Bob Kefgen's blog
Back in early October, I told attendees at the MASSP Principal's Summit that, depending on the outcome of the election, MPSERS reform was one possible issue that could come up during this year's lame duck session. Since then, I've lost track of the number of emails I've received with questions about what the legislature intends to do. With lame duck slated to start in just a few days, let's review what little we actually know and how much we don't.
Now is the time after the lightning flash but before the thunder. It's too early to say with certainty exactly what the election will mean for education policy in Michigan, but we can start to piece things together. We can also start to figure out what we know and what we don't. Here are some key takeaways for Principals from the election:
On Thursday, the Senate passed long-awaited legislation (HB 4388) that expands the allowable uses of sinking funds to include school security improvements and technology. This legislation has already passed the House and, because there were no amendments, the bill is now on its way to Governor Snyder for his signature. It is important to note that existing millages, as well as any millages that are approved this November, would be unaffected by these changes.
The House and Senate reached agreement this week on a 3rd grade reading retention bill, which is now on its way to the Governor. The final bill closely resembles the version that was voted out of the Senate this past spring and retains crucial provisions such as a parent opt-out for allowing students to progress to fourth grade and gives students a variety of ways to demonstrate proficiency so they are not unnecessarily retained.