DashBoard, July 8, 2020

Yesterday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel, J.D. and State Superintendent Michael Rice, Ph.D. announced the filing of a lawsuit against Secretary Betsy DeVos and the U.S. Department of Education for inconsistent guidance around the distribution of CARES Act funds to public and private schools. This has been done in partnership with the states of California, Maine, New Mexico and Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia. 

On June 30, 2020, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer released the MI Safe Schools: Michigan’s 2020-2021 Return to School Roadmap. This document is the result of the work by the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force on Education and the Return to School Advisory Council. It contains guidance for districts to create plans to return to in-person instruction this fall. The Governor also issued Executive Order 2020-142, which speaks to how to create a “Preparedness Plan” and the suggested timeline. 

More than 1.5 million Michigan schoolchildren enrolled in public schools depend on school board members who understand the importance of public education and are willing to serve their communities and sit in trust for those interests.

DashBoard, July 22, 2020

Today, State Budget Director Chris Kolb detailed a budget agreement between the House, Senate and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to the House and Senate Appropriation Committees. The deal addresses the $2.2 billion deficit in the current-year budget for the General Fund and School Aid Fund. This is accomplished through a series of transfers, reductions and spending of federal Coronavirus Relief Fund dollars. The good news for schools is that there will not be a proration for the current year, i.e., the budget you have already closed.

The MASB Board of Directors has elected officers to lead the Association’s governing body for the 2020-2021 year.

Stepping into a school leadership role is a challenging task in any context. When becoming an elementary principal earlier in my career, I was quickly struck by the impact poverty had on the majority of the students we served. A sense of urgency developed to meet their comprehensive needs and we found ourselves desperately seeking the support of district leaders, community agencies and our board of education members. This experience has continued to shape my approach to leading the learning of all educators and others, no matter the context, to be mindful of our shared responsibility to every child, every whole child.

Research shows that without any educational activities over the summer, most kids will lose about two months of math skills. And kids in lower-income families will also lose an average of two months of reading and language skills. Repeating those “summer slides” year after year can really add up, making it tough to keep up with classmates.

Michigan’s primary election is Tuesday, Aug, 4. In less than two weeks, you will get to cast your vote in person. If you do not feel safe voting in person, everyone is eligible to vote by mail. There is no excuse not to vote.