Legislature Finalizing School Aid Budget
Now that legislative leaders have agreed on budget targets, we can expect a flurry of conference committee activity next week. We’ll be closely monitoring the $13.8 billion FY ’15 School Aid Budget, which is being addressed by Senators Walker, Kahn & Hopgood; along with Representatives Rogers, Haveman & Dillon. Major differences include how to address the exploding cost of MPSERS and whether to include “best practices” and “performance” categoricals or put these funds into the per-pupil foundation grant. The proposed foundation grant increase in the Senate version is $150-300 per pupil but only $56-112 per pupil in the House version. GLEP continues to advocate prioritizing the foundation allowance, reducing categoricals and using the 2x equity formula to eliminate the per-pupil equity gap.
This week included the annual schmooze fest for political and business leaders at the Mackinac Policy Conference hosted by the Detroit Chamber of Commerce. In education related news for the conference, Joel Klein, former NYC Schools Chancellor, talked up STEM in his keynote address but also pushed school choice as a great way to help kids succeed and Kati Haycock, founder of the Education Trust, spoke encouragingly about Michigan’s early education efforts.
Michigan Merit Curriculum Changes?
On Wednesday, the full Senate passed SB 66 (Proos), on a 36-0 vote, a bill to require greater notification of how students can incorporate vocational and technical education courses. At the same time, the Senate discharged HB 4465 (McBroom) & HB 4466 (Johnson) from committee directly to the floor as pressure mounts to pass these damaging changes to our high school graduation requirements. GLEP continues to oppose watering down the Michigan Merit Curriculum, advocating for high expectations and rigorous standards for all students. Stay tuned for additional updates on this.
Ed Reform News From Around the Country
- New Orleans Eliminates Last Traditional Public Schools (Don’t Forget Muskegon Heights!!)
- Facebook Founder Gives $120 Million to San Francisco Schools (Hey, what about Detroit?)
- Wisconsin Voucher Advocates and Opponents Debate Numbers
- The Common Core FAQ (NPR)
Monday, June 2
Tuesday, June 3
Wednesday, June 4
Thursday, June 5
- Senate/House Appropriations Subcommittees to hear from Supt. Flanagan on deficit districts.
Friday, June 6
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