LANSING, Mich. - State lawmakers will concentrate heavily on education reform in the next two weeks as Michigan attempts to nab up to $400 million in Race to the Top federal funding for schools, according to the Michigan Information & Research Service Inc.

The state's application for the competitive grant program is due Jan. 19, but a successful bid likely rests on whether Michigan enacts reform that allows alternative teacher certification, lifts charter school restrictions, creates a program to address failing schools and creates a means to link teachers to their students' standardized test scores, according to MIRS.

Legislation dealing with all of those issues is expected to go before the House and Senate education committees and then to the full Legislature in the next several weeks, MIRS reported.

House Education Chair Tim Melton, D-Auburn Hills, told MIRS that he's confident Michigan will receive Race to the Top funding if the legislation passes.

Michigan Information & Research Service, Inc., "All Race to the Top, All the Time," Nov. 30, 2009 (Subscription required)

Michigan Education Report, "State Ignores $600 Million for Schools," Nov. 13, 2009