March 1, 2019
Whitmer to Unveil Budget Tuesday

Governor Gretchen Whitmer will be delivering her first budget proposal to the Legislature this upcoming Tuesday, March 5 at 11:00 a.m.  We are looking forward to hearing details behind the vision she laid out for public education in her State of the State address earlier this month.

The budget is likely to look significantly different compared to years past, and we are encouraged to hear a new desire in Lansing to revisit our school funding formula to address the individual needs of students and issues of adequacy and equity that deservedly need attention in our changing educational landscape.  

Our current funding system is broken, and admitting we have a problem is the first step.  To that point, we are encouraged by what we have heard from the Governor thus far and are encouraging MEMSPA members to ensure that we keep the big picture in mind reserve judgement until we have time to fully digest the impact of the budget as a whole.  We are only at the beginning of the budget process, and as prior years have demonstrated, her budget proposal is likely to see numerous revisions between now and this summer when it will be finalized.

First Round of Snow Day Testimony Coming Tuesday

On Tuesday morning at 9:00, the House Education Committee will take testimony on House Bill 4206 , sponsored by Rep. Ben Frederick (R-Owosso).  HB 4206 would allow school days cancelled due to the Governor issuing an Executive Order declaring a state of emergency to count as instructional days.  To this point, three bills have been introduced in the House and Senate on the topic, and we expect discussions to ramp up in earnest over the coming weeks on the topic.  

Bill Introductions of Interest This Week

House Bills 4269-4271 and HB 4282 , sponsored by Reps. Beth Griffin (R-Mattawan), Gary Howell (R-North Branch), and Roger Hauck (R-Mt. Pleasant) would make various changes allowing flexibility for certain classes to be counted as credit within the Michigan Merit Curriculum.

House Bill 4276 , sponsored by Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D-Detroit) would require schools to provide instruction on African-American history.

House Bills 4277 and 4278 , sponsored by Rep. Beau LaFave (R-Iron Mountain), would allow teachers and other school employees to carry tasers and pepper spray in school and on school property in certain circumstances.  

House Bill 4250 , sponsored by Rep. Michelle Hoitenga (R-Manton) would allow additional flexibility for districts to count hours of instruction towards meeting instructional day requirements lost due to closure conditions not within the control of school authorities.  

Senate Bill 126 , sponsored by Sen. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) would create a process for school districts, ISDs, and PSAs to follow when closing a school building.  

House Resolution 31 , sponsored by Rep. Lori Stone (D-Warren) declares March 2019 as Reading Month in Michigan.

House Joint Resolution F , sponsored by Rep. Matt Koleszar (D-Plymouth), would amend the Michigan Constitution to specify that school aid dollars cannot be used for higher education.

#WeLeadMI March 1 Update
Featuring Co State & Federal Relations Chairs Allyson Apsey and David Simpson
Replay of Black History Month
Dining Room Discussion Video Available From WKAR
Panelists Explore What Matters to Students of Color

LANSING – If you missed the Black History Month (BHM) Dining Room Discussion last week, sponsored by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), the engaging and enlightening look at what matters to students of color still is available online.
 
The replay of the event, simulating a dining room table discussion among eight dynamic African American women, is available from event partner WKAR at https://livestream.com/wkar/MDE-190221/videos/187720524 .
 
Interim State Superintendent Sheila Alles gives opening remarks while Beverly Brown, MDE’s Early Middle College Manager and event chairperson, welcomes participants and introduces Alles. The event program containing full speaker biographical information can be found here: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/BHM_Program_2019_647495_7.pdf .
 
This special BHM event explores urban core perspectives on: Michigan’s plan to become a top 10 education state in 10 years; the Marshall Plan for Talent; and the proposed state Social Studies standards. MDE welcomes feedback from viewers to help shape future events – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MDE-BHMEvaluation .

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