DashBoard, Dec. 7, 2016

With the winter break fast approaching, many administrators and board members are preparing for their January board meeting now. While there is no longer a statutory requirement for local school boards to hold organizational meetings, it may make sense for your district to take care of some annual items at the January regular meeting.

Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R-West Olive) announced yesterday that there would not be a vote on Senate Bill 102 during lame duck. Thank you to all who took action and contacted your Senator—your voice helped stop this bill!

What do we mean by the “10 in 10 plan?” It’s Michigan’s strategic plan to become a top 10 education state in the next 10 years. In this first video of a series, join Chief Deputy Superintendent Norma Jean Sass as she gives an overview of where we are:

  • Following significant stakeholder input and thousands of suggestions, the initial plan identified seven goals and 44 strategies.
  • These have been prioritized to four key focus areas.
  • These focus areas are going to guide us to our mission of supporting learning and learners in Michigan.

Making Michigan a top education state will be a shared challenge for all of us. Watch this first video to see what we are focusing on in this work and review the Michigan 10 in 10 Strategic Plan.

We also would appreciate your feedback as we share progress on Michigan’s 10 in 10 Strategic Plan. Please take a few moments to take this short three-question survey.

Submitted by Melissa Miller, Senior Manager, Plante Moran

The K-12 administrative system marketplace is continuously evolving. Acquisitions continue as vendors look to establish footholds in new markets, eliminate competition or acquire new technology platforms. Cloud computing and Software as a Service have gained mainstream acceptance. Options have increased for noncore Enterprise Resource Planning solutions like student assessments, Response to Intervention/Multitiered Systems of Support and applicant tracking. Many education ERP vendors have increased the focus on the mobile and collaborative aspects of their software while others have discontinued products. Vendors are introducing new features and functionality, including business intelligence, expanded electronic workflows and self-service portals.

VIP Focus articles are company-sponsored advertisements and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of MASB. It’s intended to provide Very Important Partners with a space to share information of value to you and your district.

DashBoard, Dec. 14, 2016

Last week, the Governor proposed and pushed for a vote on a plan to shift more than $430 million from the School Aid Fund to the General Fund.

ISD boards of education that hold elections under Section 614 of the Revised School Code were not affected by Public Act 233 of 2011, which moved popular school elections to even years in November. Section 614 elections for ISD school boards are still held biennially on the first Monday in June at a meeting of representatives from constituent boards of education. In 2017, the elections will be held on June 5.

Yesterday, the Michigan Senate unanimously passed legislation to modify the zero tolerance laws in schools. It is before the House today for concurrence with the few changes made, and then it will be sent to the Governor for his consideration and approval.

In Michigan, education officials constantly deal with a perfect storm of financial challenges—declining student populations, rising costs and fixed overheads. With payroll often accounting for at least 70% of a public school district’s operating budget, it can be hard for administrators to control costs without impacting the classroom.

VIP Focus articles are company-sponsored advertisements and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of MASB. It’s intended to provide Very Important Partners with a space to share information of value to you and your district.

DashBoard, Dec. 21, 2016

On Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, the Michigan Court of Appeals heard oral arguments regarding two cases—both involving the open carry of firearms in a school zone by concealed pistol licensees. The first case involved the Clio Area School District while the second involved Ann Arbor Public Schools. MASB’s Legal Team was invited to file an opinion brief on behalf of AAPS, which it did. Written opinions were issued for both cases on Thursday, Dec. 15; a remarkable two-day turnaround. In both cases, the Court essentially upheld the rights of school districts to ban guns on school property.

An op-ed from MASB Executive Director Don Wotruba and Michigan Association of School Administrators Executive Director Chris Wigent was recently published in the Detroit Free Press:

It seems that memories in Lansing are running short these days. It wasn’t too long ago that accounting gimmicks and convenient budget shifts were decried in the Capitol chambers as the root of all of Michigan’s financial woes.

The Legislature wrapped up the 2015-2016 session last Thursday. There is one day left, Dec. 28, to officially mark the end, but no other work will be done on that day. Any bills that have not been passed by both the House and the Senate and sent to the Governor will have to be reintroduced in the new session in January. The 2017-2018 session will begin on Jan. 11 with the swearing in of all members to office.