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DashBoard, Nov. 1, 2017

State Superintendent Brian Whiston and the Michigan Department of Education will be entering into discussions with seven new school districts to develop Partnership Agreements with the goal of improving achievement levels at these struggling schools in Michigan.

Nothing seems to confuse school boards, or confound superintendents, quite like the Open Meetings Act. MASB’s Legal Department continues to field many calls regarding OMA compliance, especially from community members who are often attempting to report what they believe to be an OMA violation by their local school board. (Community members often hold the mistaken belief that MASB is an enforcement agency.)

Michigan is dead last in the nation when it comes to educating African-American students—that according to a new study. The 2017 Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children from the Annie E. Casey Foundation is the latest national study to paint a dismal picture of public education in Michigan.

Recently, President Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans proposed a new tax scheme that includes eliminating the state and local tax deductions on federal income taxes. Many believe that eliminating this deduction will have two significant negative effects. The first is the impact it will have on state and local government funding of public services. The second is the double taxation on taxpayers.

DashBoard, Nov. 8, 2017

Last week’s article on the Annie E. Casey Foundation report, 2017 Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children, may have felt like another punch in the gut. One more strike against our state in how we’re caring for and educating our children. That reality continues to be a hard pill to swallow when compared against all of the positive stories we hear about what is happening in our public school districts and the efforts being made by those in education-related fields.

The Revised School Code permits a local or intermediate school board to pay only “actual and necessary” expenses incurred by a board member in discharging his or her “official duties” or in performing “functions authorized by the board.” A board member who incurs an “actual and necessary” expense cannot be reimbursed unless one or both of the following procedures are followed.

On Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Government Operations held a hearing on Senate Bills 584-586. SB 584 would allow an individual with a Concealed Pistol License to request a special endorsement allowing them to carry a concealed firearm into no-carry zones, such as schools, day care centers, bars and stadiums. In order to receive the endorsement, an individual would need an additional eight hours of training and fire an additional 94 rounds. SB 585 amends the sentencing guidelines to reflect this change.

We're just one day away from kicking off MASB's 2017 Annual Leadership Conference at the Lansing 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 517.483.7436.

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.