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DashBoard, June 6, 2018

In the most recent MI SoundBoard podcast, Executive Director Don Wotruba sat down with MASA Associate Executive Director for Government Relations Peter Spadafore and MASB Director of Government Relations Jennifer Smith. They discussed the power of consistent advocacy and engagement in your legislative process.

So you’ve decided to run for your local school board and have filed the required documents. Running for school board is slightly different than running for other local offices. Campaign spending is generally less, and the time for campaigning can be much less than campaigning for other offices, as there is no Primary Election, only a General Election in November of even years.

School board members and school employees are required to abide by Michigan’s Campaign Finance Act while campaigning in support of a political candidate. The following points may be used by school districts as a guide in determining the legal parameters of involvement for board members and school employees in political campaigns:

The 25 recipients of the 2018 MASB/SET SEG Foundation Education Excellence Awards are some of the greatest examples of unique and innovative public school programs in the state of Michigan. Over the next few months, MASB will share the details of each program, presented in alphabetical order by district. This week we highlight the Vocational Services at Livingston ESA.

Last week, the Senate passed Senate Bills 941 and 942, which outline Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed Marshall Plan for Talent. SB 942 allows for the release of $100 million from the Higher Education Loan Authority Act to create the Talent Investment Fund to subsidize the Marshall Plan. SB 941, which embodies the Plan, saw significant changes from when the Governor rolled out the proposal and the legislation was originally introduced in the Senate.

DashBoard, June 13, 2018

The 25 recipients of the 2018 MASB/SET SEG Foundation Education Excellence Awards are some of the greatest examples of unique and innovative public school programs in the state of Michigan. Over the next few months, MASB will share the details of each program, presented in alphabetical order by district. This week we highlight the Marcellus Elementary Swim Camp Program in Marcellus Community Schools.

Yesterday afternoon, the House and Senate approved the School Aid Budget Conference Committee report in House Bill 5579, which represents the final version of the budget. It is now on its way to Gov. Rick Snyder for his consideration and signature. The Marshall Plan bills, Senate Bill 941-942, were also passed yesterday with the budget and are headed to the Governor as well. As noted in some of the following sections, much of the career and technical education funding was either moved to SB 941 or remains fairly stable.

Presentations, parliamentary procedure, public comment, transparency and effective governance are all part of your school board meetings and activities. The same is true when the Michigan State Board of Education assembles. For more than a year, I have been regularly attending the SBE’s monthly meetings, which provide great insight, for better and even for worse, into the state of Michigan public education. Yesterday’s meeting at the Hannah Building in downtown Lansing was a perfect example.

In May, Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law a three-bill package that could impact how schools handle situations of off-campus criminal sexual conduct when the perpetrator and victim are enrolled in the same school district.

 

DashBoard, June 20, 2018

The Senate and House passed a series of career and technical education bills last week and sent them all to Gov. Rick Snyder. Included in the flurry of activity was the Marshall Plan (Senate Bills 941-942), a House package on curriculum and professional development (House Bills 5139 and 5145), bills allowing the use of uncertified teachers for CTE classes (HBs 5141-5142), and requirements for educational development plans and school improvement plans (SBs 684-685).

We get quite a few calls here in the MASB Legal Department regarding school board members who are interested in taking on increased roles within their district, such as volunteering as an assistant athletics coach, helping out in the classroom or perhaps becoming a part-time school bus driver. These questions often concern whether or not such positions create a “conflict of interest” with the individual’s position as a school board member. In fact, these situations are governed by Michigan’s incompatible office statutes, not conflict of interest laws. Conflating these two separate legal concepts is understandable, and not at all unusual; however, having some grasp as to how they differ is important. 

The Michigan Association of School Boards is joining together with a diverse group of business, education, labor, philanthropic, state and community leaders for Launch Michigan, an unprecedented alliance focused on improving Michigan’s K-12 education outcomes. The announcement will be livestreamed, courtesy of Detroit Public Television, at 9:30 a.m. today.

The 25 recipients of the 2018 MASB/SET SEG Foundation Education Excellence Awards are some of the greatest examples of unique and innovative public school programs in the state of Michigan. Over the next few months, MASB will share the details of each program, presented in alphabetical order by district. This week we highlight the Marlette Art Club in Marlette Community Schools.

In the most recent MI SoundBoard podcast, Executive Director Don Wotruba sat down with Stephanie Dyer, Ed.S. and Melissa Nantais, Ph.D. from Michigan’s Integrated Behavior and Learning Support Initiative. They discussed creating a positive school climate, Multitiered Systems of Support and more.

DashBoard, June 27, 2018

Here are some financial impacts that occur if a district does not have a new contract with a bargaining group before the previous contract expires: 

If you are up for re-election or have any open seats on your board for this cycle, don’t forget to reference MASB’s Get On Board resources to do everything you can to avoid any vacancies as of the July 24 deadline.

The 25 recipients of the 2018 MASB/SET SEG Foundation Education Excellence Awards are some of the greatest examples of unique and innovative public school programs in the state of Michigan. Over the next few months, MASB will share the details of each program, presented in alphabetical order by district. This week we highlight Love Clubs at Marquette Alternative High School in Marquette Area Public Schools.

On June 20, the State Board of Canvassers voted to place the Voters Not Politicians ballot initiative on the November ballot. This proposal would amend the Michigan Constitution to establish an independent redistricting commission in hopes of ending the practice of gerrymandering. If approved by voters, a redistricting commission will draw Michigan House and Senate and U.S. Congressional boundary lines following the 2020 census. Twelve states currently use an independent redistricting commission to draw district boundaries. 

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