October 19, 2018
Appeals Court Rules on Public Money for Private Schools
The state may allocate public money to private and parochial schools to cover the "actual costs incurred in complying with state health, safety, and welfare laws," the Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday in a 2-1 decision that was tailored to make it clear that any such expenditures do not "involve or result in excessive religious entanglement."

The decision, in  Council of Organizations and Others for Education About Parochiaid v. Michigan,  overturns a decision by the Court of Claims. The case will likely end up at the Supreme court.

The ruling deals with a controversy following the Legislature's allocation of $2.5 million to private schools to pay the costs of meeting state health and safety requirements. A wide array of public schools, school groups and civil liberties groups challenged the appropriation as unconstitutional because of the state's ban on providing public funds to nonpublic schools.

Traditional school leaders issued a press release expressing disappointment in the ruling.

MLPP Releases Report on Racial Equity Issues in Education
The Michigan League for Public Policy released a report looking at educational inequities along socioeconomic and racial lines. The report finds that while all children can learn and deserve a top-notch education, children of color and those living in low-income communities face barriers to educational success. They suggest that we will be unable to improve the overall educational system without addressing these specific barriers. To read the study, follow this link .

Schuette and Witmer Square Off in First Debate
Last Friday, Gubernatorial hopefuls Bill Schuette and Gretchen Whitmer appeared together for their first of two debates. Education was briefly mentioned as one of the questions. Bill Schuette reaffirmed his support to make a State Literacy Expert and also voiced his support for a letter grade accountability system. Whitmer attacked Schuette for fighting against a lawsuit brought forward by schools declaring that reading was a right. He fought against that lawsuit as Attorney General. Schuette criticized Whitmer for being part of the “education establishment” in Lansing.

The candidates will debate again on October 24 at 8pm.
Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) Expectations for Child Assessment
 
This memo is to clarify that program requirements and expectations have not changed and practices for child assessment in GSRP remain consistent regardless of which tool is in use. Ongoing, authentic child assessment is a requirement of GSRP. This aspect of the GSRP model contributes to and supports Michigan’s Top 10 in 10 Goals for Goal 1: Strategy 1.2: Expand access to quality publicly-funded preschool for all four-year-olds by 2010 and three-year-olds by 2025 as well as Goal 2: Strategy 2.1.c.: Develop a coherent assessment system to support the personalization of learning for all students.  


Michigan Department of Education Recruiting Reviewers for Great Start Readiness Program Curriculum Review Committee
 
The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is recruiting members for its Curriculum Review Committee (CRC), which is charged with reviewing, scoring, and approving curricula for the state’s Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP). The MDE is committed to identifying highly qualified individuals to serve on the CRC. Please feel free to distribute this information to potential eligible individuals, listservs, or groups that may be interested. This work contributes to and supports Michigan’s Top 10 in 10 Goals for Goal 1: Strategy 1.2: Expand access to quality publicly-funded preschool for all four-year-olds by 2010 and three-year-olds by 2025.  
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