DashBoard, Jan. 6, 2016

NSBA’s annual Advocacy Institute will take place Jan. 24 – 26, 2016 in Washington D.C. at the Marriott Marquis. The sessions held during these three days will help participants develop a keen understanding of why effective advocacy requires strong collaboration across policy, media and judicial spectrums.

The Michigan Association of School Administrators has named Dr. Michael F. Rice, Superintendent of Kalamazoo Public Schools, as the 2016 Michigan Superintendent of the Year, and has also recognized regional winners.

In January, most school boards will conduct their annual organizational meeting. The general purpose of the meeting is to organize the board by electing officers and appointing committee members for the upcoming year, and to approve items that must be considered on an annual basis. Here are some common questions we get about organizational meetings:

DashBoard, Jan. 20, 2016

Senate Bills 710 and 711 were introduced by Sen. Geoff Hansen (R-Hart) on Thursday and are the first in a package of bills to address the Detroit Public Schools situation.

With bargaining season right around the corner, don’t wait until your first scheduled bargaining session to begin reviewing your teacher contract. As we enter February, now is the time to dust off those agreements and review them for items that are illegal, prohibited or otherwise problematic. Keep an eye out for any language that touches upon evaluations, placement, curriculum standards, hiring, firing, layoff or recall.

DashBoard, Jan. 13, 2016

Last month, House Bill 4059 became law, changing school retiree employment rules (again). If a retiree works in a critical shortage area or as a substitute teacher, instructional coach, school improvement facilitator or at a university, HB 4059 may affect the situation. Below you will find a summary of the changes made by the new legislation.

On Thursday, the Governor signed Senate Bill 571 into law as Public Act 269 of 2015. As you know, this new law prohibits local and intermediate school districts from distributing factual and unbiased information for 60 days prior to an election. The 60-day gag order goes into effect TODAY for districts and local governments that have a March 8 ballot issue.

When you have building and/or site needs and you do not have the money to address those needs through your General Fund, you should consider either a bond issue or a building and site sinking fund.

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, Jan. 27, 2016

Last Tuesday, Gov. Rick Snyder delivered his State of the State address amid growing controversy surrounding the Flint water crisis. Gov. Snyder dedicated a majority of his speech to addressing the crisis by speaking directly to the residents of Flint and the thousands of others tuning in from across the state and nation.

Last week, the House Elections Committee began hearings on House Bill 5219, which is intended to “fix” the problems for local governments and schools created by Public Act 269. MASB, along with MASA, local superintendents, libraries, the Michigan Municipal League and many other organizations from across the state have urged a full repeal of the new language added to Section 57 of PA 269.

The Michigan Court of Appeals recently issued a published decision that cleared up any possible lingering issues about including prohibited subjects of bargaining in a collective bargaining agreement. In the case Calhoun Intermediate Education Association MEA/NEA v. Calhoun Intermediate School District, the Michigan Court of Appeals made it clear that a union may not insist as a condition of its agreement to a contract that a school district agree to include provisions pertaining to a prohibited subject. This would include, for example, the suggestion of moving the disputed provisions to an appendix.

MASB is governed by a 19-member Board of Directors made up of two directors from each of the eight Regions, and one director each from Groups V, VI and VII.

Directors are elected by MASB member districts to serve up to three-year terms. Ballots for three Regions (4, 6 and 7) were distributed via email to superintendent secretaries in the last week for each district to cast its vote in this year’s elections.