Is There a Deal on the FY ’15 School Aid Budget?
Education advocates have been waiting as appropriations leaders and key staff continue to meet “behind the scenes” to hammer out an agreement on the $13.8 billion FY ’15 School Aid Budget. It has been more difficult to reach consensus this year, perhaps because it’s the final budget to be prepared by retiring Sen. Howard Walker (R-Traverse City) and term-limited Rep. Bill Rogers (R-Brighton), both of whom would like to leave a policy legacy for future chairs.
Differences remain on how additional payments toward the unfunded accrued liability of MPSERS; “best practices” and “performance” categoricals will impact potential increases in the per-pupil foundation grant. Sen. Walker continues to push for a $150-300 per pupil increase while Rep. Rogers wants a $56-112 per pupil increase. GLEP continues to advocate for the greatest reduction possible in the $973 per-pupil equity funding gap. It is likely a conference committee report will be released and voted on (very quickly) by both chambers next week, before the legislature breaks for the summer on Thursday, June 12.
House Education Committee Passes 4 Bills
On Wednesday, the House Education Committee, chaired by Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons (R-Alto), passed the following bills, all of which we’re supported by GLEP:
- SB 66 (Proos) to require greater notification for students to incorporate CTE courses.
- HB 4725 (Olumba) to allow charters schools to create residential programs for at-risk youth.
- SB 644 (Hildenbrand) to adjust enrollment procedures at strict discipline academies.
- SB 817 (Pappageorge) to delay implementation dates for teacher and administrator evaluations.
Deficit Districts Decline and More at Joint Hearing
On Thursday, the joint Senate and House Appropriations Subcommittees on School Aid and the Department of Education heard a quarterly report and testimony from Superintendent Mike Flanagan on deficit districts. MDE reported that 52 districts were projected to end FY ’13 with a deficit while only 43 districts are expected to end FY ’14 with a deficit. This topic seemed to bore committee members, however, as the hearing devolved into rambling rants about how our standards are too high (Algebra II is destroying our society) but we shouldn’t require or expect 3rd graders to read proficiently. If GLEP wasn’t there, we almost wouldn’t believe it!!
20 Additional “Champions for Kids” Endorsed
GLEP’s announced yesterday an additional 20 endorsements in campaigns for the State Senate and State House of Representatives, bringing the total to 53 candidate endorsements in 50 legislative races across the state. Click here for the full list.
Should We Change How State Board of Education Members are Elected?
This week the House Elections Committee passed HJR GG, a resolution to change the state constitution to require members of the State Board of Education to be elected from eight single-member districts, rather than statewide. GLEP would prefer making the State Board of Education an advisory group and have the State Superintendent appointed by the Governor, like the other 15 state departments. But that’s just us.
Will Other States Drop the Common Core?
3 states have dropped the Common Core State Standards. Will others follow? Catch up with the experts today at 2:00 pm for a live webstream event from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and the American Enterprise Institute.
Ed Reform News From Around the Country
- Student Success Depends on Testing and Accountability
- SC Governor Signs Bill Requiring State to Replace Common Core
- OK Governor Signs Bill to Replace Common Core With New Standards
- Mississippi Board Approves State’s First Charter School
- Common Core State Standards Face New Wave of Opposition
GLEP in the News
- Early Literacy Bills Must Pass (Detroit News, June 4, 2014)
Monday, June 9
- GLEP Leadership Roundtable Event in Detroit
Tuesday, June 10
Wednesday, June 11
- GLEP Leadership Roundtable Event in Grand Rapids
Thursday, June 12
- Final Day of Legislative Session prior to Summer Recess (“In District Work Period”)
Friday, June 13
Do you support what GLEP is doing to improve education in Michigan? Please consider making a donation to help us continue our efforts, and all contributions are very much appreciated!!
Gary G. Naeyaert