Reforms will help give struggling schools a passing grade

LANSING—State Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, issued the following statement after the Senate approved legislation on Wednesday that fulfills reform requirements of the president’s Race to the Top program, which could bring $400 million to improve Michigan schools.

“The Race to the Top program provides an excellent opportunity to help improve our educational system,” Nofs said. “While we must ensure that the federal requirements are truly in the long-term, best interest of our students and schools, I believe the reforms contained in this bipartisan legislation are significant and necessary. Ensuring our children receive an high quality education benefits not just the student, but the community and the state as a whole. The funding this program provides and the reforms this legislation enacts will go a long way to improving education in Michigan.”

Race to the Top is a federal grant program that requires governors to apply to the U.S. Department of Education for funds to carry out reforms. To obtain the money, Michigan must pass critical education reforms before the program’s Jan. 19 application deadline.

The bills now head to the state House for consideration.