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DashBoard, June 1, 2016

Michigan’s election and compliance laws can be a bit tricky as you begin your campaign to Get On Board. Whether you’re a rookie or a seasoned vet, the same laws apply and a refresher always helps.

On Tuesday, the conference committee on school aid reached agreement on the budget. It was supported by a vote of 4-2 with the two Democrats on the committee passing on the vote. Passage is expected next week in the Senate and House. The following highlights some of the sections we've been following for you with results from the negotiations.

More than 175 board members and superintendents from around the state came together Tuesday at the Lansing Center for the annual MASA/MASB Legislative Conference.

Submitted by M. Scott Bowen, Commissioner, Michigan Lottery

The Michigan Lottery has provided significant financial support for public education—$19.6 billion since it was established in 1972.

Fiscal year 2015 marked the ninth straight year that the Lottery has provided $700 million or more for education. The Lottery’s education contributions total $6.7 billion for those nine years.


VIP Focus articles are company-sponsored advertisements and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of MASB. It’s intended to provide Very Important Partners with a space to share information of value to you and your district.

DashBoard, June 8, 2016

For years, districts and MASB have fought for additional flexibility when it comes to state-mandated expulsion. Last week the House of Representatives took a positive bi-partisan step in granting districts this flexibility by passing House Bills 5618-5621 and 5693-5695. The bills are now before the Senate for consideration. 

Last week, the House made changes to its originally passed legislation to provide financial assistance and reforms to Detroit Public Schools. Once again, it took hours to get the votes pulled together and debate on the package didn't begin until 7:30 p.m. Thursday. The main bill in the package, House Bill 5384, passed with the bare minimum number of votes needed. 

It won’t be too long before the days are long, the temperatures are hot and students are on summer vacation. Some students look forward to days at the beach and time away from school. But a growing number of students take advantage of summer to earn credits before the next school begins and—probably without even realizing it—combat summer brain drain.

Students who take online courses learn and earn graduation credits and still have time to go on vacation with their family and hold a summer job.


VIP Focus articles are company-sponsored advertisements and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of MASB. It’s intended to provide Very Important Partners with a space to share information of value to you and your district.

Chronic absence is not just skipping school - it's more likely a mix of truancy entangled with illness and family problems. It's estimated that more than 5 million students a year are chronically absent. Read more to learn what one Michigan school district is doing to reduce chronic absence. 

DashBoard, June 16, 2016

As the 2015-2016 school year has now drawn to a close, we can begin to take a peek at some of the changes coming for next year with respect to district legal requirements and the like. One such change involves the revised evaluation law that took effect last year (MCL 380.1249) and its evolving requirements for the upcoming school year. An overview of the entire superintendent evaluation process can be found here.

The National School Boards Association’s Advocacy Institute was held in Washington, D.C., June 12 – 14. This was the rescheduled date from January when a blizzard forced its cancellation. Despite the change, Michigan was once again well represented with more than 50 members. In all, more than 600 school board members from across the country descended on our nation’s capital to stand up for public education.

The Legislature puts its final stamp on the school aid budget, Senate Bill 801, last Thursday night. It is now before Gov. Rick Snyder for his consideration and approval.

Despite MASB's attempts to have it removed, the appropriation for nonpublic schools was included in the version sent to the Governor. MASB has contacted him urging a veto of this language and we urge you to do the same. Tell him to veto Section 152b and the $2.5 million set aside to cover the costs of state mandates on nonpublic schools. Additionally, if your board would like to pass a resolution in support, you can find draft language here.

DashBoard, June 22, 2016

So you’ve decided to run for your local school board and have filed the required documents. Running for school board is slightly different than running for other local offices. Campaign spending is generally less, and the time for campaigning can be much less than campaigning for other offices, as there is no Primary Election, only a General Election in November of even years.

The Legislature has put its final stamp on the school aid budget, Senate Bill 801, and it is before Gov. Rick Snyder for his consideration and approval.

Despite MASB's attempts to have it removed, the appropriation for nonpublic schools was included in the version sent to the Governor. MASB has contacted him urging a veto of this language and we urge you to do the same. Tell him to veto Section 152b and the $2.5 million set aside to cover the costs of state mandates on nonpublic schools. Additionally, if your board would like to pass a resolution in support, you can find draft language here.

DashBoard, June 29, 2016

On the heels of the National School Boards Association’s annual Advocacy Institute where the focus was on the implementation of the recently passed Every Student Succeeds Act, there are many questions about where Michigan is in the process and the role school boards can play.

Although summer is upon us, some districts may still be negotiating new contracts with their bargaining units. As negotiations carry on toward the fall, the issue of what to do regarding the school calendar becomes a question. Often times, a “preliminary” calendar has been agreed upon by the parties, however the union may not agree to officially ratify the calendar until all other aspects of the collective bargaining agreement (i.e., compensation) have been wrapped up. This is common, and well within their rights.

On Tuesday, the completed Michigan Education Finance Study (adequacy study) was finally released. This study was required by Public Act 555 of 2015 as part of the package allowing for Proposal 1 that year. The study concluded that the total base cost for districts is $8,667 per pupil based on what they determined are “notably successful” districts.

Becoming a member of my local school board has given me a new appreciation for how difficult a leadership position can be; but we need good leaders now more than ever. I was thrilled to be part of some very unique initiatives during my first term and I’m going to be running this fall to keep my seat because I really want to see those through. Many of the decisions we’re making involve long-term goals, which really places a premium on board continuity.

School districts nationwide are facing budget dilemmas that are reaching crisis levels, forcing leaders to choose which much-needed programs or teacher positions to eliminate. A partnership with a building services provider can help resolve these crises without having to make those cuts. In fact, a building services provider saves its partners an average of 25% versus in-house services.


VIP Focus articles are company-sponsored advertisements and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of MASB. It’s intended to provide Very Important Partners with a space to share information of value to you and your district.