The following is the complete and official text of the Resolutions adopted by the MASB Delegate Assembly, which met at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Acme on Oct. 20, 2022. Resolutions are the driving force behind the positions taken by the Association on issues important to public education and Michigan’s schools.
G-1.01 General Association Goals
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
(2018; Rev. 2021)
The Michigan Association of School Boards recognizes that the survival of the concept of community 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 oversight and policymaking by individual board of education members, the MASB:
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
(2019; Rev. 2022)
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:
The MASB strongly encourages school boards seeking to exemplify these traits look at formally adopting and implementing the Michigan Board of Education Governance Standards for guidance.
G-1.25 Continuous School Improvement
(2017; Rev. 2018)
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 operations to ensure it is emphasizing educational excellence by making student success its first priority, exercising strong fiscal responsibility, utilizing best practices (such as collaboration, creativity, communication and critical thinking) and demonstrating a willingness to look beyond current practices to support school improvement based on educational research.
G-1.30 Implementation of Association Programs
The Michigan Association of School Boards recognizes its responsibilities:
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.
G-1.35 Election Participation
The Michigan Association of School Boards strongly encourages all school board members to be active citizens in our representative government by being informed about current issues and candidates, voting, and advocating on behalf of their district.
G-3.10 School District Cooperation and Reorganization
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
(2010; Rev. 2019)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges local school boards to 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.
The MASB encourages school boards to take advantage of the Students on Boards materials and resources available through the association to increase student participation.
G-3.30 Educational Accountability
(2017; Rev. 2019)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports accountability systems that focus on improving student success including the identification of goals and performance standards.
Any accountability system should support school district needs and improvements and work toward creating equity in education for all students in a district.
To benefit students and the school community in general, school boards in Michigan should make accountability and school improvement plans a priority in their districts.
G-3.35 Site-Based Decisionmaking
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.
(1998; Rev. 2017)
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) for substitute teachers and 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 of locally owned assets, vouchers, educational savings accounts, tuition tax credits, grants or the sale of school facilities.
G-3.80 Strategic Plan, Goals and Accountability
The Michigan Association of School Boards strongly recommends that local boards of education develop, approve and implement district goals and a strategic plan. The plan should align with that adopted by the State Board of Education. Aligning these plans and goals will help make them both successful.
A strategic plan empowers school districts to plan for continuous change. It is used to communicate with the entire school community the board’s vision for the district, goals related to making that vision a reality and the actions needed to achieve those goals. The plan should also include related support materials such as timelines and measurements.
The board should work to hold itself and the district accountable to following the strategic plan and achieving the established goals.
G-4.01 Students’ Rights and Responsibilities
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
(2021; Rev. 2022)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports equal rights for all. The MASB urges all district boards to adopt, implement and enforce equitable policies protecting students and all members of the school community from violence, discrimination, harassment and bullying for any reason, including but not limited to: race, ethnicity, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or documentation status.
The MASB also encourages boards of education to:
G-5.01 Excellence in Education
(Rev. 2008; Rev. 2019)
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 student 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
(2004; Rev. 2019)
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 differentiated education as all students are unique and have different learning styles and may require different learning environments.
G-5.07 Disciplinary Education Programs
(2005; Rev. 2019)
The Michigan Association of School Boards believes it is important to continue the educational process for all students so that they may become contributing members of society.
Therefore, the MASB encourages local and intermediate boards of education to provide an alternate education program for students who have been expelled due to disciplinary problems.
The MASB also believes it is essential to include human service agencies, the judicial system and parents or guardians in the design and financial support of alternate education programs for this student population to address those issues outside of education that affect students today.
G-5.08 Special Education
(2017; Rev. 2019)
The determination of appropriate special education programs, services, assessments 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 identification and intervention programs to reach students 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, the student and the parent.
G-5.10 Character Education
(2017; Rev. 2021)
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, such as fairness, honesty, compassion, responsibility, civility and respect. These traits are essential in a free and democratic society where every person has personal and civic responsibilities in addition to inalienable rights. The MASB supports the inclusion of a public service or volunteerism component as part of a school district’s graduation requirements to further enhance these traits.
G-5.20 Curricula and Parental Involvement
(2018; Rev. 2021)
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. Parental input can help lead to decisions that better engage students.
However, 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
(2013; Rev. 2018)
The Michigan Association of School Boards encourages school boards to:
G-5.30 Inclusive Literature
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges school media centers and building and classroom libraries to include literature that reflects the student population and broader society. This should include identifying and creating access to educational materials that reflect all races, ethnicities, religions, abilities, genders, sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions.
G-5.42 Assessment and Competency Testing
(2018; Rev. 2021)
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 and curriculum and to aid in the focus of professional development activities.
All assessments or competency tests should be unbiased, statistically valid, grade appropriate and 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 to create clear benchmarks and support student learning.
All completed and scored state competency tests must be made available to those districts where the tests were administered. The state must provide timely reports on the test-takers to their districts.
The MASB opposes the use of testing as the predominant criterion for student promotion, graduation, school district accreditation, teacher and administrator evaluations, school funding or for the determination of school district success.
G-5.50 Post-Secondary and Career Readiness
(2017; Rev. 2018)
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 postsecondary programs and careers. MASB also urges continued restructuring, expansion and funding of programs that:
G-5.56 Cultural Competency
(2016; Rev. 2022)
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, culturally responsive practices and historical accuracy in teaching and the promotion of understanding and respect for diverse cultures.
G-5.57 English Language Learners
(2021; Rev. 2022)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports multilingual programs to ensure access to a quality education for English language learners.
The MASB also strongly recommends school boards translate school-related communications into the preferred language of parents or guardians who are nonnative English speakers.
G-5.70 Literacy Skills
(2003; Rev. 2021)
The Michigan Association of School Boards, in agreement with federal and state programs, supports efforts to improve literacy skills and erase functional illiteracy. The MASB urges:
G-5.80 Adult and Community Education
(2017; Rev. 2019)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports collaborative adult and community education programs so that the public receives the best possible services with the resources available.
G-5.90 Visual, Applied and Performing Arts Education
The Michigan Association of School Boards strongly encourages school districts to include visual, applied and performing arts in their curriculum options. Visual, applied and performing arts instruction supports creative and critical thinking skills and can help with the development of motor, language, emotional and social skills.
The MASB supports the addition of the arts to STEM education to further focus on communication, critical thinking, creativity and collaboration for students in all grades.
G-6.10 Equity in Education
(2019; Rev. 2021)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges all school board members to affirm by their actions that each student can, will and shall learn. Educational equity is the intentional allocation of resources, instruction and opportunities according to need. The MASB recognizes that based on factors including, but not limited to, disability, race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and documentation status some students are deprived of equitable educational opportunities. The MASB strongly encourages all involved in the delivery and oversight of public education, from the state to the local district, to work to identify and eradicate discriminatory practices to ensure all students have access to equitable educational practices and services.
G-6.20 Eliminating Barriers to Learning
(2019; Rev. 2021)
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 toward:
G-6.30 Family Involvement in the Schools
(2012; Rev. 2021)
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 its members, working together with other community agencies, to support programs that engage parents and guardians and educate them on student success and child development.
The MASB urges involvement in the schools through local parent-teacher groups, school community groups, neighborhood organizations, and participation in local school and districtwide 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-6.40 Social-Emotional Learning and Supports
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges school boards to establish and implement social-emotional learning and supports within their schools to address the social and emotional needs of students. Social-emotional competencies include self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decisionmaking.
Developing social-emotional skills improves student capacity to engage in academic learning, prepares students to meet college and career readiness standards, and decreases negative behavior and emotional distress.
The state of Michigan should provide proper resources to local districts to assist them in establishing these programs.
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, and flexible scheduling that does not reduce instruction time.
G-6.80 Military Families
(2009; Rev. 2021)
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, the American Red Cross and the Michigan State University Extension Services.
G-7.01 Student Participation
(2021; Rev. 2022)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges every board of education to encourage student participation in co- and extracurricular activities. There are many valuable programs, that schools offer to their students, and any additional involvement beyond academic classes can add to a student’s total educational experience. Schools should also be responsive to student interests and/or requests when creating co- and extracurricular activities.
G-7.02 School Symbols and Good Sportsmanship
(2002; Rev. 2022)
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:
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
(2012; Rev. 2019)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges all school boards to ensure the district:
G-7.20 National Athletic Tournaments
(2003; Rev. 2021)
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.
Under Michigan High School Athletic Association eligibility requirements, students would be ineligible for one school year if, after participating in an MHSAA sport, they compete in any event that is a National High School Championships or All-Star event.
G-8.01 Child Abuse and Neglect
(2002; Rev. 2018)
The Michigan Association of School Boards believes all students should be free from physical, sexual and psychological abuse and neglect.
The MASB urges local school boards to:
G-8.50 Community Responsibility and Involvement in the Schools
(2006; Rev. 2019)
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 students 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 students is the joint responsibility of both the school community and the community-at-large.
G-9.01 Building and Grounds Environmental Health
(2000; Rev. 2019)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges school boards 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 also urges school boards to develop and periodically review plans that ensure that environmental, health and safety standards, practices and emergency procedures are being met.
In addition, the MASB urges Congress and the State Legislature:
G-9.05 Safe and Secure Schools
(2018; Rev. 2021)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges school boards to develop and implement 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.
Restorative justice practices should be considered as a part of a conflict resolution process. Restorative justice practices are encouraged by state law and endorsed in the State Board of Education Policy on Reducing Student Suspensions and Expulsions. Working in partnership with stakeholders, including students, educators, families and members of the community, schools can lower suspensions and expulsions by implementing evidence-based discipline policies and preventative practices.
The MASB also encourages school officials to develop school emergency operations response plans and crisis intervention plans with parents, families, teachers, school mental health professionals, law enforcement personnel, social services workers, and appropriate community resources and agencies to reduce and be prepared for crime and violence in our schools and communities. Plans should include a risk assessment to determine the proper training, technology and processes to implement in order to mitigate risks associated with threats from crime, natural disasters, technological incidents, or human error.
G-9.10 School Bus Safety
(2018; Rev. 2022)
The Michigan Association of School Boards, realizing the importance of providing safe transportation for our students, supports:
The MASB encourages school districts and their pupil transportation vendors to consider purchasing electric school buses when replacing old 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
(2016; Rev. 2021)
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.
G-9.40 Healthful Nutrition
(2013; Rev. 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 grant 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, health advocates and professionals.
G-9.50 Health Curriculum and Policies
(2021; Rev. 2022)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges school districts to review and update their school health policies to establish 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:
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 who 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
(2001; Rev. 2022)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges all boards of education to establish 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; Rev. 2017)
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. The MASB encourages school boards to use LEED-certified building design and construction practices.
The MASB also urges all school boards to take appropriate measures to protect and conserve natural areas within or near their districts.
G-10.40 Local Financial Support
(1998; Rev. 2019)
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 that, in partnership with the state of Michigan, will be sufficient to provide an equal and equitable educational opportunity for all public school students.
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
(2017; Rev. 2018)
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 public schools.
These projects should be conducted by objective and knowledgeable 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 the State Board of Education, to review and consider the results of the Education Adequacy Study authorized by Public Act 555 of 2015 and the Michigan School Finance Collaborative Report from January 2018 to develop and improve programs and funding for public education in Michigan.
G-12.20 Staff Development and Evaluation
(2006; Rev. 2017)
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 professional, ongoing and relevant education courses that are consistent with the needs of the local or intermediate school district 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.
G-13.35 State Agencies
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-1.01 Promotion of and Advocacy for Public Education
(2006; Rev. 2021)
The Michigan Association of School Boards will endeavor to promote a greater community 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.
A-3.01 Intermediate School Districts
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
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 Act
(2005; Rev. 2021)
Given the uncertainties resulting from court decisions interpreting the Open Meetings Act, the MASB urges the Legislature to amend the law to:
The MASB also supports an amendment to the Open Meetings Act to permit consideration of the sale of real property in closed sessions.
A-4.01 School Prayer
The Michigan Association of School Boards opposes governmentally authored or sponsored prayer in the public schools.
A-4.10 Civil Rights
(2019; Rev. 2021)
The Michigan Association of School Boards strongly supports the U.S. Civil Rights Act and Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act and the protection they provide from discrimination for individuals based on religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status and marital status. The MASB also believes the U.S. Civil Rights act and the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act should be updated to include sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.
A-5.01 Special Education
(2006; Rev. 2022)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges the Michigan Legislature and the United States Congress to fully fund the special education mandate as prescribed by state and federal law. 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
(2016; Rev. 2022)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports state guidelines for learning objectives and encourages school boards to establish core curricula based upon Michigan’s academic standards. The MASB believes flexibility must be expanded within the Michigan Merit Curriculum addressing conflicts that students encounter when looking at alternative pathways, including career and technical education programs.
The MASB encourages local and intermediate boards of education to look beyond state and national standards in an effort to continually raise student achievement levels. The MASB believes the local school board must have the final responsibility for decisions as to curriculum delivery or program.
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
(2017; Rev. 2021)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports a greater focus on and continued investment in 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-6.20 Instructional Time
(2017; Rev. 2021)
The MASB supports a school year incorporating no fewer than 180 days and 1,098 hours of student instruction and supports the change in state law that reflects that minimum number. Days cancelled due to severe storms, fires, epidemics or health conditions should be made up in order to assure maximum instructional time for students in all districts.
The MASB believes counting professional development hours toward the instructional time requirement should be at the discretion of the school district. The school district should consider whether or not the professional development will positively affect student achievement before counting it toward instructional time.
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
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
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:
The MASB opposes mandatory schools of choice requirements in order to qualify for state or federal funds.
A-6.65 Public School Academies (Charter Schools)
(2012; Rev. 2021)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges legislation regulating public school academies (charter schools):
The MASB also encourages boards of education to investigate whether chartering a public school academy (charter school) would enhance the education opportunities for students in their districts.
A-6.70 Home Schooling
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.
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.
A-10.05 Opposition to Financial Support of Nonpublic Schools
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
(2009; Rev. 2019)
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-10.15 Federal Spending Priorities
(2015; Rev. 2017)
The Michigan Association of School Boards urges Congress and the President to adequately fund federal programs such as special education and the Every Student Succeeds Act. Other federal assistance programs that are critical to states to achieve the goals of ESSA should also be fully funded.
A-10.20 Unfunded Mandates and Sanctions
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
(2017; Rev. 2021)
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. The MASB also believes that the federal government should provide adequate resources to supplement state funding, including but not limited to, fully funding the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act.
To that end, the MASB supports:
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
(2003; Rev. 2021)
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:
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
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
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
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-10.55 General Taxation
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
(2008; Rev. 2021)
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.
Quality public education is a key driver for expanding economic development. Accordingly, economic 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.
A-12.01 Public Employment Relations Act
(2018; Rev. 2019)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports an uninterrupted school year for our students and giving school boards increased control over expenditures and programs to better accommodate state limitations on revenues and implement state education initiatives.
The MASB is opposed to binding third-party resolution of negotiation disputes.
A-12.70 Public School Employee Compensation and Benefit System
(2013; Rev. 2017)
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:
The MASB opposes a change in retirement systems that would create an undue financial burden on public school districts.
A-13.01 State Board of Education
(2006; Rev. 2021)
The Michigan Association of School Boards supports the continuation of a constitutionally established State Board of Education, which functions as a representative decisionmaking body directly accountable to the citizenry, to provide public education leadership and policy direction, including curriculum standards and 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 nonpartisan nine-member board with staggered six-year terms.