MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST
Volume V, No. 4
Jan. 28, 2003
http://www.educationreport.org/4229

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Contents of this issue:
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* Study: Public schools resegregating
* East Lansing school district forced to cut millions
* Boston Teachers Union demands greater spending from financially
troubled district
* AFT dissolves D.C. teachers' union leadership; takes over amid
theft allegations
* State education budget problems hurt charter school enrollment
* Editorial: Class sizes not affected by hiring more teachers

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STUDY: PUBLIC SCHOOLS RESEGREGATING
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A study released this month by Harvard
University's Civil Rights Project shows that public schools are
becoming "resegregated" as a result of U.S. Supreme Court rulings
striking down state-imposed busing and racial quota programs.

Schools have spent enormous amounts of money on desegregation
programs in the past 30 years. "Kansas City spent $2 billion
trying to bring back whites. In the meantime, test scores
remained flat. One has to wonder what could have been achieved
had that kind of money been spent on teachers," Harvard Professor
Dr. Stephan Thernstrom told the Dallas Morning News.

Seventy percent of black students and nearly 76 percent of Latino
students nationwide attend minority schools, the report found.
Michigan is "highly segregated," according to the study; it ranks
in the upper third of states for its level of segregation.
However, the South has seen the most gains in desegregation,
moving from "virtual apartheid in the early 1960s to become the
nation's most integrated region," said the study.
_______
SOURCES:
Dallas Morning News, "Public schools resegregating, research
finds," Jan. 18, 2003
http://www.dallasnews.com/latestnews/stories/011903dnnewreseg.15e96.html

CNN, "Study: Schools becoming more segregated," Jan. 19, 2003
http://www.cnn.com/2003/EDUCATION/01/19/school.race.study/index.html

Civil Rights Project, "A Multiracial Society with Segregated
Schools: Are We Losing the Dream?" January 2003
http://www.civilrightsproject.harvard.edu/research/reseg03/reseg03_full.php

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Fear of Segregation Is No
Argument against School Choice," February 2000
http://www.mackinac.org/2669

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "School Choice Integrates
Students of All Races," September 1999
http://www.mackinac.org/2464


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EAST LANSING SCHOOL DISTRICT FORCED TO CUT MILLIONS
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EAST LANSING, Mich. – East Lansing Public Schools must cut over
$4 million from its 2003-04 budget in order to erase a budget
shortfall, reported the Lansing State Journal. The district plans
to close an elementary school, lay off over 30 teachers, and
restructure the grade-level offerings in its other schools.

Teachers, parents and union leaders in the district are worried
about losing valuable services and quality of instruction with
the budget cuts.

In 1993, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy found that the
East Lansing district was paying 4 to 5 times the cost other
local businesses were paying for custodial services. Purchasing
custodial service at the same rate as Sears, for instance, would
have saved the district over $1 million a decade ago.
_______
SOURCES:
Lansing State Journal, "E. Lansing schools face drastic plan,"
Jan. 28, 2003
http://www.lsj.com/news/schools/030128_restructure_1a.html

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Do Schools Really Need More
Money?" September 1993
http://www.mackinac.org/146


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BOSTON TEACHERS UNION DEMANDS GREATER SPENDING FROM FINANCIALLY
TROUBLED DISTRICT
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BOSTON, Mass. – The Boston Teachers Union presented that city's
school district with a 22-page list of bargaining demands for the
union's new contract, reports the Boston Herald. The demands
include sick days for substitutes, reductions in class size,
reduced road tolls, and pay increases for teachers.

The district already is struggling to pay teachers due to a
projected $15 to $24 million budget shortfall this year; $60
million may be cut from the district's budget next year. Samuel
Tyler, president of the Boston Municipal Research Bureau, said,
"Their financial demands sound unrealistic in light of the
current financial situation the city faces."

Budget problems around the country are forcing unions to make
concessions on contract demands to keep local and state education
budgets in check. Michigan school districts could lose $44 to $87
per student under budget cuts being considered by Gov. Jennifer
Granholm.
_______
SOURCES:
Boston Herald, "Hub teachers union presents sweeping contract
demands," Jan. 23, 2003
http://www2.bostonherald.com/news/local_regional/teac01232003.htm

Boston Herald, "`For the children?' Right!" Jan. 23, 2003
http://www2.bostonherald.com/news/opinion/edtb01232003.htm

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Collective Bargaining:
Bringing Education to the Table," January 1998
http://www.mackinac.org/791


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AFT DISSOLVES D.C. TEACHERS' UNION LEADERSHIP, TAKES OVER AMID
THEFT ALLEGATIONS
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to allegations of financial
wrongdoing by the Washington Teachers' Union, 150 members held an
unsanctioned meeting earlier this month and issued a nearly
unanimous vote of no confidence against the union's executive
board.

The vote came three days after the board turned down a request by
more than 250 teachers for a sanctioned meeting. The teachers
will formally introduce the passed motions at the union's next
official meeting.

Following the vote, The American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
assumed control of the union, dismissed the local leadership and
appointed its own administrator as a result of the alleged theft
of more than $5 million in local union money. This is the first
time since the AFT was founded in 1916 that it has ousted the
leadership of a local union and appointed an administrator to run
day-to-day operations.
_______
SOURCES:
Washington Post, "D.C. Union Taken Over By Parent Federation,"
Jan. 23, 2003
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A30645-2003Jan22.html

Washington Post, "Teachers Union Investigated In Fundraisers for
Williams," Jan. 22, 2003
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A24521-2003Jan21.html

Washington Times, "Teachers vote to dissolve board,"
Jan. 14, 2003
http://www.washingtontimes.com/metro/20030114-14745812.htm

Wall Street Journal, "Union Don'ts -- And Dues," Jan. 21, 2003
http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB1043110237591413024,00.html

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Teachers Unions: Helping or
Hurting?"
http://www.mackinac.org/9399


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STATE EDUCATION BUDGET PROBLEMS HURT CHARTER SCHOOL ENROLLMENT
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NEW YORK, N.Y. – A Wall Street Journal report shows that funding
problems have caused a decline in both charter school enrollment
and in the number of charters nationwide.

Several states – including Michigan – have had trouble opening
new charters due to legal limits and financial problems.
Massachusetts and Oklahoma have placed moratoriums on new
charters, while the Michigan Legislature's last attempt to open
more charter schools in Detroit ended in defeat.

Although charter school advocates fear these troubles could
hinder the charter movement, there are signs of vitality in spots
where options are dismal, such as Detroit, where charter
enrollment has actually increased.
_______
SOURCES:
Wall Street Journal, "Charter-School Movement Sputters as
Applicants Drop," Jan. 21, 2003
http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB1043102525211380984-search,00.html

Detroit Free Press, "Economy puts snarl in education funds," Jan. 27,
2003
http://www.freep.com/news/education/cuts27_20030127.htm

Detroit News, "Charter schools growing," Sept. 10, 2002
http://www.freep.com/news/education/skul10_20020910.htm


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EDITORIAL: CLASS SIZES NOT AFFECTED BY HIRING MORE TEACHERS
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The national average of class size hasn't
been significantly reduced over the last 30 years, even though
there has been a 48 percent increase in the teaching workforce
relative to the student population, a Florida Times-Union
editorial has reported.

The Times-Union quotes Jay P. Greene, senior fellow at the
Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, saying that "Rather than
reducing class sizes, which unions claim will improve student
learning, the additional teachers have been used to reduce
teacher workload."

A June 2000 report by Dr. Kirk Johnson of the Heritage Foundation
indicates that class-size reductions don't improve achievement.
Johnson shows that in areas where class size has been reduced,
achievement scores remained relatively constant.
_______
SOURCES:
Florida Times-Union, "Missing teachers," Jan. 24, 2003
http://jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/012403/opi_11554647.shtml

Heritage Foundation, "Do Small Classes Influence Academic
Achievement? What the National Assessment of Educational Progress
Shows," June 2000
http://www.heritage.org/Research/Education/CDA00-07.cfm

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Class Size Reduction is
Expensive," October 1998
http://www.mackinac.org/1282


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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 Neil Block at
[mailto:med@educationreport.org]

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