MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST
Volume IV, No. 36
Sept. 10, 2002
http://www.educationreport.org/pubs/med/

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Contents of this issue:
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* Opinion: Legislation would erode Proposal A, allow for tax hikes
* More students choosing charter schools in Detroit
* Editorial: Consolidate school and general elections
* Editorial: Stop "bashing" charter schools
* Detroit reform board member ousted
* NOTICE: New issue of Michigan Education Report released

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OPINION: LEGISLATION WOULD ERODE PROPOSAL A, ALLOW FOR TAX HIKES
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DETROIT, Mich. - A recent Detroit Free Press commentary suggests
that new legislation would erode the successes of Proposal A, the
1994 school finance reform, and lead to dramatic tax hikes.

Proposal A "ended the constant stream of local millage elections,
raising funding for school operations to record levels,"
according to Jack McHugh, legislative analyst for
www.MichiganVotes.org, a service of the Midland-based Mackinac
Center for Public Policy.

McHugh said new legislation, proposed by Rep. Doug Hart, R- Rockford,
would reverse those achievements by allowing school
districts to use "sinking funds", typically used for capital
improvements, as funding for operational purposes.

A study by the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and Anderson Economic
Group supports McHugh's claims, finding that the legislation
could cost Michigan taxpayers $5.5 billion over 10 years.
________
SOURCES:
Detroit Free Press, "Proposal A's school tax limits would erode
under Hart's plan," Sept. 3, 2002
http://www.freep.com/voices/columnists/esink3_20020903.htm

Viewpoint on Public Issues, "Sinking Fund Debt: Another Proposal
A End-Run," June 14, 2002
http://www.mackinac.org/article.asp?ID=4421

Michigan Education Report, "School property taxes could increase
$5.5 billion over 10 years," Early Fall 2002
http://www.educationreport.org/pubs/mer/article.aspx?ID=4621

Michigan Education Report, "Fix Michigan Schools with Proposal
A+," Winter 2002
http://www.mackinac.org/pubs/mer/article.aspx?ID=4071


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MORE STUDENTS CHOOSING CHARTER SCHOOLS IN DETROIT
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DETROIT, Mich. - More Detroit children are attending public
schools, but not those of the city's beleaguered school district,
according to the latest census data.

Instead of leaving for suburban schools, Detroit school children
are flocking to charter schools in their quest to avoid the
city's troubled district.

The number of Detroit children attending public schools -
including charter schools - increased about 7 percent between
1990 and 2000, even as the enrollment in Detroit Public Schools
fell by 5 percent.

"I absolutely feel that the charter schools are doing much more,"
Betty Wordlaw, who enrolled her 6-year-old grandson in first
grade at the Warrendale Charter Academy after a year of
kindergarten in Detroit Public Schools, told the Detroit Free
Press. "I have other grandchildren in Detroit Public Schools, and
they're not learning like they should."
_______
SOURCE:
Detroit Free Press, "Charter schools growing," Sept. 10, 2002
http://www.freep.com/news/education/skul10_20020910.htm


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EDITORIAL: CONSOLIDATE SCHOOL AND GENERAL ELECTIONS
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DETROIT, Mich. - The Detroit News called for the consolidation of
school and general elections this week, saying the current system
of holding separate elections is expensive for taxpayers and
decreases voter participation.

The News says legislation to consolidate elections "has been tied
up in the Michigan House of Representatives for too long," and
called for the House to follow the lead of the Senate in passing
the measure.

Sponsored by Sen. Bev Hammerstrom, R-Temperance, the legislation
would consolidate all local elections, including school
balloting, under the authority of city and county clerks,
removing school boards from the process. It also would limit the
number of elections held in Michigan to four dates a year.
_______
SOURCES:
Detroit News, "It's Time to Consolidate State's School
Elections," Sept. 9, 2002
http://www.detnews.com/2002/editorial/0209/09/a08-581542.htm

Viewpoint on Public Issues, "School Elections Should Be in
November," Jan. 4, 1999
http://www.mackinac.org/article.asp?ID=1647

Michigan Education Report, "Consolidate School Elections with
General Elections," Early Fall 1999
http://www.mackinac.org/pubs/mer/article.aspx?ID=2232


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EDITORIAL: STOP "BASHING" CHARTER SCHOOLS
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DETROIT, Mich. - The Detroit News recently called for the
approval of legislation that would increase the number of charter
schools in Michigan, saying "it is time to stop bashing charter
schools, which give parents options without increasing taxes."

Citing two recent research projects that show the growth and
success of charter schools, the News said those against the
increasing charters, such as gubernatorial candidate Jennifer
Granholm, "are out of tune with demands from parents and
students."

The News cited research from the Midland-based Mackinac Center
for Public Policy showing that the proportion of charter school
fourth graders meeting state reading standards jumped 43 percent
between 2000 and 2001, while the comparable number for
traditional public schools was 10 percent.

"The data suggests that a charter school, despite any current
shortcoming, has explosive potential," the News said.
_______
SOURCES:
Detroit News, "Good Grades for Charter Schools," Sept. 8, 2002
http://www.detnews.com/2002/editorial/0209/09/a16-580983.htm

Progress, "News About Michigan's Charter Schools," Sept. 10, 2002
http://www.charterschools.org/whatsnew/progress/0802.html

Nando Times, "Study finds charter school students behind in
reading, math," Sept. 3, 2002
http://www.nandotimes.com/nation/story/521146p-4137368c.html

Lansing State Journal, "Nation's charter school scores lagging,"
Sept. 3, 2002
http://www.lsj.com/news/schools/020903_charter_1a-9a.html

Detroit Free Press, "Charter students gaining on tests,"
Sept. 5, 2002
http://www.freep.com/news/education/nchart5_20020905.htm

Battle Creek Enquirer, "Schools make the grade," Sept. 9, 2002

http://battlecreekenquirer.com/news/stories/20020909/localnews/41938.htm
l

Michigan Education Report, "Education at a Glance," Early Fall 2002
http://www.mackinac.org/pubs/mer/article.aspx?ID=4615


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DETROIT REFORM BOARD MEMBER OUSTED
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DETROIT, Mich. - Marygrove College President Glenda Price is no
longer a member of the appointed Detroit school board.

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick confirmed to the Detroit Free Press Monday
that he removed Price from the board effective Aug. 29 and said
that he intends to replace two or three more board members in
coming days.

Price's departure marks the first time the mayor has made changes
to the board since his January inauguration. Kilpatrick said
Price's removal was not an indictment of her abilities, but
reflected the need for a new mix of community activists, business
people and educators on the board.

Under the 1999 law that allowed a state takeover of the Detroit
Public Schools, the mayor has the authority to appoint six of the
seven board members. The school takeover law calls for a city
vote in November 2004 to decide whether to return to an elected
school board.
_______
SOURCE:
Detroit Free Press, "Detroit schools trustee ousted,"
Sept. 10, 2002
http://www.freep.com/news/education/board10_20020910.htm


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NOTICE: NEW ISSUE OF MICHIGAN EDUCATION REPORT RELEASED
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MIDLAND, Mich. - The Early Fall 2002 issue of Michigan Education
Report is hot off the presses!

Read Michigan Education Report online or look for your hard copy
in the mail.

Topics covered in the Early Fall 2002 issue:
* Teacher quality
* Debate on the U.S. Supreme Court voucher decision
* Proposal A
* Home school investigation, harassment
* Gubernatorial candidate profiles: Granholm and Posthumus
* And much more!

View the Early Fall 2002 issue at:
http://www.educationreport.org/pubs/mer/

Subscribe to Michigan Education Report at:
http://www.educationreport.org/pubs/mer/subscribe.aspx


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MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST is a service of Michigan Education
Report (http://www.educationreport.org), a quarterly newspaper
with a circulation of 130,000 published by the Mackinac Center
for Public Policy (http://www.mackinac.org), a private,
nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational institute.

Contact Managing Editor Elizabeth H. Moser at
[mailto:med@educationreport.org]
To subscribe, go to:
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