This Week & Next (Jan 27, 2017)

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Betsy DeVos Confirmation Vote on Tuesday
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension (HELP) Committee has scheduled a confirmation vote for Betsy DeVos to become the next U.S. Education Secretary at 10:00 am in Tuesday, January 31. You can click here to watch the hearing live. As has been the case since she was nominated, this remains a bitter, hyper-partisan process with continued attacks from the left and the teachers unions who oppose Betsy’s support for school choice. The following are a few media stories and editorials from this past week:

If you’d like to support Betsy DeVos, please click here and send a quick note to the members of the Senate HELP Committee, which is scheduled to vote on her confirmation on Tuesday, January 31.

New House Committees Named – Meet Chairman Tim Kelly!
Earlier today, House Speaker Tom Leonard (R-DeWitt) announced House Committee Assignments for the 2017-18 legislative session. Congratulations to Rep. Tim Kelly (R-Saginaw Twp) for being named chair of both the newly-renamed House Education Reform Committee and the School Aid/MDE subcommittee. Rep. Kelly is a champion for school choice in the legislature, and we’re very pleased he is holding the gavel in these two important committees. Here is a list of all committee members:

House Education Reform Committee
Tim Kelly (R-Saginaw Twp), Chair
Pam Hornberger (R-Chesterfield Twp), Vice Chair
Julie Alexander (R-Hanover)
Kathy Crawford (R-Novi)
Daniela Garcia (R-Holland)
Jim Lilly (R-Park Twp)
Jeff Noble (R-Plymouth)
John Reilly (R-Oakland Township)
Brett Roberts (R-Eaton Twp)
Adam Zemke (D-Ann Arbor), Vice Chair
Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids)
Darrin Camilleri (D-Trenton)
Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit)
Bill Sowerby (D-Clinton Twp)

House School Aid and MDE Subcommittee
Tim Kelly (R-Saginaw Township), Chair
Shawn Hernandez (R-Port Huron), Vice Chair
Chris Afendoulis (R, Grand Rapids)
Sue Allor (R-Alpena)
Ed Canfield (R-Sebewaing)
Larry Inman (R-Traverse City)
Aaron Miller (R-Sturgis)
Robert Kosowski (D-Westland), Vice Chair
Tom Cochran (D-Mason)
Pam Faris (D-Flint)
Kristy Pagan (D-Canton)

Failing School Fallout
There’s been plenty of angst and activity since the State Reform Office released the list of 38 chronically-failing schools in the state last Friday, as these schools are eligible for enhanced intervention or closure by the state.  We wish there was as much energy and outrage focused on the fact that so many schools have been failing so many students for so many years. On Wednesday GLEP’s Gary Naeyaert was interviewed by Frank Beckman on WJR to discuss the state’s approach to failing schools.  And in case you missed it, last week a new federal research report showed that $7 billion was spent on school improvement efforts that resulted in no improvement in struggling schools. What do you think about that?

National School Choice Week Event in Detroit Friday!!
GLEP, MAPSA and the Mackinac Center are hosting a major event to celebrate National School Choice Week on Friday, January 27, 2017 at the Wright Museum for African American History in Detroit. The event features keynote speaker Dr. Steve Perry, founder and principal of Capital Preparatory Magnet School, Best-Selling Author, and Education Contributor for CNN and MSNBC. We’ll have a story and pictures next week.Click here to watch Senator Patrick Colbeck speak in support of National School Choice Week in the State Senate this week. You should also read President Trump’s executive proclamation for NSCW.

Education Reform News Clips

Next Week

Monday, January 30

Tuesday, January 31

  • 1:1 meetings with new Representatives
  • Betsy DeVos confirmation vote in U.S. Senate HELP Committee in Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, February 1

  • 1:1 meetings with new Representatives
  • Failure Factories: When Education Policies Desert Our Children, webinar

Thursday, February 2

  • 1:1 meetings with new Representatives
  • Private School Voucher, webinar

Friday, February 3

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
Executive Director