Schools win public relations awards for informative campaigns in Macomb County. Three distinguished and one commendable honor were granted by the Michigan School Public Relations Association for efforts highlighting innovative curricula, teacher appreciation, career focus, and bond issue information. Good PR is increasingly important now that Michigan students have more choices due to charter schools and inter-district choice laws. To earn recognition for your school, contact Michigan Education Report at

School employee unions suffer blow in Milwaukee school board elections. All five union-backed, anti-school choice candidates were defeated, giving the board a 7-2 reform-minded majority. Milwaukee was the first U. S. city to implement school vouchers, found constitutional by Wisconsin's supreme court last year. Democratic Mayor Norquist calls the election "the end of excuse-based education" and says, "Now we can liberate good teachers on our own."

Students negotiate labor contracts in an innovative simulation sponsored by the Kalamazoo Area Labor Management Committee. Students bargain over working conditions as members of either a labor or management team. Reacting to hours of negotiation without agreement, Parchment High student Angela Knapp told the Kalamazoo Gazette, "I'm getting sick of negotiating." Loy Norrix Senior Philipp Jonas later said, "Isn't it amazing? Once we get tired, we reached an agreement."

Michigan K-8 tuition scholarships are available to children who want to attend tuition-charging parochial, religious, independent, boarding, or public schools. The Children's Scholarship Fund is granting $170 million for 40,000 four-year partial scholarships. Parental contributions are expected to be $1,000 and income limits apply. Call (800) 805-KIDS for an application.

Senior year sticker shock hits those who have to pay for proms, pictures, and parties, according to The Detroit News. Typical expenses totaling $4,180 include $1,000 each for a class trip and graduation party, $620 for prom expenses, $450 for a varsity letter jacket, and $400 for a class ring. Some say businesses play on emotions to drive up sales, but a parent in the story said, "I want my daughter to have all the best memories."