make sure that if there are seats available for kids from the outside, that they get that opportunity,” Genetski said.
“A guy from the school board just said this is a solution in search for a problem,” Skubick said.
“(Laughs) You know, every kid is different. Just because a kid grows up in a different district doesn’t mean that that’s the right place for that kid to get the best education for him or herself,” Genetski said.
Peter Spadafore, Michigan School Board Association Assistant Director of Government Relations, said there has been a push-back against the proposal at local school board levels across the state.
“We’re getting quite a bit of push back. We’ve had a longstanding at our association, its been the better part of the decade, that we do not support the mandatory opening of school borders. The board has been entrusted in making the decision for the district, and now the state’s going to step in and say ‘You have to accept children from all across the state.'”
Spadafore said the association will be asking key lawmakers to kill the Gov.’s idea of state-wide school of choice idea.