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Select top stories, Member Kudos and other articles are archived below.






DashBoard, Jan. 9, 2019

In the most recent MI SoundBoard podcast, Executive Director Don Wotruba sat down with Wendy Larvick, Chief of Staff to the State Superintendent for Public Instruction at the Michigan Department of Education, to talk about the Marshall Plan for Talent and the grant process.

The State Board of Education kicked off its first meeting of 2019 by swearing in new members Judy Pritchett (D-Washington Township) and Tiffany Tilley (D-Southfield). Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also stopped by during her first full week on the job to share a few remarks and meet members of the board.

With the overwhelming amount of bills that were reviewed during the end of the 2017-2018 legislative session, there were a great number that didn’t pass. Following are the bills MASB was watching that did not make it to the Governor’s desk.

The last four weeks of the legislative session saw a record-setting number of bills debated and passed. In 2018, 690 bills were signed into law by then-Gov. Rick Snyder. Almost half (342) of those new laws were passed by the Legislature between the November election and the end of the year. Overall, the Legislature passed 398 bills in the final 14 days of the 2017-2018 session.

DashBoard, Jan. 16, 2019

As an adult that went back to school to complete my undergrad in my 30s, I reached a point of terrific frustration in managing the workload of family, work and school. I was interviewing a person who I greatly respected for a school assignment over lunch when I lamented my frustration. He chuckled and suggested the following, “I’ve known you for quite a while and I think you should manage your own expectations better. After all Donna, C’s get degrees.”

For districts with labor contracts expiring this summer, now is the time to begin preparing for your labor group negotiations. Although recent legislation has created a new class of prohibited subjects of bargaining and therefore eliminated some topics from the table, this does not mean that the negotiation process has become easier. Indeed, with many Michigan districts dealing with falling enrollment and decreasing revenues, it is often more difficult than ever to reach an agreement that is fiscally responsible for your district while also satisfying the labor groups.


The 100th Michigan Legislature was sworn in last Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, so what better opportunity to call your legislator, introduce yourself as a board member, and start building those personal relationships?! What could be better than a brand-new board member, building relationships with their legislators, who themselves may be new to their position?

The importance of an effective working relationship between the school board and superintendent cannot be stressed enough. Each have very distinct and separate roles and there must be a mutual understanding of these in order to develop, grow and maintain a strong vision as the leadership team that will move your district forward.

DashBoard, Jan. 23, 2019

Last week, MASB’s Donna Oser shared her thoughts on the most recent report on the state of public education in Michigan. As with most in recent years, it wasn’t overwhelmingly positive, but what does the 2019 Quality Counts from Education Week really tell us? Let’s take a look at the data and summaries from the first of three installments evaluating all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

In the most recent MI SoundBoard podcast, Executive Director Don Wotruba sat down with Scott Little, Executive Director and Richard Browder, President from the School Nutrition Association of Michigan, to talk about lunch programs, regulations and the expertise now needed when it comes to school nutrition.

MASB’s Government Relations Team held 10 regional meetings in September and October 2018 across the state to gather input from board members and superintendents on what your Association’s focus should be for the 2019-2020 legislative session. More than 235 people attended the meetings to brainstorm and share ideas. The largest meeting this year was in Region 1, followed by Region 6.

DashBoard, Jan. 30, 2019

The Michigan Department of Education issued two key announcements last week—the application window for the State Superintendent of Public Instruction position has been opened and Phase II of the Parent Dashboard for School Transparency was released.

MASB has created a FREE Grassroots Advocacy Program to encourage our members and their communities to utilize their voices to become an influential part of the legislative advocacy process! A huge part of MASB’s mission is to have our members actively engage and advocate as a governing body on behalf of their districts and as a voice for their students.

Eighty board members and superintendents attended the National School Boards Association’s 2019 Advocacy Institute in Washington D.C., this past week. This was the largest delegation we’ve had in at least six years and the largest of any state! In all, more than 775 school board members from across the country came to our nation’s Capitol to stand up for public education.

Directors are elected by MASB member districts to serve up to three-year terms. Ballots for four Regions (3, 6, 7 and 8) and Group V recently were distributed via email to superintendent secretaries for each district to cast its vote in this year’s elections, which are due by Wednesday, March 6 at 1 p.m.