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Changes to School Takeover Bill Draw Criticism

Senate Education Committee
Senate Education Committee hearing

Senate Republicans have made several big changes to a bill that would have repealed and replaced the process used to takeover failing schools. But critics of the new piece of legislation said the changes are just another form of state school takeovers.

The new process would create a school transformation board made up of state officials and gubernatorial appointees. That board would oversee an improvement plan from school districts that continue to see Fs on state report cards.

Academic distress commissions would still takeover if a district doesn't see any improvement after six years.

State Rep. Joe Miller (D-Amherst) said this plan takes his original bill that focused on community learning centers and adds more state bureaucracy.

"You're bringing more money to education consultants. You're moving taxpayer money away from the children, away from the communities that need it the most."

Supporters of the new proposal said it gives local school boards more authority while still providing input from the state.