LANSING-Michigan's House Education Committee recently approved a bill that would allow the state school superintendent to grant waivers to schools or school districts that wish to opt out of the federal rule requiring them to hire only state-certified teachers.

Under the legislation, schools and school districts would not be able to request a waiver until their proposal received at least one public hearing and was approved by the local school board. The state superintendent would then have 60 days to decide whether or not to grant the waiver. The waiver would go into effect automatically if there were no decision by that time. Schools would be re-evaluated by the superintendent after five years to determine whether the waiver contract should be renewed.

Many reformers have criticized Michigan's stringent teacher certification requirements for dissuading well qualified individuals from stepping into the classroom to impart knowledge gained from success in the private sector.