New State Superintendent Takes Job, Up to 3 Off-Days Per Week

At GLEP, we are fighting to give students innovative options in the classroom, our great public school teachers the resources they need, and voters the accountability from state policymakers they deserve.

To that end, we hope you’ll join us raising the alarm as the state Department of Education welcomes a new Superintendent – Michael Rice – with a contract granting him up to 3 paid days off per week between now and the end of the year.
 
We’re holding the Department accountable to deliver A-F grades for Michigan schools to every parent in the state, as well. Students head back to school in just a few weeks.  We’re committed to ensuring Lansing delivers them the best possible education.
/campaigns/sitesapi/files/images/648799522/BethDeShoneSignature_sm.pngBeth DeShone
Executive Director, Great Lakes Education Project
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“The Michigan Department of Education may choose to create confusion because the federal plan requires some different information, but there is no reason that should stop them from providing that information in a more transparent fashion for parents.”
 
“Our students bring home report cards each year so parents can monitor their progress. Families deserve the same level of transparency and accountability from their children’s schools.”
 
“People tend not to think about back-to-school shopping as an event like Christmas or Black Friday, but it is by far bigger than the winter holidays,” Mark Mathews, vice president of research development and industry analysis for the National Retail Federation, told MLive in an interview.”
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State Board Gives Incoming Superintendent 66 Paid Days Off in 2019, Almost 6 Times Number Given Most Public School Teachers

Michael Rice last week became the state’s new Superintendent of public education, and the state Board of Education welcomed him with a gold-plated pay and benefits package big enough that if invested differently, could hire six (6!) new public school teachers.

 
Most outrageous?  The $216,000 annual contract offered by State Board of Education Chair Casandra Ulbrich immediately gives Mr. Rice 36 days of sick leave and 30 days of vacation time.  Under the contract, Rice could work as few as 2 days per week between August 1st – his first day on the job – and the end of the year.
 
According to an analysis by the Thomas Fordham Institute, teachers get on average about 12 combined sick and personal days per year, less than one-fifth the amount given Rice before he spends a single hour on the job.
 
Michael Rice’s gold-plated pay and benefits package is a slap in the face to public school teachers and students across the state, and he should give it back. 
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Michigan parents are expected to spend nearly $700 over the next month as they prepare their students to head back to school.  Parents invest in our schools and they invest in our teachers, because they deserve it.
 
Rice’s contract tells teachers and administrators where the State Board of Education’s priorities really lie – and that from the start they have no real plan to hold the Superintendent accountable. (It’d be hard to hold any employee accountable when you give him 3 paid off-days per week.)
 
The state could hire 6 new teachers, complete with benefits for what the Board of Education is spending to butter up the next Superintendent.  The Board is unprepared and ill-equipped to do the right thing, but Michael Rice still has that opportunity.  Rice can prove to teachers they really matter to him by refusing the Board’s plan to make him rich on the backs of Michigan students.
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Contact the state Board of Education today and ask them to reverse course on the Superintendent’s outrageous, gold-plated benefits package.
You go out of your way to fully invest in your child’s education. The Board should not divert hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay an employee it only expects to work 2 days per week.