Snyder wants to replicate school agreements with legislation

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder wants legislators to update Michigan’s school accountability law to allow for future “partnership” agreements that are delaying the potential state-ordered closure of low-performing schools.

Snyder said Monday the law could be “much simpler.” He wants to establish a warning system to more quickly identify underperforming schools and to formalize the partnership model.

The new agreements between the state and nine districts — including Muskegon Heights Academy and Kalamazoo Public Schools — kept Snyder’s administration from following through on a threat to close 38 schools ranked in the bottom 5 percent statewide for at least three straight years. Snyder says closing the schools was not the best option.

The districts will have up to three years to reach agreed-upon goals. Under the deals, districts team with local and state officials and others to turn around their schools’ performance.