This Week & Next (May 27, 2016)

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What’s up with DPS THIS week?
DPS bailout/reform remained the #1 issue in the legislature and the news media this week, that’s for sure. there continues to be intense negotiations amongst key stakeholders behind the scenes on the pending DPS bailout legislation. Here are a few highlights from the past week:

  • According to the Livingston Press, 934 parents oppose creation of the DEC, while the Detroit Free Press, 27 parents support inclusion of the DEC in the DPS legislation. We like those numbers.
  • A new public service announcement produced by the Mackinac Center asks Detroit parents what they think about the legislature trying to save DPS by limiting school choice and charter schools. Check it out below, and please share on social media!!
  • We understand Mayor Duggan hosted a private meeting at the Manoogian Manson last night where he put on his brass knuckles and strongly “requested” that any charter school operator who wants to have a future in the city will stand with him in support of the DEC at his press conference scheduled for Tuesday.

Governor Appoints 21st Century Education Commission Members
Gov. Rick Snyder today announced the appointments to the new 21st Century Education Commission, created by Executive Order 2016-6 to make recommendations for an education system that positions Michigan as a national leader in developing talent to address today’s economy demands. The 25-member commission includes representatives from the education, business, government, and nonprofit communities with a particular interest or expertise in education. The members, proficient in education system design at the state, regional, and local levels, will focus on how to best organize, govern, fund and hold accountable Michigan’s system of public education to achieve successful education outcomes. Click here for the full list of appointees.

FY ’17 School Aid Budget to be finalized on Tuesday
Conference Committees for the FY ’17 School Aid Budget and MDE Budget are scheduled for 12 pm on Tuesday, May 31 in the Capitol. With revenue estimates lower than anticipated, roughly $40 million is being trimmed from the $14 billion school budget, but the $60-$120 per pupil increases in the state foundation grant are expected to remain intact. We’ll publish more details next week, of course.

Ed Adequacy Study Deadline Now June 24 After State Fines Contractor
The state announced this week that is has not yet accepted the education funding adequacy study and sending the report back to Colorado-based Augenblick, Palaich and Associates (APA) for further work. A new due date was set for June 24, and according to a DTMB spokesperson, APA is being docked $5,000 by the state, per the terms of the contract and if the report is not completed by June 24, a penalty of $500 per day will be assessed until it’s submitted, dating back to May 14. Good. In a related development, it should be noted a Florida court recently ruled in favor of the state in a seven-year lawsuit over demands for increased education funding that originated from a similar adequacy study. It’s not difficult to predict where this issue is headed, folks.

Who was James Blaine and why does his bigotry hurt kids?
Have you ever wondered by so many state constitutions include prohibitions on spending public funds on Catholic schools?  Meet James Blaine, former Maine legislator and presidential hopeful who was a member of Congress on the mid-to-late 1800s. Doesn’t it seem ironic that in Michigan it’s perfectly fine to invest public dollars in private education for Pre-School (age 3-4) and College (age 18+), but we sure can’t do the same for students in K-12 schools (age 5-17). This archaic policy prohibition must be changed. Also, click here to read the latest academic research proving how vouchers improve educational outcomes.

GLEP candidate questionnaire available online
All 110 members of the State House of Representative are up for election this fall, and there are 40 open seats in what will be a high-turnout Presidential year election cycle. If you know someone running for State Representative this year, click here to access the GLEP candidate questionnaire. Candidates are only considered for endorsement by GLEP if they return our questionnaire – and the submission deadline for the primary election is June 1.

Education News Clips

Next Week

Monday, May 30 [MEMORIAL DAY]

Tuesday, May 31

  • Mayor Duggan Press Conference
  • Mackinac Policy Conference
  • 1:1 meetings with key legislators to discuss DPS reform

Wednesday, June 1

  • Mackinac Policy Conference
  • FY ’17 School Aid and MDE Budget Conference Committees
  • 1:1 meetings with key legislators to discuss DPS reform

Thursday, June 2

  • House Education Committee
  • Mackinac Policy Conference
  • 1:1 meetings with key legislators to discuss DPS reform

Friday, June 3

Do you support what GLEP is doing to improve education in Michigan? Please considermaking a donation to help us continue our efforts, and all contributions are very much appreciated!!

Gary G. Naeyaert
Executive Director