The following is the complete and official text of the Resolutions adopted by the MASB Delegate Assembly, which met at the Detroit Mariott at the Renaissance Center in Detroit on Nov. 10, 2016. Resolutions are the driving force behind the positions taken by the Association on issues important to public education and Michigan’s schools.
A. General Goals and Objectives
G-1.01 General Association Goals (Rev. 2006)
To preserve and enhance public education in our state and nation, the Michigan Association of School Boards seeks to improve the effectiveness of school boards so that they may better serve their communities and diverse student populations. To this end, the MASB supports the following major objectives: increasing board member effectiveness, promotion and advocacy for public education, continuous school improvement, and implementation of Association programs.
G-1.03 Increasing Board Member Effectiveness (2005; Rev. 2013)
The Michigan Association of School Boards recognizes that the survival of the concept of lay control of education and the effectiveness and efficiency of educational programs are directly related to the level of competence of individual school board members. To bring about a higher level of competence and expertise in the area of oversight and policymaking by individual board of education members, the MASB:
(a) Urges that local and intermediate boards, as well as county and area school board associations, continue to promote orientation programs for school board members and candidates as well as participation in the MASB’s voluntary school board member certification program.
(b) Offers its services to assist boards of education and county and area associations in the preparation of materials and development of programs.
(c) Urges local and intermediate boards, as well as county and area school board associations, to support and attend continuing education programs and conferences.
(d) Urges school board members to participate in state and national conferences to heighten the awareness of critical educational issues, to improve the quality of schools and educational programs, and to enhance every board’s ability to garner support for public education.
(e) Urges local and intermediate boards of education to regularly review MASB’s Indicators of Effective Boards and Board Members to keep a grounded perspective on the role of the board of education.
The MASB shall provide a means of recognizing school board members who participate in its certification program and other activities to increase their effectiveness as school board leaders.
G-1.10 Traits of Effective School Boards (2015)
The Michigan Association of School Boards recognizes that boards that exhibit good habits and characteristics positively affect their districts and increase the effectiveness and efficiency for the educational programs. MASB encourages school boards to develop and adopt the following characteristics:
(a) Commit to a vision of high expectations for student achievement and quality instruction and define clear goals toward that vision.
(b) Have strong shared beliefs and values about what is possible for students and their ability to learn, and of the system and its ability to teach all children at high levels.
(c) Spend more time focused on policies to improve student achievement versus time spent on operational issues.
(d) Establish a strong communications structure to inform and engage staff and the community in setting and achieving district goals.
(e) Embrace and monitor data and use it to drive continuous improvement.
(f) Align and sustain resources to meet district goals and maintain high standards even in the midst of budget challenges.
(g) Establish strong collaboration and mutual trust between members and the superintendent.
(h) Take part in team development and training to building shared knowledge, values and commitments, sometimes including the superintendent.
G-1.25 Continuous School Improvement (2007; Rev. 2010)
The Michigan Association of School Boards strongly urges each of its members to be active participants to improve public education in Michigan. Each school board must continue to evaluate its own operators to ensure it is emphasizing educational excellence by making student achievement its first priority, exercising strong fiscal responsibility, utilizing best practices and demonstrating a willingness to look beyond current practices to support school improvement based on educational research.
G-1.30 Implementation of Association Programs (Rev. 2005)
The Michigan Association of School Boards recognizes its responsibilities:
(a) To endeavor to implement the resolutions of the Association.
(b) To carry out additional business as the Delegate Assembly or Board of Directors may deem appropriate for the accomplishment of the purposes of the Association.
Consistent with the resolutions, and under the authority of the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, the Board of Directors is urged to implement vigorously the purposes of the Association by whatever means the Board of Directors may deem appropriate. These methods would include, but not necessarily be limited to: spoken and written statements by the Board of Directors and officers; consultation with officials of governmental and quasi-governmental agencies; presentation of testimony before committees of the State Senate and House of Representatives; and utilization of the state courts, including the filing of amicus curiae (Friend of the Court) briefs.
The MASB also supports the operation of the MASB Legal Trust Fund in its valuable service of providing financial assistance to local and intermediate districts pursuing important litigation matters which have statewide significance.
B. Governance of School Districts
G-3.10 School District Cooperation and Reorganization (Rev. 2007)
The Michigan Association of School Boards encourages local, intermediate school districts, and public school academies to vigorously pursue program sharing, i.e., business services, transportation, payroll, cooperative administrative arrangements, and other joint efforts to improve public education services.
The MASB also supports the voluntary reorganization of public school districts through consolidation, annexation or other mutually agreed upon procedures approved by the voters of the districts involved.
The MASB urges that reorganization and cooperation be based on the best interests of and improved educational opportunities for students.
The MASB will continue its leadership role by urging the Legislature to provide assistance to public school districts considering annexation, consolidation, cooperation or reorganization.
G-3.20 Student Involvement in Educational Policy and Program Development (1999; Rev. 2010)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges that local school boards establish mechanisms whereby the views, needs, and recommendations of students can be carefully considered in the development of educational policies and programs, including the option of students as nonvoting board members.
G-3.30 Educational Accountability (1998; Rev. 2016)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports accountability systems that focus on improving student achievement including the identification of goals and performance standards. To benefit students and the school community in general, school boards in Michigan should make accountability and school improvement plans a priority in their local districts.
G-3.35 Site-Based Decisionmaking (Rev. 2007)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports site-based decisionmaking at the school building level with the participation of teachers, administrators, parents, pupils and community members as a means of making schools more responsive to the needs of students. Decisions made at the building level must support and promote the policies and educational goals adopted by the board of education.
G-3.40 Open Meetings and Records (Rev. 2005)
Believing that public trust and confidence are essential to maintain and strengthen a democratic form of government, the Michigan Association of School Boards urges all member boards of education and other public bodies and agencies to comply with laws calling for open public meetings and disclosure of public records.
G-3.70 Privatization (Rev. 1998)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports local and intermediate school board investigation of the use of privatization (that is, the transfer of some activities handled by school districts to the private sector) in noninstructional areas within the public school setting.
The MASB is opposed to any private activities that would allow control of our schools to be assumed by the private sector, including divestiture, vouchers, grants or the sale of school facilities.
C. Human Rights
G-4.01 Students’ Rights and Responsibilities (Rev. 2005)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges that all local and intermediate school boards, after involving those groups affected, establish written policies on students’ rights and responsibilities. The MASB further urges that all local and intermediate school boards establish due process procedures for the administration of these policies in order that the constitutional and legal rights of all students are protected.
G-4.10 Equal Rights, Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying (2013; Rev. 2016)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports equal rights for all, and the MASB urges immediate action by all district boards to adopt, implement and enforce policies protecting students from violence, discrimination, harassment and bullying for any reason, including but not limited to: race, ethnicity, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. The MASB also encourages boards of education to consider the State Board of Education’s model policy on bullying when they are reviewing, amending or adopting their local policy.
The MASB encourages boards of education to annually review their bullying policy and communicate a zero tolerance threshold for any such activity. Boards of education should also regularly explore effective methods to address bullying on the local, state and national level.
G-4.15 Gender Equity (2003; Rev. 2016)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports a gender‑fair educational system for all students. The MASB urges continuing action to eliminate any gender gap among students in all aspects of school programs.
D. Curricula and Instruction
G-5.01 Excellence in Education (Rev. 2008)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges local and intermediate boards of education to promote educational excellence in our schools by setting high standards for academic performance and affording each child an opportunity to achieve his or her fullest potential.
To develop the best possible program in school districts, the MASB urges that all boards explore the greatest possible use of best practices in teaching, improved management techniques, educational research and evaluation programs. The MASB also urges all boards to make available to other boards of education any significant findings as to results or effectiveness of such techniques and programs.
G-5.05 Student-Centered Education (Rev. 2004)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges school boards to put students first in all decisions as they provide educational programs and services.
The MASB also encourages boards of education to work in cooperation with other school districts and/or human service agencies, to design educational opportunities that address the individual needs of every student. This cooperation should include but not be limited to programs addressing the need for alternative education, as all students are unique and have different learning styles and may require different learning environments.
G-5.07 Disciplinary Education Programs (Rev. 2005)
The Michigan Association of School Boards encourages local and intermediate boards of education to provide an alternative disciplinary education program for those students who have been expelled due to disciplinary problems.
The MASB believes it is essential to include human service agencies and the judicial system in the design and financial support of alternative disciplinary education programs for this student population to address those issues outside of education that affect children today.
The MASB also believes it is important to continue the educational process for all students so that they may become contributing members of society.
G-5.08 Special Education (Rev. 2006)
The determination of appropriate special education programs, services, testing and the extent to which the student will participate in regular education programs should be determined by the Individual Education Program and be based on the student’s individual needs. A full continuum of program options should be available to every student with inclusion being part of the continuum.
The Michigan Association of School Boards encourages local and intermediate school districts to implement and support early detection and intervention programs to reach children in need at the earliest possible time. The MASB also believes that where inclusion is recommended by the IEP, the plan must include appropriate support services provided by the special education staff and appropriate training for the general classroom teacher, students and parents.
G-5.10 Character Education (Rev. 2004)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports cooperation among schools, parents and the community in helping and encouraging all students to develop positive character traits. Fairness, honesty, compassion, responsibility, civility and respect are essential in a free and democratic society where every citizen has personal and civic responsibilities in addition to inalienable rights.
G-5.15 Public Service and Volunteerism (2009)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports the inclusion of a public service or volunteerism component as part of a school district’s graduation requirements. Beyond the basic academic skills schools provide, it is also the responsibility of our education system to produce a civic-minded and engaged populace.
G-5.20 Curricula and Parental Control (Rev. 2006)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges school boards to involve parents and others in the community in making recommendations regarding the development of curriculum and selection of curricular materials, including textbooks.
School boards should not be required to provide students alternative curriculum materials or to allow students to “opt out” of classes or classroom exercises in core curriculum courses because of parental concern about the content of materials.
G-5.25 Instructional Materials and Technology (2003; Rev. 2013)
The Michigan Association of School Boards encourages school boards to:
(a) Work with publishers, the State Board of Education, and appropriate advisory committees to strengthen the integrity of the content and information in all instructional materials, including textbooks, software and technological aids including alternative formats, i.e., braille.
(b) Develop policies to assure the highest possible quality of instructional materials.
(c) Develop and implement a plan for integrating new and emerging technologies into the educational program.
(d) Develop a rigorous process that ensures and maintains high quality content providers, particularly those providing online and virtual services.
G-5.42 Assessment and Competency Testing (2005; Rev. 2016)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports the use of valid assessments to help all students meet their educational goals, as well as to evaluate schools, programs, curricula and instruction. The use of any assessment should provide a means to improve teaching methods, curriculum and to aid in the focus of professional development activities.
All assessments or competency tests should be unbiased, statistically valid, grade appropriate, and should make allowances for different learning styles. They also should include reasonable testing windows that do not significantly reduce the time available for student instruction.
The MASB supports consistency in assessments and competency tests required by the state. Longevity is needed in order to create clear benchmarks and support student learning.
All completed and scored state competency tests should be made available upon request to those districts where the tests were administered. The state should provide timely reports on the test-takers to their districts indicating at least the specific areas in which the test-takers did not attain a proficient score.
The MASB opposes the use of testing as the sole criterion for student promotion, graduation, school district accreditation, school funding or for the determination of school district success.
G-5.50 Post-Secondary and Career Readiness (2009)
The Michigan Association of School Boards encourages local and ISD boards to recognize the importance of ensuring that students are engaged in rigorous and challenging academic and technical courses. Such courses should facilitate student progression from secondary to post-secondary programs and into careers. MASB also urges continued restructuring, expansion, and funding of programs that:
(a) Incorporate existing state academic standards into CTE coursework.
(b) Increase student engagement through connected relevance to career skills.
(c) Coordinate academic and rigorous career and technical education delivery systems that are up-to-date with the needs of business and industry.
(d) Grant academic credit for curricular objectives learned in technical programs.
(e) Facilitate partnerships for student internships between industry leaders and schools.
(f) Develop employability skills, including dependability, the ability to work cooperatively, good communication skills, etc.
(g) Improve the transitions for students from high school to their post-secondary education and to the world of work.
G-5.56 Cultural Competancy (1993; Rev. 2016)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges its members to establish programs in their schools to foster awareness, understanding, sensitivity, and respect for persons of all cultures in our pluralistic society.
The MASB also encourages its members to make staffing decisions and provide appropriate training to assure cultural competency and historical accuracy in teaching and the promotion of understanding and respect for diverse cultures.
G-5.57 English Language Learners (1993; Rev. 2016)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports multilingual programs to ensure access to a quality education for non-English speaking students.
The MASB also encourages its members to translate school-related communications to parents of nonEnglish speaking students into their native language when possible.
G-5.70 Reading Skills (Rev. 2003)
The Michigan Association of School Boards in agreement with federal and state programs supports efforts to improve reading skills and erase functional illiteracy. The Association urges:
(a) Local boards of education to provide in-service education to assist teachers to be proficient in the teaching of reading and the early identification of reading difficulties.
(b) Local boards of education to develop programs promoting reading activities for students and encouraging school staff, parental and community participation in such programs.
(c) Local boards of education to encourage parents to spend time reading with their children to better equip them with the tools needed to excel in an educational setting.
(d) School systems to maintain remedial assistance at all levels of instruction.
(e) Teacher preparation institutions to provide adequate instruction in reading for teachers at the elementary through secondary levels.
G-5.75 Parent Education and Engagement (2002; Rev. 2016)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges its members, working together with other community agencies, to support programs that engage parents and educate them on student success and child development.
The MASB will work with other organizations and governmental entities to seek funding to establish and develop a program to improve parenting skills.
G-5.80 Adult and Community Education (Rev. 2002)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports adult and community education programs provided by public schools and community colleges. The MASB supports cooperation among local school districts, intermediate school districts and community colleges in the delivery of adult and community education programs so that the public receives the best possible services with the resources available.
E. Correlative Schooling Issues
G-6.20 Students at Risk (Rev. 2007)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges its members to adopt and implement policies and programs that will eliminate barriers to learning in our schools. This effort should be specifically directed towards:
(a) Establishing a supportive school climate to assist staff, classroom volunteers, parents and students in providing learning opportunities responsive to the total school population.
(b) Setting up an early warning system to identify patterns of school failure at their earliest levels.
(c) Emphasizing programs that utilize a broad range of activities to educate children and youth with different behavioral patterns, skill levels, interests, needs and learning styles.
(d) Guaranteeing that all children at risk of failure in school receive intensive educational and supportive reinforcement.
(e) Encouraging and promoting interagency services in the community to provide supportive services for children and youth to augment, improve, and enrich their performance in school.
(f) Assuring that schools, community services, law enforcement, the courts and others work in unison to create a rational framework for dealing with the problems of delinquent, abused, neglected and truant students.
G-6.30 Family Involvement in the Schools (2002; Rev. 2012)
The Michigan Association of School Boards believes that a strong working partnership between families and schools is essential to achieve educational excellence and develop to the fullest each child’s potential.
The MASB urges involvement in the schools through local parent-teacher groups, school community groups, neighborhood organizations, and participation in local school and district-wide programs and activities designed to increase family-school communications and involve families in the development and implementation of educational policies, school programs and the school improvement process.
School boards should encourage family involvement by establishing friendly, courteous and clear communications, up to and including workshops, to help families understand school policies, rules, requirements and procedures.
Schools should schedule meetings, programs and events so that all families can attend and provide child care services for these activities when needed. Collective bargaining agreements should be written so that school personnel will be available at times convenient for families/caregivers.
Schools are also encouraged to conduct background checks on volunteers, whether they are family members or not, to ensure children are not put in harm’s way during a school activity.
G-6.50 School Year (2003; Rev. 2011)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges boards of education to explore a variety of options for increasing the amount of time students are actively engaged in learning, including examination of the length of the school day and extension of the school year, including flexible scheduling that does not reduce instruction time.
G-6.80 Military Families (2009)
The Michigan Association of School Boards encourages its members to adopt and implement policies and programs that address the unique challenges to learning caused by the deployment of parents and family members. This should include training for appropriate staff on services offered through military family assistance centers, the Michigan National Guard and the Michigan State University Extension Services.
F. Extracurricular Activities
G-7.01 Student Participation (Rev. 2002)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges every board of education to encourage student participation in cocurricular activities. There are many valuable programs, both athletic and nonathletic, that schools offer to their students, and any additional involvement beyond academic classes can add to a student’s total educational experience.
G-7.02 School Symbols and Sportsmanship (Rev. 2002)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges schools to adopt school names, logos, symbols and mascots that convey positive images and that are sensitive to the diversity of all people, as well as their history and culture.
The MASB also urges its member boards to emphasize positive attitudes and behavior at all school functions by insisting on civility, goodwill and good sportsmanship among students, faculty and the community.
G-7.05 Interscholastic Athletics and Officials (1999; Rev. 2016)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges every board of education to adopt specific policies for monitoring interscholastic athletics. The MASB also urges its members to have a clear understanding and knowledge of the impact of Michigan High School Athletic Association rules on their districts and an understanding of the relationship between the district and MHSAA.
The MASB further urges its members to pursue every opportunity to ensure that:
(a) The rules, regulations and practices of MHSAA, including opportunities for participation, are applicable to all students on an equal basis. The rules should prescribe enforcement procedures meeting minimum due process standards and a mechanism for enforcement at the school district level.
(b) The governing board of MHSAA is elected through an open, informed process. The governing board should reflect the diverse student population of our state and should include representation from the school boards of participating districts.
The MASB also encourages school boards to use umpires, referees and judges for interscholastic athletic events who have participated in a training program that assures basic competencies in officiating skills and promoting good sportsmanship.
G-7.10 Training of Coaches (2008; Rev. 2012)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges all local school boards to:
(a) Employ qualified persons as coaches of interscholastic teams.
(b) Provide in-service training for all coaches, including training in first aid, current CPR certification, proper athletic conditioning, recognition of athletic injuries, including concussion prevention and awareness, recognition of the use of performance-enhancing drugs and the proper way to deal with hazing within the athletic programs of a school. Much of this training is available through MHSAA’s Coaches Advancement Program.
(c) Require supervision and evaluation of coaches.
(d) Make coaches aware of pertinent school policies, rules and regulations and require compliance.
(e) Encourage coaches to follow the athletic code for coaches in the MHSAA handbook and include information regarding NCAA eligibility guidelines and requirements.
G-7.20 National Athletic Tournaments (2003)
The Michigan Association of School Boards opposes the formation of national tournaments for high school athletics. The MASB urges local districts to resist efforts to enlist their support for, and participation in, these tournaments.
G. General Concerns Affecting Youth and Schools
G-8.01 Child Abuse and Neglect (Rev. 2002)
The Michigan Association of School Boards believes all children should be free from physical and psychological abuse and neglect.
The MASB urges local school boards to:
(a) Develop policies and establish procedures for early detection of child abuse and neglect.
(b) Establish policies to insure that school personnel comply with the child protection law.
(c) Promote the awareness of abuse and neglect through programs of prevention and education.
G-8.25 Environmental Protection and Educational Resources (Rev. 2003)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges local boards of education to take whatever measures are appropriate and desirable with state, county and other local levels of government to achieve protection and conservation of natural areas within or near their districts.
G-8.50 Community Responsibility and Involvement in the Schools (Rev. 2006)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges school districts to work in cooperation with the local community to promote a better understanding of one another’s needs and problems, and to identify and meet the needs of children and the schools. The MASB urges school districts to take the lead in promoting school community working relationships by soliciting ideas and help from the community in areas including curriculum, program design and delivery, policies, school safety, career development, citizenship, funding and other efforts that will enhance the quality of education and society in general. The MASB also believes school districts should foster volunteerism in the regular school setting to better engage the surrounding community members in the educational process. Ensuring the well-being of children is the joint responsibility of both the school community and the community-at-large.
H. Health, Safety and School Facilities
G-9.01 Health and Safety (Rev. 2000)
The Michigan Association of School Boards is committed to the safety and protection of the health of all persons utilizing or frequenting public school facilities, especially all employees and students. The MASB urges local school boards to continue to observe environmental, health and safety standards and practices so as to minimize and eliminate the possibility of illness or injury to any person. The MASB urges local boards to develop and review periodically a plan which will ensure that environmental, health and safety standards, practices and emergency procedures are being met.
In addition, the MASB urges Congress and the State Legislature:
(a) To carefully consider reliable data, based on scientifically valid studies, when establishing safety requirements.
(b) To provide grants and loans to help school districts monitor the condition of their facilities and premises and to eliminate health hazards from our schools.
G-9.05 Safe Schools (2004; Rev. 2016)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges school boards to develop policies and programs, including the teaching of nonviolence, conflict resolution and bully prevention programs, leading to a learning environment that is safe and free from disruption. Policies should also be developed to ensure that schools do not become listed as persistently dangerous under the Every Student Succeeds Act and a plan of action should be created and implemented if that designation is given to a school.
The MASB also encourages school officials to develop school safety plans and crisis intervention plans with parents, families, teachers, counselors, law enforcement personnel, social services workers and appropriate community resources and agencies to reduce, but also to be prepared for, crime and violence in our schools and communities.
G-9.10 School Bus Safety (1998; Rev. 2012)
The Michigan Association of School Boards, realizing the importance of providing safe transportation for our students, supports:
(a) Appropriate training and continuing education for school bus drivers, transportation supervisors, bus mechanics and others providing school transportation services.
(b) Adequate state funding to assist with employee training and to fully cover the costs of state safety inspections of school buses.
The MASB believes current federal standards applicable to the safety of passengers on school buses are appropriate. Accordingly, the MASB opposes a requirement that large school buses (over 10,000 lbs.) must be equipped with seat belts.
G-9.20 Crime and Violence (2004; Rev. 2016)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges its members to oppose the portrayal of crime and violence and its glorification on television, in films, videos and electronic games, the Internet and all other media. Local and intermediate school boards are encouraged to take the initiative in forming joint task forces with other governmental units and community groups and organizations to inform and educate schools and communities about the devastating impact of glorified depictions of crime and violence on our children and society.
The MASB also encourages its members to work cooperatively with media representatives and toy manufacturers to provide educational activities, including original local programming, which will counter the current alarming trend toward the increasingly frequent and intensive use of crime and violence as forms of entertainment for children.
G-9.40 Healthful Nutrition (2002; Rev. 2013 and 2016)
The Michigan Association of School Boards encourages school districts to offer healthful options in the food available through school programs and vending machines and consider the use of locally grown fresh food products; e.g., the USDA farm to school program. The MASB also believes all decisions related to such programs should be made at the local level with the input of school personnel, parents and other health advocates and professionals.
G-9.50 Health Curriculum and Policies (Rev. 2003)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges school districts to review and update their school health policies for the purpose of establishing written definitions of roles, responsibilities, policies and procedures for administering a school health program.
The school health curriculum should include disease prevention and control, personal health practices, nutrition, growth and development, family health, substance abuse, consumer health, safety and first aid, community health and emotional and mental health.
In addition, school health policies should focus on:
(a) The development of positive self-esteem.
(b) The prevention of substance abuse, by addressing the high risks associated with the use of alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, performance-enhancing drugs and other harmful substances.
(c) Providing assistance to students in obtaining information about weight control, nutrition, reproductive health, the prevention of teen suicides and other adolescent health problems.
(d) The importance of lifelong health and wellness.
G-9.55 Communicable Diseases (2010, Rev. 2015)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges its members to adopt policies for handling all communicable diseases. School boards must develop an educational program for school staff, students and the community to provide factual information about communicable diseases, their ways of spreading, means of prevention and clarification of any misconceptions the public may have.
The MASB supports vaccinations for school children who are able to be vaccinated to protect the entire school population but especially those that cannot be vaccinated. School boards should follow the guidance from the medical profession on vaccinations and monitor the shift in responsibility for those vaccinations from the schools to the health departments as required by the state.
In drafting policies on communicable diseases and vaccinations, school boards must balance the need to protect the health of the students and employees with the need to protect each individual’s civil rights and privacy.
G-9.58 Reproductive Health (Rev. 2001)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges all boards of education to take the initiative locally and give serious consideration to the establishment of elective programs on reproductive health, including sex education, hygiene, sexually transmitted infections, and birth control, while simultaneously following the procedures prescribed by statute and ensuring responsiveness to the needs and desires of their local school communities.
G-9.65 School Construction (2009)
The Michigan Association of School Boards believes that schools should use the “best value” methodology rather than simply a “low bid” process for school construction projects.
Accordingly, MASB urges that all school boards institute a procurement process, such as “qualification-based selection,” based on both qualifications and price in relation to the work to be performed. Incorporating qualifications into the selection process ensures that the design and construction providers are best suited for the project requirements.
The MASB also urges all school boards to adopt a “responsible contracting policy” that sets forth in advance, reasonable predetermined qualifications that contractors and subcontractors must show they possess before being awarded a contract.
I. Public Finance and Taxation
G-10.40 Local Financial Support (Rev. 1998)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges each local community to accept its continuing responsibility for supporting public elementary and secondary education through the imposition of local or intermediate school district taxes which, in partnership with the State of Michigan, will be sufficient to provide an equal and equitable educational opportunity for all public school children.
In order to assure continued improvement in public education, the MASB urges its members to assume a leadership role in encouraging all citizens and taxpayers to support an equitable and adequate method of financing public schools in every community.
G-11.01 Educational Research and Program Evaluation (2002; Rev. 2016)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports state and federal research and program evaluation projects that will make a positive contribution to effective teaching and learning in the public schools. These projects should be conducted by objective investigators using rigorous methods. Following the canons of the scientific method, all data should be accessible (within the limits of confidentiality), results should be reproducible, and all findings should be widely disseminated to the education community to ensure that the public funds are being spent on high-quality research and evaluation projects.
Furthermore, the MASB calls upon the Governor, the State Legislature and State Board of Education to review and consider the results of the education adequacy study authorized by Public Act 555 of 2015 to develop and improve programs and funding for public education in Michigan.
K. School Personnel and Labor Relations
G-12.05 Administrator Certification (1994)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports a state certification program for school administrators. The MASB encourages school administrators to participate in professional certification programs and recommends that local and intermediate boards of education establish hiring standards and continuing education requirements for administrators in their districts.
G-12.20 Staff Development and Evaluation (Rev. 2006)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports in-service training, enrichment programs and professional development programs for school employees. These programs must be designed to support and promote the educational goals of each school district and to improve the quality of teaching and other services provided by our schools. All school employees should participate in continuing education courses to improve their skills and knowledge.
The MASB encourages cooperation between boards of education and school staff, including administrators, teachers, other professionals and support personnel, to foster a mutually beneficial climate of trust and respect in order to improve staff evaluation and performance along with the overall well-being of our schools.
The MASB also encourages colleges and universities to provide programs of instruction for teachers and other school staff that are responsive to the needs of our public school system.
L. Intergovernmental Relations
G-13.35 State Agencies (Rev. 2002)
The Michigan Association of School Boards encourages collaboration and cooperation between the state agencies and local and intermediate school districts, especially in the area of education improvement.
A. General Goals and Objectives
A-1.01 Promotion and Advocacy for Public Education (Rev. 2006)
The Michigan Association of School Boards will endeavor to promote a greater citizen awareness of, and commitment to, the importance of public education and student achievement. To that end, MASB urges all school board members to be active in advocacy at all levels of government for public education.
School boards, on their own and through their regional, state and national associations, should play an active role to support legislation benefiting public education.
Awareness on the part of school board members of proposed legislation, administrative rulings and judicial action is necessary if effective, corrective measures are to be accomplished. The MASB urges each school board and area association to strengthen its grassroots involvement by developing a local, area or intermediate district legislative relations network to include board members in every state legislative and congressional district.
The MASB also encourages board members to actively participate in political activities including the pursuit of political leadership positions and voter information efforts.
B. Governance of School Districts
A-3.01 Intermediate School Districts (Rev. 2005)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports intermediate school districts in this state for the irreplaceable services they provide to their constituent districts and the students they serve.
The MASB opposes any attempt by the Legislature to change the current process of electing ISD board members by mandating popular election. Current law allows for the popular election of ISD board members and can be utilized without a further change in law.
The MASB further opposes any change in law that would add requirements, prohibitions or otherwise infringe on an ISD board’s ability to govern through board policy.
The MASB opposes any attempt by the Legislature to impede ISD board members or their employees from participating in professional development activities or otherwise carrying out their mission.
A-3.05 Financial Disclosure (Rev. 2000)
The Michigan Association of School Boards opposes any state legislation that would require candidates for local public offices and public officers at the community level to disclose all of their sources (or their family members’ sources) of personal income and debts.
A-3.10 Open Meetings and Records (Rev. 2005)
Given the uncertainties resulting from recent court decisions interpreting the Open Meetings Act, the MASB urges the Legislature to amend the law to:
(a) Ensure that public bodies may use truly advisory committees composed of less than a quorum of the body without requiring such committees to meet in open session as long as all advisory committee reports and recommendations are presented at a public meeting with opportunity for public comment before the body acts on the report or recommendation.
(b) Permit school administrators to conduct closed interviews of applicants for employment with a school district in any position other than superintendent. Any employment interview conducted by the school board must be open to the public.
The MASB also supports an amendment to the Open Meetings Act to permit consideration of the sale of real property in closed sessions.
C. Human Rights
A-4.01 School Prayer (1982)
The Michigan Association of School Boards opposes governmentally authored or sponsored prayer in the public schools.
D. Curricula and Instruction
A-5.01 Special Education (Rev. 2006)
The MASB encourages the Michigan Legislature and the United States Congress to fully fund the special education mandate. The growing number of students requiring these programs and the increasing costs of providing services has placed a tremendous burden on local districts. It is imperative that federal and state governments fulfill their obligations in fully funding this mandate.
A-5.30 Curriculum and Standards (2008; Rev. 2013 and 2016)
The MASB supports state guidelines for learning objectives and encourages school boards to establish core curricula based upon the Michigan Merit Curriculum. The MASB believes flexibility must be expanded within the Michigan Merit Curriculum addressing conflicts that students encounter when looking at alternative pathways, particularly in career and technical education programs. The MASB believes the local school board must have the final responsibility for decisions as to curriculum delivery or program.
The MASB also supports the implementation and adoption of the Common Core State Standards as developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to ensure consistent high level standards for every student no matter where they live.
MASB encourages local and intermediate boards of education to look beyond state and national standards in an effort to continually raise student achievement levels.
E. Correlative Schooling Issues
A-6.01 Compulsory Attendance (1994, Rev. 2010)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports maintaining the compulsory attendance age at 18, unless, before that age, a student graduates from high school or its equivalent.
A-6.10 Kindergarten Programs (2008; Rev. 2013)
The Michigan Association of School Boards opposes legislation that would alter the current minimum enrollment age requirement for the entry into kindergarten. The appropriate readiness for entering kindergarten should be made based on the individual student and a decision made jointly by the parents and the school district.
The MASB also believes that the mandatory age for enrolling students in an education program should move from the current age of 6 to the age of 5. The earlier a child is exposed to an organized education setting the more successful that student will be in later grades.
A-6.15 Early Childhood Education (2008: Rev. 2014)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports a greater focus on early childhood education, especially from birth to age five, in the public schools and other supportive community agencies, recognizing the economically sensible and socially responsible role it plays in quality education. The MASB urges that:
(a) Intermediate school districts work with the administration and the Legislature to take a greater leadership role in the education of children from birth to age five.
(b) Local school districts realize the vital importance of early childhood education programs in helping children achieve success in school.
(c) The State of Michigan continue to expand preschool funding to include all 4-year-olds regardless of income.
(d) The State of Michigan and local and intermediate school districts encourage and support interagency cooperation in providing early childhood education programs.
A-6.20 School Year (2003; Rev. 2011)
The MASB supports a school year incorporating no fewer than 180 days and 1,098 hours of student instruction and supports a change in state law that would reflect that minimum number. Days spent because of severe storms, fires, epidemics or health conditions, as well as time lost for staff development, conferences, and other noninstructional activities, should be made up in order to assure maximum instructional time for students in all districts.
The MASB also urges the Legislature to provide additional financial support to those districts that operate instructional programs more than the state-prescribed minimum number of days per year.
A-6.25 Post-Labor Day School Opening (Rev. 2006)
The Michigan Association of School Boards opposes current statute that prohibits schools from beginning classes prior to Labor Day.
A-6.60 Schools of Choice (Rev. 2003)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports parental choice in the public school system at the discretion of local boards of education and within the parameters set by each school board.
Any program allowing parents to choose schools must assure that:
(a) The program is not part of a federal or state voucher plan for financing nonpublic education.
(b) The program does not foster racial, social or economic segregation or segregation of disabled students.
(c) The program addresses educational, labor, financial and administrative issues, such as the stability and continuity of educational programs, grade levels, space limitations, transportation, extracurricular activities and collective bargaining.
The MASB opposes mandatory schools of choice requirements in order to qualify for state or federal funds.
A-6.65 Charter Schools (2005; Rev. 2012)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports innovative change in our elementary and secondary school system, including charter schools, defined in Michigan as public school academies, if they are established and operated as traditional public schools. Legislation authorizing charter schools in Michigan:
(a) Must conform with state constitutional requirements.
(b) Must limit the authorization of charter schools so that a charter is not granted to a public school academy that merely duplicates programs being offered in a school district.
(c) Must include a means of assuring public oversight and accountability, both with respect to the educational programs provided for students and the governance of charter schools.
(d) Must require charter schools to meet all academic, health, safety, open enrollment and other mandates applicable to public school districts.
(e) Must be limited, so that a charter may be granted only by the board of education of a local or intermediate school district.
(f) Must provide that the board that grants a charter to any entity to operate a charter school is directly responsible and accountable for the legal, fiscal and educational operations of every public school academy it charters.
(g) Must limit the foundation allowance of each charter school to the basic foundation allowance for school districts in the state.
(h) Must, when the charter is a cyber school, differentiate the student foundation level based on the lower cost of providing an online program, and also require operators of cyber schools to have previous experience delivering online learning.
The MASB also encourages boards of education to investigate whether chartering a public school academy would enhance the educational opportunities for students in their districts.
A-6.70 Home Schooling (Rev. 2006)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges the Michigan Legislature to set standards for home schools, including a state registration and monitoring system enumerated by county, which would ensure that each child receives instruction and services comparable to that provided in the public schools in the district of residence.
A-6.75 Online Education (2003; Rev. 2013)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports the creation of online education options by traditional public schools in Michigan to meet the individual learning needs of students. These systems should be developed to work in concert with the traditional system and could be a blended model or completely online depending on the needs of the district and the students impacted.
The MASB opposes any effort to amend state law that would remove the local board from the decisionmaking process approving online vendors that deliver content to students. MASB also opposes any attempt by the Legislature to mandate credit acceptance from online vendors that are not approved by the district.
H. Health, Safety and School Facilities
A-9.01 Mandatory Expulsions (Rev. 2009)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges the Legislature to amend MCL 380.1311 of the Revised School Code, to:
(a) Assure consistency in the application of state and federal law when students must be expelled for bringing a firearm or other weapon to school.
(b) Allow exceptions from the mandatory, one-year expulsion requirement so that shorter expulsions or a suspension may be imposed when circumstances warrant.
(c) Allow districts more options for the education of expelled students, including allowing another district in Michigan to educate the student.
A-9.05 Reproductive Health (Rev. 2001)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports legislation enabling boards of education, on a voluntary basis, to establish elective programs on reproductive health, including sex education, hygiene, sexually transmitted infections and birth control.
A-9.35 Substance Abuse Prevention Programs (2000; Rev. 2013)
The Michigan Association of School Boards encourages the State Legislature to amend the existing state law regarding confiscated drug related monies and/or goods to provide that a percentage of these monies be properly channeled back into the public school districts within the State of Michigan to be used for substance abuse training for teachers and substance abuse preventative programs for K-12 students.
I. Public Finance and Taxation
A-10.05 Opposition to Financial Support of Nonpublic Schools (Rev. 2002)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges its members and the public to oppose any proposal to subsidize or support elementary or secondary private and parochial schools through tax credits or deductions, vouchers or other direct or indirect payments.
A-10.10 Federal Financial Support (Rev. 2009)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges the president and Congress to recognize that public education is primarily a state and local responsibility, with policy decisions best determined at the local board of education level. The role of the federal government in public education must correspond with the funding provided. Local board of education control in public education is served best by a federal policy that:
(a) Recognizes attempts to balance the federal budget shall not be made at the expense of public schooling for children in this country.
(b) Establishes reasonable limits on the regulatory authority of the U.S. Department of Education.
(c) Fully funds all federally mandated programs, including testing, and distributes federal funds appropriated for supplemental, categorical programs on an equitable basis.
(d) Leaves primary responsibility for specific expenditures with the local school district so that such funds can be used to pursue educational priorities set at the local level.
A-10.15 Federal Spending Priorities (2009; Rev. 2015)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges Congress and the President to adequately fund federal programs such as special education and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Other federal assistance programs that are critical to states to achieve the goals of ESEA should also be fully funded.
A-10.20 Unfunded Mandates and Sanctions (Rev. 2004)
The Michigan Association of School Boards opposes any state or federal legislation that results in increased costs for school districts without full funding. The MASB also encourages the Michigan Legislature to oppose any federal laws or programs that are not fully funded thus costing the state valuable resources. Unfunded mandates only reduce the current programmatic offerings of a school district at the expense of the students.
The MASB also opposes using monetary sanctions against school districts in an attempt to achieve certain outcomes. School districts and students are better served when incentives are offered rather than punitive measures.
A-10.25 State Financial Support (2011; Rev. 2014 and 2016)
The Michigan Association of School Boards believes every child in Michigan should receive a comprehensive educational program. The MASB also believes that the State of Michigan must fulfill its constitutional responsibility to assure sufficient funding to support quality public education and an equal educational opportunity for all. State funding must be sufficient to provide a well-rounded educational program that includes, but is not limited to, the state model core content standards for students in all districts.
To that end, the MASB supports:
(a) Constitutional amendment to limit the allowable usage of the State School Aid Fund to PreK-12 expenditures.
(b) Continued reduction in disparities in per-pupil revenue among school districts, with a final goal of equal per pupil funding for all districts. This should be accomplished without reducing the revenues of any school district.
(c) Specifically dedicating sufficient state revenue sources to fully fund Michigan’s PreK-12 public education system. The current reliance on an annual appropriation from the State’s General Fund needed in order to fully fund PreK-12 education should be eliminated. In the future, if dedicated revenues are reduced, they should be replaced with other dedicated revenues.
(d) A legislatively funded school finance study that would clearly delineate the cost of providing a world class education to the children of Michigan.
(e) Requiring that prorated per-pupil funding follow students who transfer between charter schools and/or public school districts after the September student count.
(f) Funding for supplemental, categorical programs consistent with the state’s obligation to assist students with diverse needs as demonstrated by careful study and research. Such special programs should be funded in addition to the basic foundation allowance and should be reassessed periodically.
(g) Actively advocating for the continuation of at-risk funding on the basis of the current funding formula with a minimum of an inflationary increase each year, so that schools may continue to provide these services.
(h) The timely appropriation and disbursement of state funds so that local and intermediate districts can establish their budgets and maintain an adequate cash flow. All borrowing costs, either incurred by the state or a school district to enable appropriate cash flow because of the state’s payment schedule, shall be borne by the State’s General Fund. The distribution system needs to be returned to a system that awards districts all funds in the district’s fiscal year for which the funds were appropriated.
(i) Providing individual districts with the ability to raise limited local revenues for operational purposes.
(j) Full state funding for state-mandated special education programs and services. At a minimum, the state must fund these programs at the Headlee Amendment minimums. The state must not count per-pupil foundation grants against funding for mandated categorical aid.
(k) Financial support for alternative discipline programs.
(l) State financial support for the development and operations of alternative disciplinary education programs, since many students who require these services result from state-mandated expulsions.
(m) State financial support for early middle college programs.
School improvement should be a product of local needs assessment and planning, based upon the specific and unique needs of each community, with assistance provided by the state. Any attempt to restrict access of public school districts to the school bond loan fund is contrary to good public policy and should therefore be strongly opposed.
A-10.30 School Infrastructure Funding (Rev. 2003)
The Michigan Association of School Boards believes it is a fundamental responsibility of the State of Michigan to provide infrastructure funding to school districts to ensure equal educational opportunity for all students.
Educational research shows a significant relationship between the learning environment and student achievement. The MASB believes the Michigan Legislature should set as a priority, the infrastructure needs of the public schools in Michigan.
To that end, the MASB supports:
(a) State funding to assist school districts in replacing and repairing potentially unsafe school buildings and in upgrading facilities to include technological capabilities essential for education.
(b) State equalization of debt retirement levy.
(c) State assistance for the development of property to be used for school construction, including road construction, drainage, sewage disposal, water, and any other specific needs to make a site ready for construction.
The MASB also believes whenever the United States Congress and the president consider ways to revitalize the United States economy they should include federal support for school infrastructure in any legislative package that is presented.
A-10.35 School Fiscal Year (1996)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports retention of the current law establishing a school fiscal year beginning July 1 and ending June 30.
A-10.40 State Aid and Millage Rollbacks (Rev. 1996)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports legislation that amends the State School Aid Act or other legislation to guarantee that the state will make up any revenue loss due to the rollback (required by Section 31 of Article 9 of the State Constitution) of the 18 mill nonhomestead tax levied on a local level, which will protect the fiscal integrity and subsequent operating budgets of affected local and intermediate school districts.
A-10.45 Interest on School Tax Collections (1986)
The Michigan Association of School Boards believes that interest earned on school property tax collections properly belongs to the school districts. The MASB opposes legislation that would allow municipal and township treasurers to retain the interest gained on all taxes collected by townships and cities. Cities and townships should not be permitted to use interest earned from school funds to finance township and city operations.
The MASB also opposes legislation restricting the ability of local units of government to reach voluntary agreements on school tax collections.
A-10.50 Property Tax Assessments (1992; Rev. 2016)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports reform of the property tax assessment system to:
(a) Establish uniform, statewide property assessment practices and procedures.
(b) Appoint qualified and certified assessors.
(c) Assure that taxpayers provide assessors with information needed to facilitate an accurate assessing process.
(d) Strengthen the initial appeals process to encourage the settlement of assessment challenges at the local level.
(e) Properly assess commercial property at a fair rate for its current use to maintain the integrity of the tax system and local revenues.
A-10.55 General Taxation (Rev. 1996)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports a state tax system that produces the revenues necessary to support quality public education and other needed public services. The tax system should provide for an equal educational opportunity for children throughout the state and should be based upon equitable, adequate and diverse tax sources.
Any proposal to change, revise or otherwise affect the taxing authority of local and intermediate school districts must contain guarantees to ensure that no district will suffer revenue losses from state-imposed tax reform.
Any tax-cutting legislation affecting State School Aid revenues must provide for their direct replacement with revenue sources with long-term adequacy and stability.
Tax exemptions should be reviewed and, if not appropriate, eliminated.
Control over school district policies, responsibilities and operations by local and intermediate boards of education is of primary importance to any acceptable tax system.
A-10.65 Economic Development (Rev. 2008)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges the Governor and State Legislature to continue to take every action within their power to encourage the expansion of agricultural, forestry, commercial, tourist, technological, life sciences and industrial development in Michigan.
However, incentives must not reduce or limit revenues to the State School Aid Fund or other revenues critical to the infrastructure (educated workforce, streets, water, sewer, police and fire protection, etc.) necessary to support such economic growth.
K. School Personnel and Labor Relations
A-12.01 Public Employment Relations Act (Rev. 1995)
The Michigan Association of School Boards endorses Public Act 112 of 1994, which reforms the Public Employment Relations Act to assure an uninterrupted school year for our children and gives school boards increased control over expenditures and programs to better accommodate state limitations on revenues and implement state education initiatives.
The MASB particularly urges the Legislature to retain the following provisions of Public Act 112:
(a) The imposition of mandatory penalties against public school employees who participate in illegal strikes and school boards who engage in illegal lockouts.
(b) The prohibition preventing a bargaining representative or education association from vetoing an agreement made by a school district and the local union representing employees of that district.
(c) The protection of management rights and limitations on the scope of topics subject to the collective bargaining process.
The MASB is opposed to binding third-party resolution of negotiation disputes.
A-12.70 Public School Employee Compensation and Benefit System (2008; Rev. 2013)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports a school employee compensation and benefit system that is cost effective, yet still allows school districts to attract quality candidates to the education field.
To that end, and consistent with other public and private sector offerings, the MASB supports:
(a) The right of a local or ISD board of education to determine compensation and benefit levels of the district’s employees. MASB further opposes any legislation or regulation that would infringe on the right.
(b) A pension plan that would be a defined contribution (401K type) system with a school district contribution on behalf of the employee that would not create an undue financial burden to the district.
(c) A retirement health care plan that provides benefits based on years worked in the public school system not to exceed 80 percent of the premium payment.
L. Intergovernmental Relations
A-13.01 State Board of Education (Rev. 2006)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports the continuation of a constitutionally established State Board of Education, which functions as a representative decision-making body directly accountable to the citizenry, to provide public education leadership and policy direction, including curriculum guidance, to the school districts of this state.
The MASB also supports a revision of the composition and election of the State Board of Education to provide for a nine-member board, who would serve for terms of six years. Members of the State Board of Education should be elected at nonpartisan elections in each even numbered year. Terms of the board members should be arranged so that not more than three members are elected at the same election.