Bob Kefgen's blog
For members who did not join us but want a rundown on the latest political happenings in Lansing, MASSP Government Relations Department hosted a Legislative Update webinar earlier this morning, which you can watch a recording of by clicking here or the slides here. The Senate Education Committee held their first hearing of the year this past Tuesday to discuss SB 27, a bill that would repeal the Michigan law that requires the identification of the lowest achieving 5% of public schools and allows for them to be put under the supervision of the State School Reform/Redesign Office (SRO).
Among the legislation that made it across the finish line during lame duck session was a package of bills that seeks to overhaul how Michigan handles zero tolerance suspensions and expulsions. Specifically, the legislation provides greater autonomy for school districts by easing some of the mandatory expulsion provisions previously codified in state law. As is often the case with state law, though, the way these changes was executed is not as simple as the intent.
The Governor's budget presentation is two weeks away, no education committees have met yet, and only a handful of education bills have been introduced, but the House finally announced committees this week and the Senate is already gearing up for hearings, so we have at least an initial indication of the direction things may head to start the 2017-18 legislative session.
The 2016 lame duck legislative session saw the passage of a significant package of bills aimed at overhauling Michigan's laws regarding the use of restraint and seclusion in schools. The changes DO NOT TAKE EFFECT UNTIL 2017-18, but it's important that Principals and other school officials familiarize themselves with some of the basic provisions of the new law in order to start planning mandated training and how best to implement changes where necessary.
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.