This Week & Next (June 12, 2015)

Jase Bolger Joins GLEP Board
GLEP is pleased to announce that Jase Bolger, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, has joined our Board of Directors.  Joining Betsy DeVos, Jim Barrett and Greg McNeilly on the board, Bolger will participate in leading the organization as we continue to impact policy, legislation, communications and political campaigns in Michigan. GLEP’s priorities remain to expand choice, improve quality and enhance accountability in education. Click here for our full press release.
More Media on Dissolving DPS
In the aftermath of Rep. Tim Kelly’s candid and open comments about the likely demise of the Detroit Public Schools, there has been an increase in media focus on the possibility the district may not exist for much longer. GLEP’s Gary Naeyaert was a guest on this week’s MIRS Monday Podcast and was also interviewed Wednesday by Dave Akerly on 1320 WILS AM. The focus of these interviews was to explore GLEP’s positions on education reform in Detroit, the School Aid Budget and teacher evaluation legislation.
Senate Ed Committee passes Steve Cook/MEA Bills
On Tuesday the Senate Education Committee passed SB 279 & SB 280 (Knollenberg), bills to eliminate taxpayer-funded leave time and pension spiking for private sector teacher union officials.  The bills became necessary when it was revealed that a vast majority of school districts actually use school aid funds to pay for salaries and benefits for teacher union employees as well as “golden parachute” boosted pension plans for the three most recent MEA Presidents. GLEP supports passage of these bills.

New State Superintendent Introduced to House Committees & OTR
Brian Whiston, who will become State Superintendent of Public Instruction on July 1, testified before a joint meeting of the House Education Committee, the School Aid Appropriations Subcommittee and the MDE Appropriations Subcommittee on Wednesday this week. Covering a wide range of topics, including student testing, accountability, and school choice, Whiston was careful to strike a balance between the desires of the legislature and the demands of the 6-2 Democrat State Board of Education, which will employ him. Whiston is also the guest on this week’s edition of “Off the Record” on public television stations across the state, and click here to access the broadcast.

Teacher Evaluation Bill Still in House Education Committee
The House Education Committee took another 2 hours of testimony yesterday on SB 103 (Pavlov), the teacher and administrator evaluation bill that has already passed in the State Senate. Key provisions of the bill include creating a framework for teacher and administrator evaluation, based in part on student growth and assessment data; local control for a district to choose the evaluation tool that best meets their local needs; and protecting the landmark teacher tenure reforms passed by the legislature in 2011. GLEP supports SB 103 and is working with committee members to ensure its passage. Click here to read a guest editorial in The Detroit News from MAPSA’s Dan Quisenberry and Oakland ISD’s Vickie Markavitch in support of the bill.

Florida School Board Association Drops Out of Lawsuit
Big news out of Florida – the Florida School Board Association voted 21-9 to drop out of the lawsuit against the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program. The lawsuit is currently in limbo after a judge dismissed the case on lack of standing, although the Florida Education Association is expected to appeal. Earlier this year, the Florida Association of School Administrators dropped its support for the lawsuit, which aims to shut down the state’s popular school choice program which serves nearly 70,000 students

Education News Clips

Next Week

Monday, June 15

Tuesday, June 16

  • Senate Education Committee: SB 279 & 280 (Knollenberg); Distressed districts bills

Wednesday, June 17

Thursday, June 11

  • House Education Committee: SB 103 (Pavlov), Teacher Evaluations
  • Senate Education Committee: SB 279 & 280 (Knollenberg); Distressed districts bills

Friday, June 12

  • Publish “This Week & Next” e-newsletter

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