Rep. Dianda: 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 Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) 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.

“I have always been a supporter and promoter of education needing to be a top priority in this state,” said Dianda. “This bill is another example of a rushed piece of legislation that I fear is being passed to placate special interests and without our kids’ futures in mind.”

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

“How our children are being educated and who makes those decisions should not be decided without the utmost accountability and transparency to the people of Michigan,” said Dianda. “This legislation has none of that and the real victims of the EAA in its current form won’t be the legislators that voted for it, but our children.”