Supporters Call Education Legislation Bittersweet - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Supporters Call Education Legislation Bittersweet

Since 2003 there are 200,000 fewer kids in Michigan schools and that puts some school districts in serious financial trouble.

Tuesday the governor signed two bills into law to help find a solution for failing districts.

They are bills the governor says put children first.

"We have situations in our state, were they've had real issues within their school districts were typically a drop in student count and also on how the districts were managed."

So the governor put ink to paper to allow the Department of Education and Treasury to shut down schools that can't afford to stay open.

"You never want to be put in this position where you have to intervene so you make sure the kids are being educated and the parents know what's going to transpire," said Rep. Bill Rogers.

State Representative Bill Rogers, the bill's sponsor, says it's bittersweet legislation.

"Just by passing this doesn't mean that any school district is going to go there, but they also know that if they get in this kind of position that there is a mechanism out there that could cost them there school district," Rogers said.

"Sure Lansing is not affected now but what's to say the legislation doesn't change the law to include a district like Lansing," said board member Peter Spadafore.

Board member Peter Spadafore says Lansing can't be shut down under this legislation, the district is simply too big.

Spadafore says the Lansing district is actually in a position to offer help to other school districts.

"We posed to help districts in terms of purchasing in scale and things like that and we're very willing to partner with districts around the capitol region to make sure this doesn't happen in our own backyard."

If a school district is shut down under the legislation, students from that area will go to nearby schools, which would receive an increase in funding.

What would happen to the employees of those district, hasn't been addressed yet.

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