May 21, 2020
Your ISD News & Updates
Save the Date!
Please join us on June 2, 2020 for a remote MAISA General Membership meeting.

Topics to be discussed include:
  • Special Education Waivers
  • July Continuity of Learning Waiver
  • Emergency Child Care
  • Food Service for Summer

Keep an eye out next week for meeting connection information!
New Office of Special Education Guidance 
The Michigan Department of Education released an updated version of the Guidance for Compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education (MARSE).  The new topics include fiscal, behavior, substantive requirements and feedback.
To read the full memo, click here: MEMO #COVID-19-057
ISD Literacy Coaching Q & A
As mentioned at the most recent MAISA General Membership meeting, the Early Literacy Professional Learning grant has created a timely Section 35a(4) ISD/RESA Early Literacy Coaching Grant Question & Answer document to assist with funding questions that have recently come up.

Some highlights include:
  • Purpose: Literacy coaches work directory with teachers to support literacy for grades K-3.
  • Amount: $112,500 per allocation awarded - NO MATCH Required
  • Allocations: Already in state aid payment which started in February 2020
  • Year allocated: (October 1, 2019 to September 30, 2020) with carryover into (October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021)

Update on Virtual Coaching:  The Intensive Coaching leaders have been offering remote coaching sessions and are continuously planning supports for coaches and teachers in making wise, research minded, differentiated decisions for remote learning. Please contact Susan Townsend with any Early Literacy questions you may have,
Working together for a better MICIP   
MDE is partnering with MAISA and the Michigan Collaboration Hub’s MiCHDev team—a multi-ISD group that develops educational data solutions for Michigan schools—to build the MICIP Platform ‘for schools, by schools’. This unique partnership has directly engaged thousands of educators from all corners of Michigan in the design and development of the MICIP Platform.  

Below is an MDE memo intended to communicate to districts some flexibility regarding requirements for District Improvement Plans (DIPs), Single Building District Improvement Plans (SBDIPs), and School Improvement Plans (SIPs) for 2020-21. We understand that many districts and schools are working hard to figure out both short- and long-term plans to support their students and staff. The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) wants to provide districts with flexibility to reassess local planning, as necessary, without being concerned with reporting requirements.

Please see the memo below for full details:
In Case You Missed It...
Earlier this week, MAISA Legislative Liaison, David Ladd, prepared the below talking points and a template letter for ISDs to use to reach out to elected officials. We are recommending that you write/email/call your federal representatives and your state representatives as soon as possible .

Communications to the Federal delegation should have three parts: 
  1. First, establish the need for immediate action. We cannot provide safe, quality education without their help. Quantify the cut in real dollars and personalize the harm to your district(s). 
  2. Second, voice strong support for flexibility in the current CARES Act dollars. We have this money in hand but we can’t spend it. We appreciate the CARES Title I dollars, but it’s not nearly enough. 
  3. Third, support the next round of federal funding in whatever form it may take.   

We recommend sending these letters to both Senator Stabenow and Peters as well as your Congressman. Addresses for the federal delegation can be found using the MASA web page under GOVERNMENT RELATIONS/FEDERAL:  

Communications to your state legislators will be slightly different but strike a similar tone: 
  1. First, establish the need for immediate action. We cannot provide safe, quality education without their help. Quantify the cut in real dollars and personalize the harm to your district(s). 
  2. Second, ask your state legislators to eliminate the current school aid deficit by suggesting the following:
  • State legislators should advocate for flexibility with the current CARES Act with the federal delegation. Senator Shirkey has taken a lead role in this. See the Bridge article here:
  • Dedicate revenue to K 12 from the Budget Stabilization Fund (BSF). The BSF is eligible to appropriate $287 million in FY 20 and roughly $250 million in FY 21.
  • Remove higher ed and community colleges from the School Aid Fund (SAF). Together higher ed and community colleges take approximately $750 million from the SAF. 
  • Revenue. Although politically difficult, we should not be afraid to be bold. 

Other important points:
  • Remind legislators that the current EO will not allow for layoffs which is roughly 80% of spending.
  • Advocate for the elimination of the deficit; not minimizing it.
  • Enlist others in this effort. Board members, staff and parents. 

Please feel free to reach out to Bill Miller or Dave Ladd if you have questions or need further assistance.