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School officials fear proposed "early warning" for troubled schools may hurt more than help

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

School officials are worried about the Legislature’s latest plan to help financially troubled school districts.

The state House Financial Liability Reform committee is expected to take up seven bills on Thursday that would create an early warning system to identify financially troubled schools. The bills would require enhanced deficit elimination plans and increase the cap on emergency loans to school districts.

Jennifer Smith is with the Michigan Association of School Boards. She says the concept is good, but she fears the result will not help struggling school districts.

“It’s simply another layer of bureaucracy on top the processes that are already there,” says Smith. 

Smith says lawmakers do not have enough time to really understand the bills with the lame-duck session winding down.

The state Senate has already passed the bills.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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