Bob Kefgen's blog
Governor Snyder spent a great deal of time during his 2017 State of the State speech talking about Michigan's financial and economic improvements since he took office. While he did not speak at length about education issues and didn't offer any specific new proposals, there were a handful of issues discussed that are of specific interest to secondary principals.
The legislature returned to Lansing this week to officially begin their 2017-2018 legislative session and while there were no votes, both chambers showed us some early indication of their priorities for the coming two years by way of the bills that were introduced first. Noteworthy among those, Senator Pavlov announced he will be introducing a bill to repeal section 1280c of the School Code, the law that governs state takeovers of low performing schools and forces the publication of a top-to-bottom ranking list.
The January 2016 Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference (CREC) projects that School Aid Fund revenue for next year's budget will be up approximately $326 million from the current year and future growth looks promising. Additionally, Michigan's long time statewide pupil decline looks to be slowing. But Governor Snyder may be proposing a massive shift in income tax revenue away from the School Aid Fund; the House is already set to debate a complete phase out of the income tax; and economic uncertainty looms at the federal level in the wake of the presidential election.
On December 28, Governor Snyder signed Public Act 233 of 2016 (SB 647), which will embed CPR and AED training as part of Michigan's health content standards for students in grades 7-12. Even though this change will not take affect until the 2017-2018 school year, many Principals are trying to get ahead of the curve and figure out what the new law entails.
A rather tame lame duck session wrapped on Thursday evening after two late nights, including one that went into the wee hours of Thursday morning. The legislature passed a flurry of bills, as is typical for lame duck, but the final picture looks pretty good for the school community.