Call for Education Improvement Loud and Clear

Just a week following the launch of Michigan Achieves – our campaign to put Michigan on the path to becoming a top ten education state – leaders from across the state are calling for key education improvements.

At the annual Mackinac Policy Conference last week, the message from leaders in business, philanthropy, and state government was clear: Michigan must put our kids and our future first, and make education improvement our top priority.









A Michigan Achieves billboard along I-75.

“A report released recently by Education Trust-Midwest shows that the ramifications of not acting will not only be horrible for Detroit but also for Michigan,” said Skillman Foundation CEO, Tonya Allen. “The state has already sunk to the bottom nationally. Michigan is no longer a place to feel confident that your child will get a world-class education. This is true no matter your zip code.”

Leading education states have shown the kinds of reforms that can put Michigan on a better path – the path toward becoming a top ten education state. Join the movement.

GRAPHIC: Invest Now or Pay Later

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Michigan leaders and taxpayers can act and invest now – or we can pay later with our children’s futures and our taxpayer dollars. The good news is, we know how to become a top ten education state.

Join the movement.

Capital Update

THE CONFERENCE COMMITTEE FOR SCHOOL AID BUDGET REPORTED OUT THEIR BUDGET THIS MORNING. Highlights include recommended spending of $26.4 million for early literacy initiatives, an increase of $70 million for schools with large population of at-risk students, and an investment of $14.8 million in educator evaluations and support.

These important investments are a critical first step – now we need to make sure that every dollar is spent on research-based strategies to improve student learning.

STATE BUDGET EXPECTED TO WRAP UP THIS WEEK. The state legislature is on track to vote on Michigan’s fiscal year 2015-2016 budget later this week, after months of hearings, debate and a failed ballot proposal. As the budget process concludes, we continue to work for important investments to improve early literacy and educator evaluations and support.

HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEE EXPECTED TO MEET ON EDUCATOR EVALUATIONS AND SUPPORT. Following the passage of Senate Bill 103 (Pavlov – R) last month, the House education committee is expected to begin considering the bill regarding educator evaluations and support later this week. As detailed in our April testimony to the Senate Education Committee, key improvements are still missing from the legislation. These key improvements include:

  • Clear criteria for evaluation systems, to ensure that local evaluation systems meet minimum standards;
  • Create a statewide student growth model – with at least half of the student growth portion of evaluations based on the state assessment.
  • Training for evaluators on research-based evaluation tools;
  • A meaningful ‘master teacher’ pathway, for Michigan’s most effective teachers;

STATE SENATE PASSED BILL TYING PUBLIC ASSISTANCE AND STUDENT ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS TOGETHER. The legislation,House Bill 4041 (Pscholka – R), now returns to the House of Representatives, which passed a version of the bill in March, for a vote on the Senate-passed version. If passed by the House, the bill will go to the Governor’s for his signature or veto.

Conference Committee on Education will meet today, June 2, at 4:45pm or later to consider their budget. The conference committee will meet in the Senate Appropriations room in the Capital Building.

Senate School Aid and Education Appropriations Subcommitteeswill meet Wednesday, June 3 at 8:30am, in the Senate Appropriations Room in the Building. The subcommittees will hear a report by State Superintendent Mike Flanagan on deficit districts.

STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION meets on Tuesday, June 9 at 9:30am in the Ladislaus B. Dombrowski Board Room in the Hanna Building in Lansing. The agenda is available here. This will be the last Board of Education meeting for Mike Flanagan as State Superintendent of Public Instruction, as he retires from the post at the end of June.

In addition to honoring Superintendent Flanagan, the Board of Education will honor outgoing Teacher of the Year, Melody Arabo, and incoming Teacher of the Year, Rick Joseph.

Click here for full update.