Contents of this issue:

  • Black charter school students top host district counterparts
  • DPS to lose $4 million due to low attendance
  • DeWitt to sell timber to help solve overspending crisis
  • Lear gives $1.5 million to Detroit tutoring program
  • Senate opts not to vote on school pension reform bill

Black Charter School Students Top Host District Counterparts

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Black students in charter public schools outperformed their counterparts in conventional school districts and statewide on the 2011 MEAP test, according to MLive.

“These findings are significant, but not surprising,” Dan Quisenberry, president of the Michigan Association of Public School Academies, told MLive. “One of the primary missions of a charter school is to give parents a quality educational option in places where the local public schools are failing. This data shows that the mission is succeeding.”

SOURCE: MLive, “Black students in charter schools scored better on MEAP math, reading tests than peers in same urban districts,” June 11, 2012

FURTHER READING: Michigan Education Report, “DPS Receives Bids from 18 Charter Operators,” May 5, 2011

DPS to Lose $4 Million Due to Low Attendance

DETROIT – Detroit Public Schools will have to repay the state $4.2 million after attendance fell below 75 percent on several target dates during the 2010-2011 school year, according to the Detroit Free Press.

DPS had expected to have to send the state about $21 million, the Free Press reported. The district actually failed to meet the 75 percent threshold on 46 days, and only 41 students attended the last day of school in June 2011. About 76,000 students are assigned to DPS, according to the Free Press.

SOURCE: Detroit Public Schools, “Poor student attendance costs DPS $4.2M,” June 12, 2012

FURTHER READING: Michigan Education Report, “State OKs DPS Plan to Close Half Its Schools," Feb. 22, 2011

DeWitt to Sell Timber to Help Solve Overspending Crisis

DEWITT, Mich. – DeWitt Public Schools plans to make about $43,000 by selling timber located on school property, including some trees that could be 200 years old, according to the Lansing State Journal.

The district faces an $800,000 overspending crisis, the Journal reported.

“Our budget definitely is a factor in our decision,” Superintendent John Deiter told the Journal. “We’re a people business (and want to make) wise use of natural resources to benefit the most people for the longest time.”

SOURCE: Lansing State Journal, “DeWitt schools may sell giant trees to help budget," June 7, 2012

FURTHER READING: Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Michigan School Privatization Survey 2009," Dec. 7, 2009

Lear Gives $1.5 Million to Detroit Tutoring Program

DETROIT – Juniors and seniors at the East English Village Preparatory Academy will be paid to help tutor middle schools students as part of a $1.5 million grant Lear Corp. is giving Detroit Public Schools, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The money will be directly deposited into accounts set up for the high school students at a local bank, and participants will also get credit for community service hours, the Free Press reported.

“I was concerned the kids in Detroit Public Schools aren’t getting the same opportunities as kids in other districts,” Lear CEO Matt Simoncini told the Free Press. “Grade school students get a role model outside the classroom — not an adult, some(one) they’ll listen to.”

SOURCE: Detroit Free Press, “Lear is underwriting a student tutoring program with the Detroit Public Schools,” June 15, 2012

FURTHER READING: Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Public-Private Education Partnership: Unlikely Consensus, Promising Result,” June 6, 2012

Senate Opts Not to Vote on School Pension Reform Bill

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Legislature recessed for a month without passing a controversial school employee pension reform bill, according to

Senate Bill 1040, which passed the House 57-47 last Thursday, was not brought up for a vote in the Senate, reported. Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, told the media that Republicans in that chamber did not have enough votes to pass the bill.

The Senate and House are scheduled to resume session July 18.

SOURCE:, “Michigan Senate fails to vote on teacher pension reform,” June 14, 2012

FURTHER READING: Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “House GOP Hides Behind Rigged ‘Study,’” June 2, 2010, “Senate Bill 1040”

MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST is a service of Michigan Education Report, an online newspaper published by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational institute.

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