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DashBoard, Nov. 4, 2015

Last session, seven new laws were signed into effect that totaled more than $160 million in cuts to School Aid Fund revenue. There were 13 other laws signed last year that each had an indeterminate negative affect on local property tax and SAF revenue.

Four of MASB's new communication tools were recognized last week for outstanding achievement by marketing and communication professionals. The MarCom Awards is an international creative competition that received 6,500 submissions from throughout the United States, Canada and 15 other countries. LeaderBoard magazine took the top prize of a Platinum award; DashBoard received Gold; and the StoryBoard video newscast and OnBoard new member website were given Honorable Mentions.

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 least few months, MASB has shared the details of each program from their applications, presented in alphabetical order by district. This week we highlight the final program, Project LEAN at Van Buren ISD.

From July 2013 to June 2015, nearly 30 percent of superintendent positions in the state turned over and the majority of those positions were filled by first-time superintendents. The magnitude of this turnover combined with transitions on local school boards due to election reform will likely have far reaching implications for public education in Michigan. This report provides preliminary observations regarding the 2014-2015 transitions and identifies related considerations of which school board members should be aware.

DashBoard, Nov. 11, 2015

This Thursday, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on School Aid is holding a joint hearing with the House Education Committee on educational savings accounts (9 a.m., House Office Building, Room 519). This proposal would set aside a certain amount of funding for each student in an account that the parent/guardian could then use where they feel it is appropriate for their child.

A statewide survey of 600 likely general election voters found that the majority opposes both open and concealed carry of guns in schools, colleges, universities, daycare centers or early childhood buildings. Individuals with a Concealed Pistol License should not be able to open carry their firearm in these buildings/campuses said 69% of respondents, while 57% said no to concealed carry.

The House and Senate finally agreed on a process to increase funding for our roads and it was signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder yesterday. The plan includes annual use of $600 million from the state’s General Fund and $600 million in new revenues.

DashBoard, Nov. 18, 2015

The House Committee on Energy Policy recently passed a package of bills that would dramatically change Michigan’s energy laws. The package includes House Bill 4298, which will lead to the elimination of electric choice for schools and others.

The MASB Legal Trust Fund was established in 1975 to assist Michigan school boards involved in litigation having statewide significance. The Legal Trust Fund grants assistance both in the way of financial support and amicus curie (friend of the court) briefs to help school districts at all levels of litigation, from the State Tenure Commission up to the Supreme Court. With help of the Legal Trust Fund, boards of education can pursue cases they might otherwise have to settle because of the high costs of litigation. More importantly, every school board benefits when definitive answers are provided by the courts on complex legal questions affecting education in our state.

As many of you know, the changing banking regulatory environment, namely in the form of Dodd-Frank Act and Basel III, is forcing larger banks to turn away public fund deposits. This fact, coupled with historically low interest rates, is in many states, leading some public agencies to invest in credit unions. Credit unions are currently a permitted investment for Michigan public agencies. Here is what we think you should know about the suitability of credit unions for public funds.


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, Nov. 25, 2015

School board members in Michigan are preparing to deal with some of the more complex and nuanced issues they’ll be facing at the board table by participating in board member certification (CBA) classes. This year, MASB has experienced a record number of registrations for classes dealing with issues such as district safety, superintendent performance goals, board ethics and maintaining a focus on student achievement.

A Michigan high school senior, Hunter Hugh, spends much of the Thanksgiving break hunting with friends, Eagle-Eyed Ella and Forgetful Fred. On Sunday evening, when the group is ready to head home, they climb into Hugh’s truck, with Fred taking the backseat in the crew cab. Hugh drops Ella off first, then drives to Fred’s house where Fred unloads most his hunting equipment from Hugh’s truck bed and says goodbye. Unbeknownst to Hugh, Fred forgets to take his hunting knife with him from the backseat when unloading his hunting gear. Hugh drives home and unloads his hunting equipment from the truck bed before going to sleep.

The Legislature returns from its Thanksgiving break on Tuesday, and has a full list of items that have been rumored to be acted on by the end of the year. The following are some of the issues we are watching. Stay tuned for action alerts from your Government Relations team.

Submitted by Ali Payne, M.S. and Kathleen Schulz, M.S., CHES, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

When it comes to effectively containing long- term costs and developing meaningful employee engagement, aligning well-being strategy and culture is paramount. Knowing that every organization is different, and employees want and value different things throughout their lives and careers, determining the right path forward can be tricky.


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.