Bob Kefgen's blog

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2015-16 Legislative Year In Review

With the 2015-16 school year in the books, Principals are hopefully enjoying some much deserved downtime and planning ahead for a successful 2016-17. Due to Lansing’s political whirlwind, we know it can be tough (impossible?) to keep up with everything that’s changing and make sure you adjust to changes in the law. With that in mind, we’ve prepared a review of new laws passed and a preview of a few things that may require Principals to adjust in the 2016-17 school year.

Looking Back

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Snyder to Appeal 3% Ruling Without AG

Governor Snyder's office announced this week that the state will appeal a recent Michigan Court of Appeals ruling regarding the three percent retirement contributions. While the announcement from the Governor's office is not surprising, what was surprising was an announcement from Attorney General Bill Schuette saying that he is declining to provide counsel in the case. The Republican Attorney General is openly preparing for a gubernatorial run in 2018 and this announcement is the latest in a series of actions taken to distance himself and his office from Governor Snyder.

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School Funding Study Says State's System Lacks Equity

On Tuesday, June 28, the state of Michigan released the long-awaited Michigan School Finance Study. The report was commissioned with the intent of determining how much funding it takes to adequately educate a student (i.e. get him or her to a level of proficiency on state standards) and whether Michigan's current system is equitable.

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Recapping The Rules For Food Fundraisers Under Smart Snacks

It's been about a year since the Michigan Legislature created an exemption from federal Smart Snacks standards for bake sales and other in-school food fundraisers. Since then, MDE has put in place guidance and rules. Some Principals may already be well aware of the new system (and most school nutritionists likely are well versed), but as we wind down 2015-16 and look back over the policy changes of the past school year, it seems worth reviewing where things stand.

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Urge Veto of Unconstitutional Private School Funding

Before they left for the summer, the Michigan legislature sent the 2016-2017 Education Omnibus Budget to Governor Snyder’s desk. Included in the budget was a new categorical fund that would provide $2.5 million to nonpublic schools to pay for the costs they incur in complying with state reporting requirements. However, the Governor can still use his line-item veto authority to strike this unconstitutional provision and we need your help to urge him to do so.