Governor Proposes FY ’15 Budget
The biggest news this past week was Wednesday’s presentation by Governor Snyder for his proposed executive $52.1 billion state budget. This the first step in the annual legislative budget process, which will likely conclude in June.
As it relates to the $13.8 billion FY ’15 School Aid budget, it’s good to see the news media is rejecting the false rhetoric of the MEA, Mark Schauer and the Democrats and acknowledges that state investments in K-12 education are on the rise. From our perspective, the biggest issues to address include closing the per-pupil funding equity gap and appropriately addressing skyrocketing costs for the Michigan Public School Employee Retirement System (MPSERS), the state’s teacher retirement program (or the “Zombie That Ate School Funding.”)
As you might guess, some traditional school superintendents praised the budget while others came out swinging by claiming the Governor isn’t going far enough to help schools. It sure is hard to satisfy the BLOB, right Nerd? Please click here to read GLEP’s update on the School Aid budget.
On Thursday the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee held their first hearing on the $13.8 billion FY ’15 School Aid budget. Kudos to Sen. Howard Walker, Chair, for asking DMB officials why they reduced the expected MPSERS contribution for participating districts, which shifts even more of the liability to the School Aid Fund and non-participating districts.
MEAP, SBAC, ACT, NWEA (We need more acronyms!!)
On Wednesday, the Senate and House Education Committees and Appropriations Subcommittees on School Aid held a second hearing to review options for which test or assessment will be used to replace the MEAP next year and beyond. While MDE prefers the Smarter Balanced Assessment, which was approved in 2010, the Michigan As
sociation of Secondary Principals is leading a passionate advocacy effort to use ACT Aspire. GLEP continues to support adoption of a next-generation assessment which measures student growth, with a preference for computer adaptive models. Stay tuned to this one!!
Rejecting the Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations
Aren’t you sick of hearing that poor kids can’t learn? So are we. That’s why we were so pleased to read this story about yesterday’s third annual conference to focus on the impact of poverty on education, coordinated by Carolyn Shields, Dean of the College of Education at Wayne State University. GLEP continues to support rigorous standards and high expectations for all Michigan children. Anything less is unfair and unacceptable for both kids and families.
Was Lincoln a Liberal?
If you’re into that kind of thing, Michael Petrelli from the Fordham Institute today published a new column called “Lies, Damn Lies and the Common Core,” which takes a look at some of the false information being tossed around all over the country about these common sense standards. He leads with “frustration over our opponents’ seemingly unlimited willingness to engage in dishonest debate. And then he gets testy.
Good News for a Detroit Charter
Thanks to TV host Ellen DeGeneres for contributing another $25,000 this week to Detroit Achievement Academy to support their 2nd grade expansion, which you can see in this clip. She must really like the ways those kids dance!!
Looking Ahead to Next Week
That’s all for this week. Take Care!!