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Bob Kefgen's picture

This Week in Politics in 5 Sentences (or Fewer)

The K-12 budget appropriations subcommittees in both chambers continued testimony this week on various components of the Governor's budget proposal from Michigan's Math & Science Centers Network to regional data hubs. The Senate Families, Seniors and Human Services Committee voted out SB 103-106, a problematic package of bills that would impose common, statewide definitions around truancy and absence and prescribe steps districts would have to take in the case of chronic absenteeism, but without addressing long-standing concerns from educators including a lack of follow-up from the legal system or the loophole related to home schooled students.

Bob Kefgen's picture

This Week in Politics in 5 Sentences (or Fewer)

Discussion is ongoing in both chambers related to school accountability systems and changing the current state law on intervention in academically struggling schools (this marks the fifth straight week for testimony in the Senate Education Committee and the second week for the House Education Reform Committee). Where these discussions are going to lead and what the timeline is for action is unclear…especially since school accountability is also wrapped up in the discussion on Michigan’s ESSA plan, which is currently out in a draft form for public comment.

Bob Kefgen's picture

This Week in Politics in 5 Sentences (or Fewer)

Early Thursday morning, the state House of Representatives defeated a bill that would have rolled back the state's income tax rate—at a cost to the state's general fund of over $1 billion—and put even greater pressure on the School Aid Fund to absorb general fund costs. The narrow defeat (52 yeas to 55 nays) came after a marathon session that started on Wednesday afternoon, but with at least three more months to go before 2017-2018 budgets are finalized, this issue could resurface.

Bob Kefgen's picture

This Week in Politics in 5 Sentences (or Fewer)

The fight over the Common Core has once again reared its head in Lansing. On Tuesday, both the State Board of Education and the Senate Education Committee heard testimony from Dr. Yong Zhao, a professor of education at the University of Oregon who, among other things, is a vocal anti-Common Core advocate.

Bob Kefgen's picture

Common Core Debate Resurfaces in House

Unfortunately, the debate over Michigan's academic content standards is heating up again in Lansing. This week, the House Committee on Michigan Competitiveness took up HB 4192 for debate, though did not vote on it. Anti-Common Core advocates abounded, though a roughly equal number of educators and other supporters of the current state standards spoke in opposition to the bill. No hearing is expected next week, but the bill is expected to reappear within the next month.

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