This Week & Next (May 16, 2014)

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GLEP's Champions for Kids

GLEP’s “Fair Funding” Presentation at State Board of Education
GLEP was pleased to make a presentation to the State Board of Education this past Tuesday on our proposal to eliminate the nearly $1,000 per pupil equity funding gap by creating a uniform foundation grant of $8,250 per pupil, while still investing $4.6 billion in targeted funds for special purposes. Click here to download GLEP’s full presentation.

foundation grant

Bean Counters Estimate Millions Less in Revenue
Yesterday, the Revenue Estimating Conference was held in Lansing, and this is the bi-annual meeting of the top bean counters at the Department of Management & Budget, Senate Fiscal Agency and House Fiscal Agency as the gather and compare their crystal balls to come up with an agreement as to how much money the state will raise and be available for the upcoming fiscal year. The news from this meeting was a bit grim, as the consensus opinion is that the state will be taking in $474 million less in FY ’15 than was estimated back in January. Now the real work begins in the legislative conference committees to finalize budgets and present them to the Governor. Stay tuned for news on the FY ’15 School Aid Budget, as all eyes are on how much the per-pupil foundation grant will be increased for next year.

Food Fight over Student Assessments Escalates
As further evidence of the ongoing stalemate between the MDE and the Legislature on the issue of student assessments, Rep. Bob Genetski (R-Saugatuck) has introduced a bill to move responsibilities for student assessment from the MDE to the Department of Treasury.  An important piece missing from nearly all of the media accounts here is that the legislature is looking to extend the MEAP for Math and English for two years while requiring the state to put out an RFP next fall for a next-generation test to begin in the 2016-17 school year. Every testing option, including SBAC, PARCC, ACT Aspire, NWEA, Performance Series, AIR, etc — all of which are aligned to the Common  Core State Standards and measure both proficiency and individual student growth – are still on the table.

Teacher Evaluation Bills Pass in Full House of Representatives
On Tuesday, HB 5323 (O’Brien) and HB 5224 (Zemke), bills to create a teacher and administrator evaluation system, were passed on a 95-14 vote in the House of Representatives. The bills are now on their way to the Senate, where they will be assigned to the Education Committee chaired by Sen. Phil Pavlov (R-St. Clair Township).

Want to Supervise Failing Schools in Michigan?
All you need is a Bachelor’s Degree (any major) and two years of work expMichigan_Department_of_Educationerience, and you could make up to $123,000 to oversee the lowest performing 5% of schools in Michigan.  Now, we’re hoping the eventual candidate will have some experience in education or school improvement, but if you know someone who fits the bill, click here for the official job posting from MDE.  The deadline to apply is May 27.

Key Education Reform Items from Other States

GLEP in the Media

Next Week

Monday, May 19

Tuesday, May 20

Wednesday, May 21

  • House Education Committee
  • Senate Education Committee
  • Fundraising Reception for Rep. Frank Foster

Thursday, May 22

  • MSU Education Policy Center event re: Financing K-12 Education

Friday, May 23

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