Contents of this issue:
- 'Edujobs' relies on cutting other programs
- College president says MPSERS too costly
- Grantees say they'll spend money in Michigan
- School leaders: MESSA facing more competition
- Summer school at farmers market
RELIES ON CUTTING OTHER PROGRAMS
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An "edujobs" bill that is largely
expected to win approval today would shift money from other education and food
assistance programs into a $10 billion teachers' job fund and Medicaid payments
to states, according to various media reports.
Supporters say the bill would ward off public school
teacher layoffs, according to The Grand Rapids Press. But critics point out
that the funding comes from other programs intended to serve students and that
teachers unions are among the beneficiaries.
Union officials said that legislators who vote
against the measure can expect repercussions during fall elections, according
to one report.
Citing information from Education Week, the Press reported
that the bill takes $50 million from the Striving Readers adolescent literacy
program, $10 million from the Ready to Teach program and $82 million from
student financial aid administration.
The Washington Independent reported that the bill,
which increases Medicaid payments to states, also relies on rolling back benefits
in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program as of 2014. Those
benefits were increased under the federal stimulus program, it reported.
The Michigan-based Education Action Group said that
the bill would effectively funnel money to teachers unions, estimating the
amount at about $36 million for the National Education Association and $14
million for the American Federation of Teachers, The Press reported.
Several major unions said they will campaign against
legislators who vote against the measure, according to The Hill.
The Grand Rapids Press, "Edujobs bill closer to
clearing Senate, though critics argue unions, not students, gain," Aug. 4, 2010
The Washington Independent, "Senate Makes Further
Cuts to Food Stamps to Pay for Medicaid, Edujobs," Aug. 4, 2010
The Hill, "Teachers' unions plan to rev up recess
action to protect Dem majority," Aug. 8, 2010
Michigan Capitol Confidential, "Policy Analyst
Reaction: The Teacher Salary Bailout," May 30, 2010
PRESIDENT SAYS MPSERS TOO COSTLY
Mich. — Washtenaw Community College could save about $1 million a year by
removing 1,100 part-time employees from the payroll and rehiring them as
contract employees, an idea that President Larry Whitworth has recommended to
the board of trustees, according to AnnArbor.com.
would mean the college would no longer contribute to the state retirement
system on behalf of those employees, according to the report.
told AnnArbor.com that he also supports Senate Bill 802, a separate plan that
would allow the college to enroll all new employees in a defined contribution
retirement plan rather than the current defined benefit plan managed by the
will have to pay $9.8 million into the Michigan Public School Employees
Retirement System this year, up from about $3 million a decade ago,
Satchwell, president of the Ann Arbor Education Association, told AnnArbor.com
that if community colleges opt out of the state retirement system, then the
K-12 school system would have to pay more in order to provide the promised
"Washtenaw Community College considers converting part-time faculty to contract
employees to avoid state pension contribution," Aug. 7, 2010
Education Report, "15 Specific Ideas to Move Michigan Forward," June 7, 2010
Votes, 2009 Senate Bill 802 (Not include community college employees in school
SAY THEY'LL SPEND MONEY IN MICHIGAN
D.C. — Two reform groups that stand to receive a combined $48 million in
federal "i3" innovation grants intend to spend part of their money in Michigan
public schools, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
department on Thursday named Johns Hopkins University and California-based
WestEd as two of 49 i3 winners, though final awards depend on whether each
winner can secure a required 20 percent private matching grant, the press
Hopkins University reported that it already has secured matching funds for its
$30 million award, and that it will use part of the money to bring its
"Diplomas Now" program to selected Detroit Public Schools high schools and
their feeder middle schools.
goal of the program is to attain an 80 percent high school graduation rate and
a 30 percent reduction in the number of middle-schoolers who arrive at high
school behind grade level, the university stated in its application.
plans to use its $18 million award to implement the "Reading Apprentice-ship"
program in 300 schools in four states, including Michigan, its application
program focuses on professional development for teachers in English, biology
and history as a means to improve student literacy. The application names the
Livingston and Washtenaw intermediate school districts as partners, as well as
Lincoln Consolidated, Willow Run and the Ypsilanti school districts.
Department of Education, "Nation's Boldest Education Reform Plans to Receive
Federal Innovation Grants Once Private Match is Secured," Aug. 5, 2010
Center for Public Policy, "The Underfunded Myth," June 2, 2010
LEADERS: MESSA FACING MORE COMPETITION
JACKSON, Mich. — The number of school
districts moving out of its insurance plans is forcing the Michigan Education
Special Services Association to offer more competitive pricing and varied
health plans, school administrators told The Jackson Citizen Patriot.
Support staff employees or
administrative employee groups in three Jackson-area school districts have agreed
to switch to a different provider in order to save money, The Citizen Patriot
reported. Those districts may ask teachers to do the same, the report said.
MESSA is a third-party insurance
administrator affiliated with the Michigan Education Association; it sells Blue
Cross Blue Shield of Michigan health insurance packages to a majority of
Michigan public school districts.
MESSA spokesman Gary Fralick told The
Citizen Patriot that MESSA lost about 2,000 members in the past year, partly
due to school district downsizing. The association is prepared to compete with
other providers, Fralick told The Citizen Patriot.
"I think MESSA's going to have to lower
their premiums and make it more affordable to districts," Northwest school board
President Chris Kelly told The Citizen Patriot.
The Jackson Citizen Patriot, "Is this
the beginning of the end for MESSA?" July 31, 2010
Michigan Education Digest, "Rate hike
takes up most of savings," May 7, 2010
SCHOOL AT FARMERS MARKET
WYOMING, Mich. — Summer school is in
session at the farmers market in Wyoming this year, where students practice
math by making change and develop social skills by waiting on customers,
according to The Grand Rapids Press.
Students from nine summer school sites
in four area public school districts are taking turns staffing the booth each
week at the Metro Health market, selling a variety of handcrafted items and
foods, The Press reported.
It's the first time some students have
ever visited a farm market, Courtney Stevens, a program coordinator, told The
Nine-year-old Luis Suarez told The
Press that the 25-cent magnets were big sellers, "because they're beautiful and
The Grand Rapids Press, "Farmers market
summer school teaches Wyoming students math, marketing, social skills," Aug. 2,
Michigan Education Digest, "Eating
veggies in Taylor," May 16, 2009
MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST is a service of Michigan Education Report (https://www.educationreport.org), an online newspaper published by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy (https://www.mackinac.org), a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational institute.