- Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed an executive order pulling control of the state's school reform office from the its Democrat-controlled Education Department.
- The office is now under the oversight of the Department of Technology, Management, and Budget, a move that he says will improve its functions.
- Some 138 schools with academic performance in the bottom 5% are currently under the purview of the reform office, which determines whether they should close, be transformed into a charter school, replace administrators and faculty, or become part of a state-run district.
One big thing to note here: The Department of Technology, Management, and Budget is, unlike the Education Department, under Snyder's direct control. With that in mind, it's not hard to see how moving the office to a department focused on budgets and lacking education expertise has been heavily criticized—even by people who support the school reform efforts, like state Board of Education President John Austin. Still, it has its supporters, as well. Michigan Association of Public School Academies President Dan Quisenberry praised the move as a step toward more effective policies and better accountability.
There are potentially parallels here with the ed power struggle in Indiana, where Republican Gov. Mike Pence has had heated battles with the state's elected education commissioner, Democrat Glenda Ritz, who has faced several attempts to strip her powers.