It's been about a year since the Michigan Legislature created an exemption from federal Smart Snacks standards for bake sales and other in-school food fundraisers. Since then, MDE has put in place guidance and rules. Some Principals may already be well aware of the new system (and most school nutritionists likely are well versed), but as we wind down 2015-16 and look back over the policy changes of the past school year, it seems worth reviewing where things stand.
Beginning in the 2016-17 school year, Michigan's new educator evaluation law, Public Act 173 of 2015, will link teacher certificate renewal and progression to evaluation ratings for the most recent five-year period.
Before they left for the summer, the Michigan legislature sent the 2016-2017 Education Omnibus Budget to Governor Snyder’s desk. Included in the budget was a new categorical fund that would provide $2.5 million to nonpublic schools to pay for the costs they incur in complying with state reporting requirements. However, the Governor can still use his line-item veto authority to strike this unconstitutional provision and we need your help to urge him to do so.
This week, Governor Snyder signed a bill that will mandate that districts include genocide education in the secondary level social studies curriculum. HB 4493, sponsored by Rep. Klint Kesto (R-Commerce Twp.), requires districts cover at least the Holocaust and the Armenian genocide at some point during grades 8-12 and recommends, though does not require, a total of 6 hours of instruction during that window.
The Michigan state legislature has recessed for the summer, but not before they moved forward on a plethora of legislation, both good and bad. On the up side: the 2016-17 School Aid budget is on its way to the Governor; legislation to expand the allowable uses of sinking funds to include technology and security passed the House; the House also passed a fix to Michigan's appraisal law to prevent the intentional devaluation of big box stores in order to avoid taxes.