Contents of this issue:
- DPS to re-bid IT contract
- Troy graduates concerned about personal information
- Eleven running for two board of education seats
- Saline teachers get new contract
- Flint, Saginaw enrollment down more than projected
DPS TO RE-BID IT CONTRACT
DETROIT — Detroit Public Schools could seek new bids on a $58
million technology contract after controversy arose over the
relationship between Superintendent William F. Coleman III and
one of the companies involved, according to The Detroit News.
The board of education met in closed session for more than two
hours on Oct. 12. Coleman said he referred an associate to one of
the bidding companies that eventually won a portion of the
contract, The News reported.
"On the face of it, it looks suspicious, there's no question,"
board President Jimmy Womack told The News. Womack also said the
board would not discipline Coleman until after an investigation
is completed, according to The News.
The Detroit News, "DPS board stalls action on IT contract,"
Oct. 13, 2006
Michigan Education Report, "DPS' credit rating falls after $259
million tax error," Dec. 15, 2005
Michigan Education Digest, "DPS must repay almost $1 million to
feds," July 5, 2006
Michigan Education Digest, "DPS limits 'excessive' retreat
spending," May 23, 2006
TROY GRADUATES CONCERNED ABOUT PERSONAL INFORMATION
TROY, Mich. — A group of alumni from Troy Athens High School
wants the school district to pay for five years of free credit
reports for each of them after personal information was reported
missing, according to The Detroit News.
Troy Public Schools is not sure if a computer hard drive
containing the names, addresses and Social Security numbers for
about 4,400 people was lost or stolen, prompting concerns about
identity theft, The News reported.
Nick Britzky, a 2000 graduate, told The News he is developing a
Web site for alumni to monitor the situation, and has requested
that the district pay for five years of free credit reports for
those whose names were on the list.
Police are investigating the loss, which they believe occurred in
August while the school was being renovated, according to The
The Detroit News, "Troy alumni confront district," Oct. 11, 2006
Michigan Education Report, "Education privacy law strengthened,"
Sept. 13, 2000
ELEVEN RUNNING FOR TWO BOARD OF EDUCATION SEATS
LANSING, Mich. — There are 11 candidates, including two sitting
members, running for two open seats on the State Board of
Education, according to WOOD-TV.
The incumbents are Democrat Reginald Turner, a Detroit attorney,
who was appointed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm to serve an unexpired
term in 2003, and Republican Eileen Weiser, whose husband,
Ronald, served as ambassador to the Slovak Republic from 2001-2004.
Challengers include Democrat Casandra Ulbrich, senior director of
development for Wayne State University's College of Liberal Arts
and Sciences, and Republican Tom McMillin, former mayor of Auburn
Hills and former Oakland County commissioner, WOOD-TV reported.
Third-party candidates include Debra Hayden, Natural Law Party;
Erwin Haas and Ernest Whiteside, Libertarian Party; Kevin Carey
and Jacob Woods, Green Party; and George Emerson and Gail
Graeser, U.S. Taxpayers Party.
The board is charged with appointing the state superintendent of
public instruction and overseeing curriculum standards.
WOOD-TV, "Two incumbents take on nine challengers for state
school board," Oct. 11, 2006
Michigan Education Report, "State board hires new ed chief,"
Aug. 16, 2005
Michigan Education Report, "Lansing must embrace basic reform
following Watkins debacle," April 11, 2005
SALINE TEACHERS GET NEW CONTRACT
SALINE, Mich. — Teachers in the Saline Area Schools agreed to
switch from traditional health insurance to a PPO and pay a
bigger share of their own prescription drug costs as part of a
contract that also includes pay raises, according to The Ann
The 325-member teachers union agreed to a new three-year contract
that will increase their salaries 1 percent this year, 3 percent
next year and 2 percent in the final year, The News reported. The
pay raises are expected to cost the district $1.6 million, while
the health insurance savings will net $300,000.
Trustee Art Trapp was the only school board member to vote
against the contract, expressing concern that the district's fund
balance is below the board-mandated level of 5 percent of its
"We have not had a positive year (with revenue over expenses) in
the last eight years," Trapp told The News. "One of the things I
thought we made pretty clear is we needed to end up with a 5
percent reserve. I didn't see anything that would get us back to
Both sides agreed that the contract could be opened in the third
year to revisit changes in health insurance costs and salaries,
according to The News.
The Ann Arbor News, "Saline teachers OK contract," Oct. 6, 2006
Michigan Education Digest, "Escanaba teachers get raises linked
to health insurance costs," Oct. 10, 2006
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Decades of Dollars and
Disappointment," Oct. 6, 2006
Michigan Education Digest, "Marquette teachers accept less costly
MESSA insurance," Aug. 29, 2006
FLINT, SAGINAW ENROLLMENT DOWN MORE THAN PROJECTED
FLINT, Mich. — Enrollment in the Flint and Saginaw school
districts are down twice as much as projected, according to local
Flint schools saw enrollment drop 1,800 students compared to
September 2005, according to The Flint Journal.
About 16,550 students are enrolled in Flint this year, compared
to 18,334 last year. Enrollment was almost 21,000 in 2002 and
more than 33,000 in 1980, The Journal reported.
"I'm stunned," Steve Burroughs, president of the United Teachers
of Flint, told The Journal.
In Saginaw, enrollment fell by about 800 students, compared to a
drop of 400 the district expected, according to WNEM-TV5. Violence was cited by one parent who moved her children to a
different district, while Michael Manley, district spokesman,
told WNEM that fewer jobs in the area could be part of the
The Flint Journal, "Flint enrollment falls by almost 1,800
students," Oct. 1, 2006
WNEM-TV5 "Saginaw Schools Looses Students and Money"
Michigan Education Digest, "Flint-area charter public schools
growing," Sept. 26, 2006
Michigan Education Digest, "Flint schools prepare for enrollment
drop," May 2, 2006
Michigan Education Digest, "Saginaw schools consider staff
layoffs," April 11, 2006
MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST is a service of Michigan Education
a quarterly newspaper
with a circulation of 150,000 published by the Mackinac Center
for Public Policy (https://www.mackinac.org
nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational institute.