Allison R. Donahue

Allison R. Donahue

Allison R. Donahue covers education, women's issues and LGBTQ issues. Previously, she was a suburbs reporter at the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., covering local education and government. As a graduate of Grand Valley State University, she has previous experience as a freelance researcher for USA Today and an intern with WOOD TV-8. When she is away from her desk, she spends her time going to concerts, comedy shows or getting lost on hikes in different places around the world.

Michigan education cuts put greater strain on schools with substitute shortage

By: - September 11, 2019

There’s no doubt that teachers are an essential part of the Michigan public school system, but as the shortage of substitute teachers worsens, having experienced teachers in the classroom is becoming even more vital.  Jeffrey Thoenes, superintendent of Comstock Public Schools near Kalamazoo, says finding enough substitutes to fill classrooms can be an everyday struggle.  […]

Benton Harbor school board OKs panel to help get district back on track

By: - September 11, 2019

Benton Harbor school board members unanimously approved a resolution to form a new Community Engagement and Advisory Committee at Tuesday night’s meeting. The goal of the committee is to improve academic performance and close the district’s $18.3 million debt. This comes after months of negotiating with the state of Michigan, which initially proposed closing the […]

Nessel backs Ohio in suit against opioid manufacturer

By: - September 9, 2019

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has joined with 13 other attorneys general and filed a motion and an amicus brief on Friday in support of Ohio’s efforts to prevent trials against a private pharmaceutical company.  The company, Purdue Pharma, a leading producer of Oxycontin, is a defendant in more than 2,000 lawsuits by state and […]

Study: Low-income, students of color squeezed in Michigan’s college affordability crisis

By: - September 7, 2019

A new study shows that Michigan’s public universities and community colleges are facing an affordability crisis, which has especially hit low-income families hard.  The study from the New York-based progressive think tank the Century Foundation shows how rising tuitions and cuts in state funding create barriers for students to receive higher education.  “The report shows […]

Updated: University of Michigan backtracks on STI test coverage

By: - September 6, 2019

Updated, 8:27 p.m., 9/6/19 The University of Michigan has reportedly reversed course on covering students’ sexually transmitted infections (STIs) tests.*  After the university enacted a new policy that STI testing through University Health Services (UHS) was no longer covered by tuition costs, E. Royster Harper, vice president of Student Life, and UHS Executive Director Robert […]

House passes bill naming part of highway for former Rep. Plawecki

By: - September 5, 2019

A portion of a Wayne County highway will be named to honor former state Rep. Julie Plawecki, who died suddenly in 2016.  The House voted Thursday 102-7 on House Bill 4261, which names a stretch of Telegraph Road “Julie Plawecki Memorial Highway” in Dearborn Heights, where Plawecki lived with her family.  Plawecki died in July […]

Transportation, childcare challenges raised at Slotkin health care roundtable

By: - September 4, 2019

Health care advocates and experts joined together Wednesday evening to discuss challenges of rising medical costs and transportation barriers for low-income families.  The roundtable discussion in Lansing was part of a “Costs of Care” tour hosted by freshman U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly). Many of the attendees came from the Davies Project, a Lansing nonprofit […]

Benton Harbor school board pushes back vote for advisory board 

By: - September 4, 2019

The new school year at Benton Harbor Area Schools started this week, and the fate of Benton Harbor High School is still unclear.  The school board decided to push back the vote to form a Community Engagement and Advisory Committee at Tuesday night’s work session.  The district met with the Michigan Department of Treasury in […]

54% of Michigan 3rd graders not reading proficiently

By: - September 3, 2019

After a number of initiatives to improve literacy in Michigan’s elementary schools, students are still struggling to meet the state’s proficiency standard. According to data released by the state Department of Education, Michigan schools are still falling below the expectations based on results from the M-STEP, a standardized test given to students in the third […]

Dems decry Trump’s rhetoric at ‘Take on Hate’ rally

By: - August 30, 2019

Several Michigan Democrats and more than 40 organizations rallied in Dearborn Thursday night to combat the rise of “hateful rhetoric.” The small event of about 100 people gathered at the University of Michigan-Dearborn titled, “Take on Hate,” was spearheaded by U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn), and included her colleagues U.S. Reps. Andy Levin (D-Bloomfield Twp.) […]

Michigan ranks 44th nationally in per-resident support for higher ed

By: - August 29, 2019

New data shows Michigan is one of the worst states in the country in financially supporting public universities. For the Fiscal Year 2019, Michigan ranked 44th nationally in per-resident support for higher education, according to data compiled by the Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State University and the State Higher Education […]


Group already organizing repeal effort of 2 anti-abortion ballot proposals

By: - August 28, 2019

Updated, 4:30 p.m., 8/28/19 As organizers of two anti-abortion ballot initiatives are gathering signatures around the state, a new group is working to put together a repeal referendum in case they’re successful. The Michigan Heartbeat Coalition’s proposal would ban abortions at the first sign of cardiac activity, usually within the first six to eight weeks. […]