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School Officials, Democrats: Snyder School Reform Chief Won’t Meet

Jake Neher/WDET

Democrats and local officials in some cities say they’re getting the cold shoulder from the state’s school turnaround chief. 

In Lansing, school officials say Gov. Rick Snyder’s School Reform Officer, Natasha Baker, refused to meet with them because they wanted to bring an attorney. They’re seeking details of announced plans for schools with poor test scores that include shutdowns. They say the reform office is sowing fear and uncertainty as the school year is about to start.

Democrats in the Legislature are also crying foul. State Rep. Andy Schor (D-Lansing) sits on the House Education Committee. 

The whole thing is just crazy. This is where government is failing families and students at the state level,” said Schor. 

State Rep. Adam Zemke (D-Ann Arbor) is the ranking Democrat on the House Education Committee.

What’s going on at the state reform office and this unaccountable behavior has got to stop,” said Zemke.

He says the School Reform Office acting in a secretive manner is disrupting the beginning of the school year for many families.

It’s going to send all of that into confusion and worry. That is ridiculous and should not be accepted by any state-level official.” 

When contacted, both Baker and a spokesperson for the School Reform Office would not comment on the complaints.

Image credit: michigan.gov

About the Author

Rick Pluta

REPORTER / PRODUCER - MICHIGAN PUBLIC RADIO NETWORK

Rick Pluta has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.

Follow @rickpluta

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