Lawmakers weigh Michigan's "Common Core" program

Frank Burger, a biology teacher in the Carman-Ainsworth school district, is in favor of the new program.

Michigan teachers have been preparing to teach the new "common core" math and reading standards for the past three years. Many say cutting off the funding is throwing money down the drain.

The common core is a set of learning standards accepted by 45 states that would be taught in schools across the country but Michigan might be the first state to back out of the program.

School hallways might be empty during summer break but legislators are filling rooms in Lansing, weighing Michiganâ??s participation in the common core program.

â??Common core state standards are the best foundation possible for ensuring career and college readiness for graduates,â?? says Dr. Mike Flanagan, state superintendent of Michigan.

The program which has been accepted by 45 states and was adopted in Michigan in 2010 has a lot of support.

â??You would have a means of comparing Michigan with Alabama, Michigan with California, which I think is good,â?? says Dr. Richard Syreck, superintendent of the Saginaw Intermediate School District.

Educators say following a common set of learning goals will help Michigan students.

â??This would kind of level the playing field with kids---if they were to move from one district to another,â?? says Frank Burger, a teacher in the Carman-Ainsworth school district.

But some republicans are not fans of the program and are looking to cut funding.

â??They say we'll have a seat at the table, we own the table right now,â?? says State Rep. Tom McMillin (R-Rochester Hills). â??Before common core, we were the ones deciding what standards would be taught in our schools,â?? he adds.

Tuesdayâ??s hearing on the program is one of many ways lawmakers will decide if the program will stay in Michigan.

Local educators hope the money keeps coming.

â??This is a good thing and to scrape it and start all over I think is taking public education in the wrong direction,â?? says Burger.

The current funding for the common core program expires in August.