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DashBoard, May 6, 2015

Last year, Michigan’s Legislature passed a set of updates to our state’s Freedom of Information Act (House Bill 4001). These updates become effective on July 1, 2015, and school districts will need to make some changes to their current practices in order to be in compliance with the new requirements.

Last week, the Governor unveiled his plan to address the education and finance issues in Detroit.  Under the Governor’s plan a new school district, the City of Detroit Education District, would be established to oversee the education of students and operations of buildings.  

It's back to the drawing board for the state Legislature now that voters have rejected Proposal 1. The ballot initiative would have collected about $1.8 billion in new revenue to fix Michigan's roads and invest in public education, local governments, and provide a tax cut for low income families by raising the sales tax from six to seven percent. But with that plan off the table, what happens now?

Submitted by Judy Wright, Consulting Partner, Plante Moran

It’s no secret that school districts across Michigan have been using all of their creative forces on a regular basis to balance their budgets. As a result of relatively flat funding, enrollment shifts and the recognition that the landscape may not change in the near term, districts have been doing an outstanding job of working collaboratively with one another to find ways to bring high-quality programming to students year in and year out.

DashBoard, May 14, 2015

Literacy and learning activities that encompass curricular ties and service projects, a cutting-edge cybersecurity class and an early morning exercise program were just a handful of the innovative programs honored at the 21st Annual Education Excellence Awards Ceremony and Luncheon this past Tuesday at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center in East Lansing.

Eight members earned the President's Award of Recognition in 2014, the highest individual honor in MASB's CBA Program. MASB staff asked each of these dedicated life-long learners to share a few thoughts. This week, we hear from Lynda Jackson (Wayne RESA) and Dawn Johnson (Lincoln Park Public Schools).

In last week’s DashBoard, we highlighted the changes to FOIA fees that will be coming in July thanks to Public Act 563 of 2014. This week, we will describe another significant FOIA change—in order for a school district to be eligible to charge fees for public records, it must set new procedures and guidelines for FOIA compliance and communicate those procedures and guidelines in certain ways.

I’ve been working with MASB for a little over a year now. During that time I’ve learned so much about board service and what makes board members effective. I was fortunate enough to be appointed to the DeWitt School District Board this past February. At first I thought, “I really don’t need much training. I’m around it every day. What can I learn that I haven’t heard about or can’t learn at the board table?”

DashBoard, May 20, 2015

The May Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference was held last week, and while the overall revenues for the state seem to be improving, the School Aid Fund revenues are slightly down.

OnBoard, which launched in January 2015 as an online information portal for new board members, recently received a 2015 Communicator Award of Distinction from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts. The site was recognized for visual appeal.

The 20 recipients of the 2015 MASB/SET SEG Foundation Education Excellence Awards are some of the greatest examples of unique and innovative public school programs in the state of Michigan. Over the next few months, MASB will share the details of each program, presented in alphabetical order by district. We begin with Ann Arbor Public Schools’ Skyline Writing Center.

Over the last few weeks, we have highlighted some changes to FOIA that will be coming in July thanks to Public Act 563 of 2014. This week, we will update and recap some of the timeline requirements school districts ought to keep in mind when responding to FOIA requests.

DashBoard, May 27, 2015

When Public Act 102 was passed in 2011, it amended the Revised School Code to include new requirements for teacher layoffs, recalls and evaluations. The changes generally required school districts to adopt and implement an evaluation system for teachers and administrators that annually measures job performance using “effectiveness” rating classifications.

The 20 recipients of the 2015 MASB/SET SEG Foundation Education Excellence Awards are some of the greatest examples of unique and innovative public school programs in the state of Michigan. Over the next few months, MASB will share the details of each program, presented in alphabetical order by district. This week we highlight the Rise and Shine program at Longacre Elementary in Farmington Public Schools.