Bob Kefgen's blog

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This Week in Politics in 5 Sentences (or Fewer)

The House Workforce and talent Development Committee took more testimony on and reported out a quartet of bills (see our earlier article on the bills for details) that would make revisions to the MMC…all four of which passed the full House on Thursday and are now headed to the Senate. While MASSP opposes only one of the four bills, Director of Government Relations Bob Kefgen testified about the impact that the continual debating and changing of state graduation requirements and content standards is having on students and educators and asked the committee to consider what compelling reason they had for making yet another change.

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House, Senate K-12 Budgets Depart from Gov's Proposal

The House and Senate K-12 budget subcommittees both reported their versions of the 2017-18 School Aid Fund budget this week. But where the Governor's budget proposed some significant new school funding ideas, both the House and Senate budgets are closer to the existing system. This means that things like the cap on shared time spending and the reduced foundation allowance for cyber schools are not included in either budget, but at the cost of line items like the $50 per pupil allotment for high school students and some of the increases to At Risk funding proposed in the Executive Recommendation.

Breaking it Down

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This Week in Politics in 5 Sentences (or Fewer)

The first week of April will mark the beginning of the legislative spring break and, unsurprisingly, the legislature is scrambling to tie up some loose ends and check a few last boxes before they head home for a two-week hiatus. Little information has leaked about the details of what either chamber is going to put forward in their respective budget proposals (which are due out this coming week), but both the House and Senate K-12 budget subcommittees held their last week of testimony and will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively to report out their versions of the 2017-18 School Aid budget.

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More MMC Changes Debated in House Committee

The Michigan House of Representatives is once again debating changes to the Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC). A four-bill package was taken up for testimony this past Tuesday in the House Workforce and Talent Development Committee. Taken together, the bills (HB 4315-18) would make changes to the requirements around algebra II; world language; visual, performing, and applied arts (VPAA); and health.

The Bills

Compared to other efforts to amend the MMC, this package of bills is somewhat less sweeping in scope. Still, it represents yet another potential change in the ongoing saga of proposed MMC amendments. Here is a breakdown of each of the three concepts bing debated:

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This Week in Politics in 5 Sentences (or Fewer)

The public comment period on MDE's proposed Every Student Succeeds Act plan closed this week, but not before MASSP submitted feedback and the State Board of Education adopted a resolution during their meeting this past Tuesday to make a transparency dashboard rather than a letter grade system the default state accountability system if the legislature fails to enact something else. The State Board also made headlines when they adopted a resolution at that same meeting urging the Legislature to allow withholding of state funding from districts with Native American mascots, though the resolution has no impact on districts and legislation on the subject seems unlikely to make it through the legislature.