education

Roads, school funding dominate Rep. Brixie town hall in East Lansing

BY: - September 25, 2019

After a full day for the Michigan Legislature as it finished work on the $60 billion Fiscal Year 2020 budget, state Rep. Julie Brixie (D-Meridian Twp.) met with constituents Tuesday night to talk about funding for roads and schools. The GOP-led Legislature has long opposed Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s 45-cent gas tax proposal aimed at raising […]

Final GOP budgets pass Legislature, Whitmer calls bills ‘a mess’

BY: - September 24, 2019

The GOP-led Legislature on Tuesday advanced 15 budget bills that will now head to the desk of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in the coming days.  The budgets were passed without significant input from Whitmer, a Democrat, as talks between the governor and Republican leaders in the Legislature have broken down in recent weeks. Both state House […]

Whitmer, Greig agree their relationship is ‘fine’ after K-12 budget split

BY: and - September 23, 2019

Michigan has a week to go to get next year’s state budget in place, and the Legislature is expected to approve a slew of conference reports during long Tuesday sessions. Even without the Legislature in session on Monday, there was no shortage of drama, with state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) suggesting some of […]

DeVos pushes for more school choice during Detroit visit

BY: - September 20, 2019

For the first time since she began serving as U.S. secretary of education, Betsy DeVos came to visit students in a Detroit-area school.  On Friday, DeVos toured Detroit Edison Public School Academy (DEPSA), a public charter school located just outside the Eastern Market area, where she talked about the ‘innovative’ school choice efforts in the […]

K-12 budget goes to Whitmer amidst Democratic divide

BY: - September 19, 2019

For Democrats in the Michigan Legislature, the reaction to the 3.4% increase to the School Aid Fund budget that advanced Thursday ranged from calling it a “good first step” to complaints that it was a continuation of the status quo that underfunds education in the state.  The biggest change in the $15.2 billion Fiscal Year […]

What M-STEP scores showed us about Michigan’s education achievement gap

BY: - September 17, 2019

Michigan schools still face a tremendous achievement gap between white students, students of color and economically disadvantaged students, even though overall statewide test scores are on the rise.    Data from the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) shows school districts statewide are making small improvements on the M-STEP, a standardized test given to students in the […]

Betsy DeVos’ Wisconsin voucher school visit draws fire

BY: - September 16, 2019

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos launched a “Back to School” tour on Monday with a visit to a private voucher school in Milwaukee — a city described by the Department of Education in a press release as the “birthplace of education freedom.” “Thanks to the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, now in its 30th year, […]

6 budget conference reports advance, despite Whitmer’s objections

BY: - September 12, 2019

The first GOP-led conference committees advanced six department-level budgets on Thursday that can now move to the full House and Senate.  The conference committee hearings on Thursday are a key step in bridging differences between the House and Senate Fiscal Year 2020 budget bills before the Sept. 30 deadline. Each conference committee has six members, […]

Ananich: End big business tax breaks to fund roads, schools

BY: - September 11, 2019

State Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint) wants to phase out the state’s former tax credit economic incentive program for good and use the money for other priorities, such as roads and schools.  The Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) may have wound down and no new tax credits have been granted since 2011. But the […]

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 […]

COMMENTARY

Susan J. Demas: Dear Michigan Republicans: Your party never wins government shutdowns

BY: - September 9, 2019

Michigan is a mere 22 days away from a government shutdown (but who’s counting?) and you might be confused as to why. It’s actually pretty simple. From a policy standpoint, Michigan has chronically underinvested for decades — but most egregiously under the GOP in the last decade of relative economic prosperity — in core areas […]