MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST
Volume IV, No. 37
Sept. 17, 2002
http://www.educationreport.org/pubs/med/


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Contents of this issue:
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* U.S. Secretary of Education says teacher shortage contrived
* Opinion: Has Michigan spent enough on school buildings?
* Wayne County threatens parents of truants with jail time
* Debate over Prop 4, Merit award scholarships escalates
* NOTICE: New issue of Michigan Education Report released


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U.S. SECRETARY OF EDUCATION SAYS TEACHER SHORTAGE CONTRIVED
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - The nation's teacher shortage "is a contrived
one," the Bush administration's top education official said
Monday.

"I don't subscribe to the idea that there is a shortage of
teachers," U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige told Gannett
News Service Monday. "I think there are some systems that block
people out of the teaching profession who would be wonderful
teachers."

Education experts have estimated more than 2 million new teachers
will be needed in the next decade and say demand will increase
dramatically because the federal "No Child Left Behind Act"
requires a highly qualified teacher in every classroom by 2006.

To meet those requirements, Paige said states should eliminate
obstacles - such as requiring formal teaching credentials and
certification - and open the teaching ranks to nontraditional
applicants, including professionals who teach as a second career
and retired military personnel.
_______
SOURCES:
Detroit News, "Education secretary calls teacher shortage
contrived," Sept. 17, 2002
http://www.detnews.com/2002/schools/0209/17/a03-589214.htm

Michigan Education Report, "What teacher shortage?," Winter 2002
http://www.educationreport.org/pubs/mer/article.aspx?ID=4070

Michigan Education Report, "President signs 'No Child Left Behind
Act,'" Winter 2002
http://www.educationreport.org/pubs/mer/article.aspx?ID=4082


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OPINION: HAS MICHIGAN SPENT ENOUGH ON SCHOOL BUILDINGS?
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DETROIT, Mich. - In a recent Detroit News point-counterpoint,
education experts debated the question, "Has Michigan spent
enough on school buildings?"

Patrick Anderson, principal of Anderson Economic Group, a Lansing
economics consulting firm, who served as deputy state budget
director when Proposal A passed in 1994, answered "yes."

"The truth is that taxpayers have been extraordinarily generous
in increasing funding for our public school system. Since 1994,
Michigan taxpayers have increased funding for operating and
infrastructure purposes, at rates between three and 10 times the
rate of inflation," Anderson wrote.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Watkins disagreed,
claiming that "There are great inequities, maybe even savage
inequities, in schools across our state."

Watkins states that many Michigan schools are in disrepair and
the state should increase investment in the schools, possibly to
the tune of $1 billion dollars.

________
SOURCES:
Detroit News, "Has Michigan spent enough on school buildings?,"
Sept. 15, 2002
Yes: http://www.detnews.com/2002/editorial/0209/16/a19-587325.htm
No: http://www.detnews.com/2002/editorial/0209/16/a19-587298.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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WAYNE COUNTY THREATENS PARENTS OF TRUANTS WITH JAIL TIME
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WAYNE COUNTY, Mich. - Parents and guardians in 17 Wayne County
school districts who do not make their children attend school
regularly may face criminal charges under a program called Erase
Truancy.

The program was considered such a success in the five districts
where it was tried last year by the Wayne County Prosecutor's
Office that 12 other school districts, including Detroit Public
Schools, have signed on.

The program is an attempt to enforce the state's Compulsory
Education Act, which requires children between the ages of 6 and
16 to attend school. The program kicks in after a child is absent
for 10 or more days without a valid excuse. Parents or guardians
who are convicted of the misdemeanor of educational negligence
face 90 days in jail, a fine, or both.

Wayne County Prosecutor Michael Duggan told the Detroit Free
Press his office sent 205 letters to parents of chronically
truant students in the five pilot districts last year. Of those,
202 students returned to school. In the other three cases,
parents ended up with probation agreements.
_______
SOURCE:
Detroit Free Press, "Wayne County extends truancy fight,"
Sept. 11, 2002
http://www.freep.com/news/education/truant11_20020911.htm


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DEBATE OVER PROP 4, MERIT AWARD SCHOLARSHIPS ESCALATES
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LANSING, Mich. - A recent letter from the state to 45,000 high-
achieving high school seniors tells them not to count on
receiving Michigan Merit Award scholarships until the outcome of
Proposal 4 is decided in the elections Nov. 5.

Proposition 4 would redirect Michigan's share of tobacco
settlement money which currently pays for the scholarships, to
hospitals, nursing homes, and other health-related programs.

The scholarships are awarded to students who score high on the
Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP), and offer up to
$2,500 per student. Deprived of this funding, it is doubtful the
program would survive. So far, the scholarships have been given
to about 145,000 students.
_______
SOURCES:
Detroit Free Press, "Merit award battle heats up," Sept. 17, 2002
http://www.freep.com/news/education/meap17_20020917.htm

Detroit News, "Effects of Prop 4," Sept. 17, 2002
http://www.detnews.com/2002/editorial/0209/17/a08-588854.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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