This Week & Next (May 23, 2014)

GLEP's Champions for Kids (1)

School Aid Budget Update
In the wake of the recent Revenue Estimating Conference in which a projected revenue reduction of $422 million for FY ’15, legislative leaders are close to reaching agreement on target numbers for individual budgets, including the School Aid Fund.  While informal discussions continued this week, formal conference committee action on the budgets will take place in the next two weeks. GLEP is confident the School Aid Budget will be reported in early June, and we continue to advocate for a bump in the per-pupil foundation allowance distributed via the 2x equity formula.

Dome #3

House & Senate Ed Committees Move Assessments from MDE to Treasury
Ratcheting up the volume in the ongoing stalemate between MDE and the legislature on the issue of student testing, on Wednesday the House Education Committee passed HB 5581 (Genetski) by a vote of 11-0 while the Senate Ed Committee passed SB 945 (Caswell) on a 3-2 vote. These identical bills move responsibilities for student assessment from the MDE to the Department of Treasury.  Please click here for a well-written column in yesterday’s edition of The Detroit News on the importance of quality assessments in public education, and click here for an updated look at the national landscape for student assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

AFC Policy Summit Highlights
GLEP’s Beth DeShone participated in the American Federation for Children’s annual two-day national policy summit, EdRevolution: Breaking Down Barriers to Choice. The conference was full of powerful speakers, interesting panel discussions and focused on the reason why we continue to fight for choice across the country – the children. Please click here for a video recap from the summit, which was held in Florida.

K-12 Education Finance Workshop in Lansing
GLEP’s Gary Naeyaert joined a “Who’s Who” of Michigan’s K-12 education policy advocates in a half-day workshop yesterday to focus on K-12 Education Funding in Michigan, hosted by the Education Policy Center at Michigan State University. Speakers included Paul Reville, Harvard Graduate School of Education and former Massachusetts Secretary of Education, on the Massachusetts Experience; Larry Miller, University of Washington, on Student Based Allocations; and Thomas DeLuca, University of Kansas, on Countywide School District Consolidation.  It was an enlightening and vigorous discussion, and you can click here soon to access the presentations.

Funding

Senate Passes Bill to Delay Teacher Evaluation
Last week, the full Senate passed SB 817 (Pappageorge), on a 37-0 vote, a bill to delay implementation of a teacher evaluation system from the present school year until the 2015-16 school year.  While not as comprehensive as the bills passed in the House (HB 5323 & HB 5324), this bill also reduces the weighting of student growth data to no more than 40% of a teacher’s evaluations.

Key Education Reform Items from Other States

  • ExcelinEd Commends Gov. Fallin for Standing Up for Oklahoma’s Students
  • Have Patience with Common Core
  • Louisiana Senate Passes Bill to Expand Choice
  • Campbell Brown: Amazing that school choice is somehow controversial
  • Next Week

    Monday, May 26

    • Memorial Day (Thank a veteran!!)

    Tuesday, May 27

    • Mackinac Policy Conference, hosted by the Detroit Chamber

    Wednesday, May 28

    • Mackinac Policy Conference, hosted by the Detroit Chamber
    • House Education Committee
    • Senate Education Committee

    Thursday, May 29

    • Mackinac Policy Conference, hosted by the Detroit Chamber

    Friday, May 30

    • Mackinac Policy Conference, hosted by the Detroit Chamber

    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!!

    Respectfully,

    Gary G. Naeyaert
    Executive Director
    517-281-2690