Rep. Yanez: Lack of Transparency in EAA Expansion Bill Led to 'No' Vote

House Republicans resist measures to hold EAA accountable to voters
Friday, March 22, 2013

State Representative Henry Yanez (D-Sterling Heights) voted against the expansion of the Education Achievement Authority today because he said the bill, House Bill 4369, lacks measures that would hold the EAA accountable to students, parents and voters and offers no real solutions that would improve education in Michigan’s most troubled schools.

“Not taking the time to research and analyze the many options for true education reform is a gross oversight by the Republicans,” said Yanez.”This legislation makes our kids’ futures a bargaining chip in gaining points with special interest groups that will profit from this legislation and that is absolutely wrong.”

House Democrats offered several amendments that would have brought the EAA under the oversight of the state’s elected Board of Education and ensured that the workings of the EAA remain transparent. All of the amendments were rejected by House Republicans. The amendments also included proposals to:

  • Limit the terms of EAA members to four years
  • Subject EAA schools to the same testing and reporting standards of all other public schools
  • Require the State Reform Officer, with oversight from the state Board of Education, to determine which schools enter the EAA system
  • Ensure that EAA schools aren’t converted into for-profit charter academies
  • Subject the EAA to the Freedom of Information Act
  • Require the formation of parent groups in EAA schools
  • Require monthly meetings for EAA schools akin to the monthly board meetings held in every school district across the state

“Guaranteeing a quality education for all students in Michigan is not the top priority for Republicans in Lansing,” Yanez said. “If it were they would open this process up, be completely transparent and make themselves accountable to parents, teachers, and anyone who values education.”