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THE NEXT ISSUE OF MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST WILL BE SENT
DECEMBER 23, 2002 DUE TO THE HOLIDAY.
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MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST
Volume IV, No. 50
Dec. 17, 2002
http://www.educationreport.org/pubs/med/

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Contents of this issue:
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* Six habits to save school budgets, increase funds for classroom
* Charter plan would allow 15 more charters in Detroit
* Leading schools-of-choice district loses students
* Detroit schools may lose $152 million due to military lists
* School official repays district for personal expenditures


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SIX HABITS TO SAVE SCHOOL BUDGETS, INCREASE FUNDS FOR CLASSROOM
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MIDLAND, Mich. – Six habits of fiscal responsibility could save
schools money and allow more funds to flow to classrooms,
according to a recent Detroit News commentary by Dr. Kirk
Johnson.

Dr. Johnson, director of education policy at the Midland-based
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a research and educational
institute, says schools following the six habits outlined in a
new Mackinac Center study could resolve budget crises and invest
saved money in teachers and student programs.

The six habits recommended in the study include: (1) Minimizing
administrative costs; (2) Outsourcing non-instructional services;
(3) Managing employee health benefits effectively; (4)
Structuring capital costs effectively; (5) Participating in
Michigan's Schools-of-Choice Program; and, (6) Reforming
collective bargaining.
_______
SOURCES:
Detroit News, "Six steps can save school budgets," Dec. 13, 2002
http://www.detnews.com/2002/editorial/0212/13/a13-34650.htm

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "The Six Habits of Fiscally
Responsible Public School Districts," December 2002
http://www.mackinac.org/4891



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CHARTER PLAN WOULD ALLOW 15 MORE CHARTERS IN DETROIT
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LANSING, Mich. – The state Senate may vote later this week on a
new plan to create 15 new charter high schools in Detroit.
The bill, passed by the state House of Representatives late
Friday, allows Detroit's mayor to issue charters to 15 new
charter high schools, granting charters for three schools each
year for the next 5 years. The bill also includes $7.5 million
for Detroit schools to help offset any losses caused by declining
enrollment.

However, public school officials in Detroit voiced concern over
the plan, saying the district could lose millions in per-student
funding if students transfer to the new charter schools. But
legislators challenge that idea.

"I think there's this misperception that once these schools open,
there will be a mad dash from all the Detroit public high
schools," State Rep. Bill McConico, D-Detroit, a member of the
education committee who was part of the legislative negotiations
last week, told the Detroit Free Press.

"If in three years after Detroit Public Schools have finished
building new schools and implementing new programs there's still
people who want to leave, that's indication a serious problem
still exists," he said.
_______
SOURCES:
Detroit Free Press, "Charter school plan worries some,"
Dec. 17, 2002
http://www.freep.com/news/education/skuls17_20021217.htm

Detroit Free Press, "About the charter schools plan,"
Dec. 17, 2002
http://www.freep.com/news/education/qanda17_20021217.htm

Detroit Free Press, "Funding for the Plan," Dec. 17, 2002
http://www.freep.com/news/education/thomp17_20021217.htm

MichiganVotes.org, Senate Bill 143
http://www.michiganvotes.org/bill.asp?ID=5054



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LEADING SCHOOLS-OF-CHOICE DISTRICT LOSES STUDENTS
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HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. – Highland Park, a district known as a
leader in public schools-of-choice enrollment, lost nearly 200
students this year, compared to last fall.

In the 1999-00, 2000-01, and 2001-02 school years, no other
district in the state was more successful at recruiting out-of-
district students than Highland Park's. In those years, the
district attracted 974, 1,334 and 1,524 outside students,
respectively, according to state figures.

But this year, the district lost 196 students overall, sliding
from 3,962 last fall. K-12 enrollment fell 301 students to 2,704,
while enrollment in the career academy and adult education
programs grew by 105 students to 1,062.

School board members and district officials say there is no
single reason for the loss of K-12 students, but it may be due in
part to Detroit schools retaining students that usually
transferred to Highland Park.

"This year, we're not getting all the Detroit students we usually
get," board member Winona Humphrey told the Detroit Free Press.
"I just see it as we have some more marketing to do."
_______
SOURCE:
Detroit Free Press, "Enrollment slips at Schools of Choice leader
in Highland Park," Dec. 11, 2002
http://www.freep.com/news/education/denrol11_20021211.htm



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DETROIT SCHOOLS MAY LOSE $152 MILLION DUE TO MILITARY LISTS
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DETROIT, Mich. – The Detroit public school district may lose
$151.7 million in federal funding if school officials fail to
turn over names and addresses of high school juniors and seniors
to military recruiters.

The requirement is part of the federal No Child Left Behind law
passed in January. There is no deadline for compliance, but U.S.
Department of Education officials have been advising schools to
submit a list of names within a "reasonable" time, Jim Bradshaw,
department spokesman, told the Detroit Free Press.

The law also requires school districts to notify parents that
their child will be on the list. Parents can have their child's
name removed, a process known as opting out.

School districts that don't comply could have their federal
funding yanked.

Detroit school officials told the Free Press that the district is
complying, and the list should be ready within about four weeks.
_______
SOURCE:
Detroit Free Press, "Detroit school funding tied to military
list," Dec. 16, 2002
http://www.freep.com/news/education/milit16_20021216.htm



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SCHOOL OFFICIAL REPAYS DISTRICT FOR PERSONAL EXPENDITURES
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DETROIT, Mich. – LaVonne Sheffield, Detroit Public Schools'
chief academic officer, repaid the school district $5,861 in
the past three weeks for personal expenditures and purchases
without receipts that she billed to the district.
The reimbursements included $1,200 to the Detroit Institute of
Arts Founders Society, $846 for a Skymall catalog purchase,
$278 to Mario's Restaurant, and $344.60 for flowers she bought
for staff.

Sheffield also paid back money for University of Michigan and
Wayne State University alumni dues, and $118 for a room at the
Luxor hotel in Las Vegas that she canceled to move to a
different casino hotel for a district-approved conference.
While at that May conference, Sheffield got married to Detroit
police Inspector William Hudson.

Sheffield was among top-level administrators who repaid the
district after the media requested debit card bills and
receipts last month. Those receipts show some of the same
misspending and lax bookkeeping for which principals and school
bookkeepers were disciplined over the past two years.

District policy prohibits use of school money for "purchases of
personal items that benefit school or district staff and their
family members."
_______
SOURCES:
Detroit News, "Official repays school district," Dec. 16, 2002
http://www.detnews.com/2002/schools/0212/17/b01-36602.htm

Michigan Education Report, "Financial scandals exposed in
Michigan districts," Fall 2002
http://www.educationreport.org/pubs/mer/article.aspx?ID=4835



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MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST is a service of Michigan Education
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with a circulation of 130,000 published by the Mackinac Center
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nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational institute.

Contact Managing Editor Elizabeth H. Moser at
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