Bob Kefgen's blog

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Senate Ed Committee Talks Teacher Shortage

On Tuesday, the Senate Education Committee heard three different presentations on Michigan's teacher shortage. The Michigan Department of Education, Ionia ISD Superintendent Jason Mellema, and Mackinac Center Director of Education Policy Ben DeGrow each had a different take on the issue.

This week's discussion is the second time in three weeks that the panel has had serious discussion on the issue of teacher shortage. A hearing two weeks ago focused on HB 4421-22, a pair of bills aimed at addressing a subset of the teacher shortage issue: substitute teacher shortage.

Is There A Shortage?

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This Week in Politics in 5 Sentences (or Fewer)

The Senate was not in session this week, but the House took up enough education related issues for both chambers. The House Workforce and Talent Development Committee continued their discussions on the Michigan Career Pathways Alliance recommendations this week and took testimony on the five bills that were introduced on this topic last week (the chair indicated that there would be at least one more week of testimony before any votes were taken). The House Education Reform Committee met Thursday on a variety of bills.

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This Week in Politics in 5 Sentences (or Fewer)

The Senate Education Committee took testimony (though, unfortunately, did not vote) Tuesday on a pair of bills (HB 4421-22)that would begin to address Michigan’s substitute teacher shortage by—among other things—allowing recent retirees to substitute teach without districts having to pay a the hefty MPSERS fee they are currently charged…the timeline on this bill is unclear.

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Work Needed on New Career Pathways Bills

Following two weeks of testimony about the Michigan Career Pathways Alliance (MCPA) recommendations, five new bills were introduced in the House this week. The legislation deals with various topics related to CTE and is being couched as enacting the ideas outlined by the MCPA, but only some of the bills actually align with those recommendations and most will need work if they are going to help rather than create new problems for Principals and other educators.

That said, every indication MASSP has received in our early conversations with legislators and other stakeholders is that there is broad willingness to work collaboratively to address any issues and make the legislation helpful for educators.

The Bills

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This Week in Politics in 5 Sentences (or Fewer)

It was a week for controversial issues in the House and Senate Education Committees. The Senate Education Committee met briefly on Tuesday to report out SB 574, a controversial bill that would require that any county enhancement millages passed in the future be apportioned among all public school students (traditional and charter) where most current enhancement millages only go to traditional public schools.