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DashBoard, Sept. 14, 2016

As the Nov. 8 election draws closer, candidates and special interest groups will be ramping up their campaigns by increasing phone calls, commercials and mailings to deliver their political messages. During this time, school districts will have to remain vigilant to ensure their funds and resources are not being used to support such political messages, which would be contrary to Michigan’s Campaign Finance Act.

MASB’s Delegate Assembly is your opportunity to voice your board’s opinion on state issues and the Association’s direction. The 2016 Delegate Assembly will begin Thursday, Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, the night before the Annual Leadership Conference begins. The evening can range from quiet and quick to long and lively.

DashBoard, Sept. 7, 2016

Legislative Priority Setting Meetings have been scheduled throughout the state over the next two months. These meetings will bring together board members, superintendents and MASB’s Government Relations staff to brainstorm on what your Association’s focus should be for the 2017-2018 legislative session.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s updated overtime rules go into effect on Dec. 1, 2016. These rule changes are expected to expand the number of people who qualify for overtime, including those working for school districts.

Operating a school district in today's world is becoming increasingly complex. Due to technology, the environment that we all exist in is changing at a rapid rate. 24/7 access to information, as well as constantly changing devices and applications, makes it difficult to control the vulnerabilities and exposures that the students, faculty and staff of a school district face.

DashBoard, Sept. 21, 2016

With so much of the present dialogue concerning Title IX focused on LGBTQ situations, it may be time to reacquaint yourself with some of the other aspects of this educational amendment. While the current debate, regarding whether or not Title IX provides protections for transgender students as part of its mandate banning discrimination “on the basis of sex” continues unabated, it is important that districts do not lose sight of the other, more established, Title IX requirements. This includes equal access to athletic opportunities and sex-based harassment or discrimination.

Last Wednesday, after receiving and reviewing nearly 13,000 public comments, the Michigan State Board of Education approved voluntary guidance for schools in creating environments for LGBT students to feel safe and be successful. The guidelines were created in response to requests from educators around the state.

Yesterday, MASB was pleased to see long-awaited movement on House Bill 4822, the third grade reading legislation, which has been sitting since March in a conference committee when the House rejected the changes made by the Senate. A compromise was finally reached late on Tuesday and approved by the conference committee meaning the legislation could be Finalized today or tomorrow.

DashBoard, Sept. 28, 2016

The Michigan Department of Education launched a multimedia campaign on Monday to recognize and celebrate the great work being done by Michigan educators. The campaign is called “Proud Michigan Educator.”

Last week, the House Committee on Education reported a nine-bill package of legislation (House Bills 5409-5418) aimed at overhauling Michigan's laws on the use of seclusion and restraint in schools. The bills are now before the full House of Representatives for its consideration.