Happy belated Valentine’s Day! Unfortunately, rather than sweets, we have legislative news to share. It’s not all bad. Read on!
- Budget: Gov. Snyder presented his FY2017-18 recommendation last week, with some good news for schools. Districts would get between $50 and $100 more per pupil, some extra funds for high school students, and an increase in the funds available for at-risk students. But it still doesn’t keep up with inflation, and the Legislature is likely to balk at some of the better provisions. Read our “first look” summary here:http://www.mipfs.org/node/255
- School closings: While the controversy swirls
about the State Reform Officer threatening to close some 38 schools, mostly in Detroit, the state Senate is looking at repealing the law creating the SRO and considering alternatives. We testified before the committee, suggesting our “educational audits” proposal as a viable alternative. See our letter and attachments here:http://www.mipfs.org/node/256
- Erasing Common Core: Later today, the House committee on Michigan Competitiveness will hold hearings on HB 4192
, a bill which would prohibit our state from using any educational standards that were ever touched by the Common Core proposals or were developed outside the state. It also gives the Legislature final authority over state tests, and, in a twist, even makes the state standards themselves optional. The bill also explicitly bans the “next generation science standards” and includes language that seems to hint that faith-based topics such as creationism would be allowed in public schools. We hope to testify on the bill, to explain that parents want something that works, no matter where it comes from, and that public schools are not an appropriate place for religious education.
With all this, and more, going on, we are certain to need your help to remind our lawmakers of what parents and citizens really want from our public schools. We’ll have more information about these and other proposals, and opportunities to make your voice heard, in the coming weeks.
Thanks for reading!
Steve Norton Michigan Parents for Schools