Fiscal Year Begins, but Questions Remain

One week into the current fiscal year, questions remain about the future of key programs and priorities of Governor Whitmer and the state legislature.

After being sent departmental and school funding budgets in September by the legislature that differed from her priorities, Governor Whitmer signed the budgets, but exercised her line-item veto authority on nearly $1 billion in state spending. Line-item vetoes allow the governor to eliminate specific spending that has been approved by the legislature without blocking the entire budget.

With more than $165 million in school aid spending impacted by line-item vetoes, all eyes are on the Governor and legislature to ensure that these funds benefit Michigan students.

In particular, the need for far more equitable school funding and additional resources for special education should be included in discussions on future appropriations. Michigan is among the least equitable states for school funding in the nation and has long struggled for the quality of education provided to students with disabilities.

Why Teachers of Color Leave and How to Disrupt Teacher Turnover

A majority of the nation’s public school students are students of color, but less than 20% of teachers are teachers of color — and only 2% are Black men. While more teachers of color are entering the classroom, data reveal that educators of color are also leaving at higher rates than their peers.

The Education Trust and Teach Plus have jointly released new research that examines the challenges teachers of color face and documents the experiences of staff in schools that deliberately work to retain faculty of color. If You Listen, We Will Stay: Why Teachers of Color Leave and How to Disrupt Teacher Turnover comprises authentic narratives of teachers of color and successful school leaders. The report and research is the result of focus groups with teachers who identify as Black or Latino and their experiences in the workforce. It explores what schools, districts, and states could do to keep them in the field.

Read the full report here.

Capital Update

HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEE will meet today at 9:00 a.m. in room 521 of the Anderson House Office Building. Agenda:

  • House Bill 4184 (Farrington, R), which would increase the limit on aggregate outstanding obligations for community college job training program agreements to $75 million in any calendar year.
  • HB 4546 (Kahle, R) and HB 4547 (Frederick, R), which would modify dual enrollment eligibility requirements.
  • HB 4675 (Afendoulis, R), which would expand enrollment definitions for strict discipline academies.
  • HB 4739 (Berman, R), which would require annual inspections of school buildings and athletic facilities for health and safety violations.
  • HB 4826 (Brann, R), which would require the inclusion of a “free enterprise and entrepreneurship” program in the 8th grade social studies curriculum.

STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION will meet today at 9:30 a.m. at Saginaw ISD’s Transitions PD Center. The agenda includes an update on accountability systems and an update on partnership districts.

Tweet of the Week

@EdTrust: Mark your calendars! On Wednesday we'll be hosting our #DistruptTurnover chat with co-host @teachplus , to have a conversation about the findings from our recent report, "If You Listen, We Will Stay." The chat begins at 3pm ET/12pm PT, see you all there! #TeacherDiversity