Stacks of old arguments resurfaced Thursday as a pair of House
Republicans proposed moving career, technical and adult education
programs back to the Department of Education.   But the proposal appears
to have a good future with at least conceptual support from education

Rep. Judy Emmons (R-Sheridan) and Rep. Leslie Mortimer (R-Horton),
repeating arguments made in favor of moving the programs out of the
Department of Education in 1999, said their current home in the
Department of Labor and Economic Growth is too busy to give them proper

"When you get a department the size of DLEG, their efforts are
diluted," Ms. Emmons said.

Ms. Mortimer said currently many of those in charge of career and adult
education are also saddled with other tasks.   "We need this to be their
entire focus," she said.

The two said the Department of Education, already focused on education,
would be the best place to house these education programs.   "The fact
is education issues should be in an education setting," Ms. Emmons said.
  Similar arguments were raised by the education community to oppose the
creation of the Department of Career Development that initially housed
the programs when they moved from Education.

Though both legislators said former Governor John Engler's executive
order moving them to the Department of Career Development was, at the
time, a good choice.   Governor Jennifer Granholm since combined that
department into DLEG.

Leaders of education groups welcomed the proposal, noting that such a
move has been under discussion since the state adopted new high school
standards.   Ray Telman with the Middle Cities Education Association and
James Sandy with the Michigan Business Leaders for Education Excellence
both said the move would allow for better coordination particularly
between career and technical education and traditional high school

"This is a big enough job we have to do relative to preparing for the
new high school graduation requirements (without having the efforts
split between two departments)," Mr. Telman said.

Administration officials had not yet reviewed the proposal and so had
no comment.

"We haven't seen the legislation yet, but we are interested in seeing
what is in it," said Education spokesperson Martin Ackley.