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DashBoard, May 2, 2018

When the Michigan State School Aid Act was reauthorized in 2016, it included a provision that appropriated $2.5 million for the 2016-2017 school year to reimburse costs incurred by nonpublic schools related to complying with state mandates. Along with other school and education associations, MASB filed a lawsuit to stop the appropriation, claiming that it violated Michigan’s Constitution. The Michigan Court of Claims agreed and recently issued an order enjoining and restraining the state from distributing any funds to private schools under the statute, identified as MCL 388.1752b.

Senate Bills 941 and 942 were introduced last week and seek to implement the Marshall Plan for Talent, including the release of the $100 million in the Talent Investment Fund within the Higher Education Loan Authority Act. We have reviewed Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposal in February and March issues of DashBoard. This initial legislation draft is in line with the Governor’s proposal. 

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 Students for World Awareness Recycling Program at Glen Lake Community Schools.

Michigan is in the throes of a serious teacher shortage—unfilled teaching positions and scant applicants are the current reality for many districts, particularly those in urban areas. Developed in partnership with the Michigan Association of African-American Superintendents, MASB held the Equity & Urban Education Symposium as part of its Spring Institute this past Friday, April 27, in Kalamazoo.

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, May 9, 2018

If you are a district that employs a superintendent who does not hold a Michigan School Administrator Certificate, either because they were employed as an administrator prior to Jan. 4, 2010, or because they are currently working towards their certificate, you should be aware of the following:

Michigan State Superintendent of Public Instruction Brian Whiston sadly lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on May 7, 2018. An outpouring of grief over his loss and gratitude for his vision and leadership has flowed out of the education and legislative communities.

The House of Representatives introduced a bipartisan package called the “Sexual Misconduct Reform Package” on April 12, 2018. This package addresses changes in laws regarding criminal sexual conduct, medical procedures and reporting of incidents, among other things

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 Be True 2 You Program at Baldwin Heights Elementary in Greenville Public Schools.

In the most recent MI SoundBoard podcast, Executive Director Don Wotruba sat down with the Executive Directors from the Michigan Association of School Administrators (Chris Wigent), Michigan School Business Officials (David Martell) and Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals (Wendy Zdeb). They discussed hot topics that are broadly affecting facets of Michigan's education community, as well as what is being done collectively to combat issues to prioritize what's most important—our students.

DashBoard, May 16, 2018

How to message to your various audiences on school safety, steps to take in a crisis, ways to discern and deflect fake news, and several other communication topics were covered in yesterday’s sold-out Communications and Marketing Conference at MASB Headquarters in Lansing.

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 Kendal's Kids' Kindness Club at Sycamore Elementary in Holt Public Schools.

Last month, we dove into a few student speech issues as it relates to commencement speeches. As districts put the finishing touches to their graduation ceremony plans, here are a few cap-and-gown issues to consider.

Last week, House Bills 5966-5967 and 5942-5943 were introduced in the House of Representatives. This package of legislation reflects the collective efforts of MASB, along with other members of the School Safety Coalition, to provide immediate resources to schools, law enforcement and prosecutors to protect students and provide better access to mental health resources in school districts. HB 5966 creates the Michigan School Safety Grant Act to help ensure that districts have access to grants for school resource officers, school mental health professionals and building security. This gives districts the opportunity to apply for whichever grants they deem most appropriate for their schools and students.

Even the most experienced board members never stop learning the technical details of the job, and those who are successful learn early that being effective requires more than knowing the details of the tenure law or how to interpret the budget. Being a successful board member begins with a genuine commitment to striving for high-quality public education that supports the full development of all children. While most school boards will be comprised of individuals from different backgrounds and experiences, individual school board members can be more effective when they exhibit:

DashBoard, May 23, 2018

In the most recent MI SoundBoard podcast, Executive Director Don Wotruba sat down with a few MASB staff members who are or have been school board members. They discussed Michigan's Get On Board campaign geared toward recruiting school board members who are civic-minded and accurately reflect a community.

Maintaining school board excellence in governance is an important concern for any community. Lay the groundwork for an effective school board candidate recruitment strategy by considering the following.

More than 140 board members and superintendents from around the state came together Tuesday at the Radisson Hotel in Lansing for the annual MASA/MASB Legislative Conference.

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 After-School Panther Learning Club at Twin Rivers Elementary in Ionia Public Schools.

DashBoard, May 30, 2018

Every day, it seems that another high-profile incident involving student safety is making national headlines. From school shootings to bomb threats, to the Larry Nassar situation and the opioid crisis, school districts find themselves interacting with local law enforcement on a consistent basis; often under very tense circumstances. The MASB Legal Team has been fielding an increasing number of calls concerning district/police interactions and the many ways that a school’s obligations under Title IX, FERPA, HIPAA and so forth may intersect with a potential criminal investigation. Establishing a cooperative understanding with your local law enforcement agency and prosecutor’s office, prior to the next “active situation,” will go a long way toward avoiding the types of miscommunication that can lead to future mistakes.

Last week, the House of Representatives voted on a package of legislation to address both the Nassar sexual assault scandal and implement some practices and policies to stop incidents in the future. The package includes Senate Bills 871 and 872, which extend the criminal and civil statutes of limitation for criminal sexual conduct, as well as a brief window of retroactivity for certain individuals to file civil claims in criminal sexual conduct cases that may be currently time barred, if certain circumstances are met.

After identifying a potential candidate with the abilities or skills that would be suited for school board service, how do you ask someone to run for the school board? The best advice is to be forthright and completely honest about the demands and rewards of the job. Stating the benefits is the right place to start but be prepared to address a prospective candidate’s concerns and questions about board service. Here are some examples of how to handle such issues:

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 MySchool@Kent, an online high school at Kent ISD.

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