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June 18, 2018
  Monthly Legislative Call
TODAY! June 18, 2018
Join the Call by Dialing: (866) 906-0040
When prompted, dial: 1472630 #  
FY 2018-2019 School Aid Budget Finalized

Governor Snyder and the Michigan Legislature have finalized work on next year's school aid budget.  Below are some highlights of interest to MEMSPA:
  • The per-pupil foundation allowance will be increased $120-240 utilizing the "2x" formula, bringing the new minimum to $7,781 and new basic/maximum to $8,409.  However, the discretionary portion of the foundation allowance for partnership districts is tied to significant requirements in Section 22p potentially requiring reconstitution and/or potential dismissal of principals and replacement of instructional staff if districts do not demonstrate measurable improvement in academic outcomes.
  • No changes to shared time or cyber allowances,
  • The state assessment for science will be moved to grades 5 and 8, and summative assessments for ELA and math for pupils in grades 8-10 will be required to be aligned with the college entrance test portion of the MI Merit exam.  However, the final version of the budget does not include a requirement that MDE approve specific benchmark tests for districts. Rather, districts must report to MDE by December 1, 2018 what tests, tools and assessments they have purchased and must commit to utilizing the same benchmark assessments for no less than three years before switching to another benchmark assessment.
  • Funding for the Kindergarten Entry Observation is increased by $500,000,
  • Instead of mandated curriculum changes to GSRP as proposed in the House, conference allocates $1 million from existing ISD funding for payments to ISDs for professional development for educators choosing to implement new curricula in 2019-2020.  Additionally, conference agreed to our request to keep GSRP application cycles as-is,
  • At-Risk includes a number of revisions, most importantly a one-year delay in implementation of 3 rd grade ELA, 8 th grade math, and 11 th grade summative assessment performance requirements, and
  • Early Literacy funding in Section 35a shifts $1 million from added instructional time to literacy coaches.

The budget also sets aside significant resources for school safety, including both $25 million in the Michigan State Police (MSP) budget for school security infrastructure as well as a $30 million subaccount in the School Aid Fund to assist schools in hiring counselors, school resource officers, and mental health professionals.  However, the specifics on how these resources can be utilized by schools will be ironed out over the summer recess and likely passed in companion legislation in September.

Legislature in Recess

The Legislature is in recess for the summer until after Labor Day, save for two tentative session days in mid-July and August.   

Legislature Approves District Benchmark Assessment Flexibility and Funding
On June 12, the Michigan Legislature passed legislation that will reimburse school districts for their benchmark assessments of choice in grades K-8.
The School Aid Omnibus spending bill ( HB5579 ) creates flexibility for districts to choose their own benchmark assessments in math and English language arts in grades K-8. Previously the state had issued a preferred list and districts were required to choose from that list if they wanted reimbursement. Now districts may select their own preferred benchmark assessments.
The legislature also approved $9.2 million in funding to reimburse districts that choose their own benchmark assessments.
To be eligible for reimbursement, districts must:
  • Use a computer adaptive assessment that is aligned to Michigan state standards
  • Make their purchase by October 15, 2018, and 
  • Report their benchmark assessment choice to the Michigan Department of Education by December 1, 2018.
  • According to the legislation, districts must commit to using the same provider for the next three years.
To learn more about iReady and how it can help you meet your student achievement goals, please contact Jeff Tompkins, Detroit Metro ( jtompkins@cainc.com  ) or Vikki Halstead North, West and Central Michigan ( vhalstead@cainc.com ).   

Renaissance Star Assessments┬« , which support more than one-fourth of Michigan districts, are also now eligible for the state's funding of K-8 assessments.  Connect with our Michigan experts  today to learn more!

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