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DashBoard, Nov. 2, 2016

As you are all well aware, Election Day is less than a week away. That means an end to the phone calls, political advertisements and mailings! But in your relief, don’t forget the real reason for the day—VOTING!

The House and Senate have passed sinking fund legislation that is expected to be signed by the Governor in the coming weeks.

Currently, school districts may ask their voters to start a sinking fund, which operates like a savings account. Local property tax revenue goes into the sinking fund to pay for real estate and the construction or repair of school buildings (see MCL 380.1212). By putting tax revenue in the sinking fund and saving it over time, rather than bonding, the district and taxpayers save money in interest and legal fees.

DashBoard, Nov. 9, 2016

Now that the election is over and the dust is starting to settle, the Legislature returns for its lame duck legislative session. The House and Senate are expected to meet for about 11 days before the end of the year. There are numerous issues, many of which affect the education community that could be addressed before the Legislature adjourns in December.

We're just one day away from kicking off MASB's 2016 Annual Leadership Conference at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center! If you haven't made your plans to join us, there's still time. Register in person starting today at 5 p.m. and tomorrow at 7 a.m. Full details about the conference can be accessed here and you can contact MASB staff at 313.568.8761.

If you're already planning to attend, we can't wait to see you! Take a look at our Know Before You Go information for some important updates and tips to make the most of your conference experience.

DashBoard, Nov. 16, 2016

From clinic sessions to Board Member Certification (CBA) classes to General Session speakers and Preconference Sessions, there was a lot of information to take in over the course of the 2016 MASB Annual Leadership Conference, Nov. 10 – 13, at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. And a lot of people to do it.

In the week since the 2016 election, there have been a number of unfortunate incidents in schools in Michigan and around the country. Instances of bullying, harassment, hateful speech and more have led to students not feeling safe when they walk through their school's doors.

For many folks reading this, you may be taking in your very first edition of MASB’s DashBoard. If so, congratulations! You’ve been elected by your community to help shape the future of your school district. You may also be asking yourself “what now?” Fortunately, your Association is here to assist, and the MASB Legal Department is only a phone call away.

DashBoard, Nov. 23, 2016

As school board members, both veteran and new, you are preparing to deal with some of the more complex and nuanced issues you’ll be facing at the board table in 2017. One way to get a "leg up" is through MASB's Board Member Certification (CBA) classes. A few learning opportunities remain over the next month in both the Upper and Lower Peninsulas.

Now: Get the word out! If the school district knows that a seat will become vacant on Jan. 1, it may start to advertise and communicate with the community about the open position. The board may collect and review applications of those interested in the position. However, the board does not have the authority to appoint anyone to the open seat until the vacancy actually occurs on Jan. 1. Also, take a look at your board policy to determine whether there are certain procedures the board must follow beyond what is outlined in our state statute.

It was another big turnout for the Delegate Assembly held Thursday, Nov 10, during MASB’s Annual Leadership Conference at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. As a member-driven organization, MASB delegates, selected by school boards, have an important voice in shaping resolutions and, therefore, the direction of our Association. This once-a-year event allows MASB’s members to consider, debate and adopt resolutions that affect public education and Michigan’s schools.

DashBoard, Nov. 30, 2016

Hundreds of school leaders from districts across Michigan gathered on Monday to learn how to stay in the black and get on the path to financial stability. The Treasury Department’s Office of School Review and Fiscal Accountability Conference was held at the Lansing Center.

Many public school advocates have raised concerns with President-Elect Donald Trump’s selection of Betsy DeVos as his Secretary of Education nominee. I have several of the same concerns.

Back in the Sept. 7, 2016 issue of DashBoard we brought to your attention updates by the U.S. Department of Labor to its overtime rules, with one particular “final rule” resulting in a potentially significant expansion in the number of employees who may qualify for overtime pay. This new final rule was to take effect on Dec. 1 of this year. Lusk/Albertson Attorney Robert Schindler also informed members at length regarding this topic at the Michigan Council of School Attorneys Fall Conference earlier this month.