Oct. 14, 2014

Contents of this issue:

  • Bill could kill charter public schools completely
  • Concerned about injuries, Caro cancels varsity football season
  • Grand Rapids reauthorizes 15-year-old charter school
  • EAA interim chief’s contract extended, other candidate out
  • Howell board places super on leave, investigates expenses

Bill Could Kill Charter Public Schools Completely

LANSING, Mich. – Proposed legislation could eliminate all public charter schools, according to Michigan Capitol Confidential. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy publishes both Michigan Education Digest and Capitol Confidential.

Michigan Capitol Confidential reports that the legislation would result in approximately 50 charter public schools being closed every year during the next five years, as charter contracts come up for renewal.
Gary Naeyaert, executive director of the Great Lakes Education Project, told Capitol Confidential that the bill “…is further proof that the Democrats don’t really want better charter schools, they just want charter schools to go away.”
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Sarah Roberts, D-St. Clair Shores, told Capitol Confidential she disagrees with that interpretation. “I think the language is clear; but if anyone wants to help us work on amending it to make that true intent clearer during a committee hearing, we would be happy to work with them.”

SOURCE: Michigan Capitol Confidential, “Moratorium or Mortuary? School Choice Proponents Claim Bill Would Kill Charters,” Oct. 9, 2014 
FURTHER READING: Michigan Capitol Confidential, “Challenging the Rhetoric in the War on Charter Public Schools,” Oct. 1, 2014 

Concerned About Injuries, Caro Cancels Varsity Football Season

CARO, Mich. – With three varsity players suffering concussions and others ending the season with injuries, Caro High School moved to cancel the remainder of its varsity football season, according to WEYI TV-25.

“We’re really risking too much,” Caro Superintendent Mike Joslyn told WEYI. Joslysn, according to MI NBC News, played football at Caro during his high school career.
Two-thirds of the players on the Caro football team voted to end the season early, according to WEYI.
“These kids have futures beyond football,” Joslyn told WEYI.

SOURCE: WEYI TV-25, “Caro cancels varsity football season,” Oct. 9, 2014 

FURTHER READING: Michigan Capitol Confidential, “Proposed State Law Would End Blowout High School Football Games Early,” June 7, 2014 

Grand Rapids Reauthorizes 15-Year-Old Charter School

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Public Schools is reauthorizing its only charter p ublic school, the Grand Rapids Child Discovery Center, according to MLive. MLive reports the district has authorized the school since 1999, and is reauthorizing it for another three years.

According to MLive, the district has made changes to its charter contract in response to state officials’ suggestions.
MLive reports the school has been identified by the state as having a large achievement gap between high-achieving and lower-achieving students. That designation, according to MLive, changed the district’s goal for the charter public school from improving achievement for “all pupils” to improving achievement for “all groups of pupils,” referring to groupings based on race and income, among other factors.

SOURCE: MLive, “Grand Rapids school board approves new, three-year contract with its charter school,” Oct. 6, 2014 
FURTHER READING: Michigan Capitol Confidential, “School District Revokes Authorization of Popular Charter," Aug. 5, 2014

EAA Interim Chief’s Contract Extended, Other Candidate Out

DETROIT – The Education Achievement Authority extended Interim Chancellor Veronica Conforme’s contract through the end of the calendar year, The Detroit News reports.

The News reports that this is the second time the EAA has extended Conforme’s contract. Conforme is one of two candidates for the EAA chancellor position, The News reports.
In response to Conforme’s extension, the remaining candidate for the EAA chancellor position, Saginaw Superintendent Car lton Jenkins, dropped out of the running, according to The News.
The EAA’s board will be meeting soon to consider a decision, The News reports.

SOURCES: The Detroit News, “EAA to vote on interim chancellor’s contract extension,” Sep. 30, 2014 and The Detroit News, “Contender for EAA chancellor drops out,” Oct. 7, 2014 
FURTHER READING: Michigan Capitol Confidential, “Teachers Union Pushes Districts To Boycott Some University Students Over Politics, Nov. 8, 2013

Howell Board Places Super on Leave, Investigates Expenses

HOWELL, Mich. – Conflict between the Howell school board and Howell Superintendent Ron Wilson has escalated, according to the Livingston Daily Press & Argus.

The Press & Argus reports that Wilson has been placed on indefinite paid leave while the board investigates his expense reports. Previously, according to the Press & Argus, Wilson filed harassment charges against the Howell board president.
The Press & Argus reports the expense report investigation likely will not take more than three weeks.

SOURCE: Livingston Daily Press & Argus, “Howell su perintendent placed on leave,” Oct. 6, 2014 
FURTHER READING: Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Howell School Board Bucks MEA Advice: Saves $2.9 Million and Avoids Program Cuts,” May 16, 2011