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Meeting with Senate Staff Regarding Compulsory

On Tuesday, November 13th, I was asked to join Dave Michelson, MEA in a meeting with the legislative staff of Senator Brater. She has had for a number of years a bill that would raise the compulsory school age to eighteen, and wants to take a run at it again. Senate Bill 11 is her version. There is a House bill that is scheduled for a hearing in December.

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Nearly half of the Democratic lawmakers in the House have signed on as sponsors to legislation augmenting the health care pooling reforms put in place for public school employees during the budget battle earlier this fall and the chair of the Education Committee said he plans on taking up HB 5454 .

The legislation would essentially make schools with 250 or more employees, and not 100 as in current statute, open up their health care coverage for competitive bidding.

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Teachers and the colleges that prepare them currently face an array of standards depending on a teacher’s specialty and other factors. The State Board of Education asked the Professional Standards Commission for Teachers to boil all those standards into a single coherent document as one of the first steps for coming changes to teacher preparation program approval.

The board also supported plans by the Department of Education to ditch its current periodic review of teacher education programs in favor of requiring the programs to receive national accreditation.

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Governor Jennifer Granholm has signed the budget for K-12.

The School Aid budget is one of the larger budgets, providing $13 billion ($34.9 million general fund) for K-12 districts, intermediate school districts and charter schools. The budget is $900,000 ($90,400 general fund) smaller than the 2006-07 budget.

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Stop lawmakers from gutting new courses - Detroit News Editorial 11/12/07

Improving student knowledge should trump short-term savings

The state's tough new high school curriculum is the most important education reform in Michigan in a decade, but it's being threatened by politicians who are putting short-term savings ahead of the state's long-term interests. While other states and nations are rapidly implementing innovative education reforms to compete for knowledge economy jobs, Michigan lawmakers are considering major cuts that will undermine two of the most essential economic boosters: the new high school curriculum and state assessment.