Bob Kefgen's blog

Bob Kefgen's picture

This Week in Politics in 5 Sentences (or Fewer)

On Tuesday, the House Workforce and Talent Development Committee and the Senate Education Committee heard testimony (separately) from representatives of the College Board, who presented on the tools and supports available to students and educators through the College Board partnership with Khan Academy (e.g. free practice tests, linking Khan to a student's College Board account, individualized test preparation, etc.).

Bob Kefgen's picture

Reminder: World Language Requirements Change for Class of 2022

Scheduling season is here and—as many Principals are doubtless aware—the Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC) world language requirements change again for this year's eighth grade class. In 2014, the Legislature added language that allowed students graduating in 2016-2021 to substitute CTE or an additional credit of visual, performing, or applied arts (VPAA) for one of the two required credits in world language. This option goes away for the class of 2022, the cohort of students currently in eighth grade.

Below, we've reviewed the law, the relevant MDE guidance, and pending legislation to help Principals understand what options they have and what changes may be on the horizon.

The Law and Your Options

Bob Kefgen's picture

The Latest and Greatest on Your 3%

The trial court has weighed in, the state has distributed funds, and the Office of Retirement Services is feverishly sending out notifications to MPSERS members and updating their FAQ. So when are you getting your money, how much are you going to get, and is there anything you can or should do at this point in the process?

Let's review what we know…

Where Is the Money?

On January 22, the Court of Claims issued an order to ORS to return employee 3% contributions (with interest) to school districts. The ORS sent the money out the same day. Districts must now process these refunds, including handling tax withholdings and reporting.

Bob Kefgen's picture

This Week in Politics in 5 Sentences (or Fewer)

On Tuesday, Governor Snyder delivered his eighth and final State of the State address, setting the stage for the upcoming negotiations on the 2018-19 budget. For Principals, the most striking highlight of Tuesday's speech was an announcement that the Governor's budget recommendation is going to propose the largest foundation allowance increase in over fifteen years. Governor Snyder also talked a lot about skilled trades and CTE and the need to invest in those areas (but with very few details) and urged the Legislature to be cautious when proposing tax cuts (both chambers are currently looking at some version of tax cuts as we head into election season).

Bob Kefgen's picture

This Week in Politics in 5 Sentences (or Fewer)

The Senate Education Committee took testimony Tuesday on SB 727, a bill to eliminate the Basic Skills Test (currently the SAT) for teachers going through alternative certification programs…the argument being that the things being assessed may not be relevant for people transitioning to teaching mid-career (i.e. does a former translator who wants to teach Spanish really need to get a a qualifying score on the math potion of the SAT?).