SUPPORT: Bills to Increase Access to School Libraries

The Education Trust-Midwest is pleased to announce our support for three bills that will ensure that every student has access to school libraries and certified media specialists in Michigan.

“Michigan’s literacy crisis is well recognized, and addressing the needs of students requires many forms of support,” said Amber Arellano, executive director of The Education Trust-Midwest. “Ensuring that all Michigan students have access to school libraries, trained specialists and a wide range of resources to support student learning is good policy.”

The bills, House Bills 4392 (Camilleri – D), 4393 (Koleszar – D) and 4394 (Pagan – D) would:

  • Ensure that all public schools in Michigan maintain a school library to provide students, teachers and community members with resources to support student learning;
  • Make sure that students have access to a certified media specialist, who will be equipped to support literacy instruction, and integrate information, technology and research skills with the school’s curriculum; and
  • Maintain student access to school libraries with staff supervision, even when a certified media specialist is not available.

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SCHOOL LIBRARIES ROCK! We support school libraries. We support House Bills 4392-4394.

Budget Update: State Senate Lessens Focus on Equity

Last week, the Senate K-12 School Aid and Education appropriations subcommittee passed a budget for the fiscal year beginning on October 1. While the budget provides more per-pupil funding, is focuses less on the different needs of students:

  • Unlike Governor Whitmer’s proposal, the Senate does not increase funds intended to support the additional learning needs of students with disabilities and students living in poverty. The Governor has proposed an additional $120 million for special education costs and about $102 million more for at-risk students, including students from low-income families.
  • The Senate budget proposes greater increases to the “foundation allowance” – the base funding distributed to school according to how many students they have. The Senate budget would increase spending by $135-$270 per pupil, while the Governor’s budget would increase per-pupil spending by $120-$180.

This week, the full Senate will consider the schools budget, while the House appropriations subcommittees continue to make progress on their own versions of the budget.

Capital Update

House Education Committee will meet at 9:00 a.m. this morning in room 521 of the House Office Building. Agenda: House Bills 4269 (Griffin – R) – 4271 (Howell – R) and 4282 (Hauck -R). These bills would make changes to the math, health, foreign language and arts graduation requirements of the Michigan Merit Curriculum.

House Appropriations Subcommittee: School Aid and Department of Education will meet on Wednesday, May 1 at noon in room 352 of the State Capitol Building to consider the fiscal year 2020-21 state budget.

State Board of Education will meet on Tuesday, May 7 at 9:30a.m. to interview finalists for the State Superintendent of Public Instruction position. Finalists are Brenda Cassellius, Michael Rice and Jeanice Swift. Cassellius is the immediate former Minnesota Commissioner of Education, Rice is the Superintendent of Kalamazoo Public Schools and Swift is the Superintendent of Ann Arbor Public Schools.

Tweet of the Week

@EdTrustMidwest: Excited to announce our support for HBs 4392, 4293 & 4294. Every student should have access to a school library & trained specialist. #miched #mileg @darrincamilleri @MattforMichigan @kristypagan @michiganmame