Contents of this issue:

  • DPS chief implements new contract
  • Manchester looking for alternatives to MESSA
  • Battle Creek could privatize busing
  • Michigan denied NCLB waiver
  • State sets new list of ‘best practices’

DPS Chief Implements New Contract

DETROIT – The emergency manager for Detroit Public Schools implemented a new contract for teachers Sunday, according to The Detroit News.

A spokesman for the district refused to reveal the terms of the contract, saying he wanted the teachers union to explain the contract to its members first, The News reported. The district held several meetings with union bosses while drafting the contract, but there were no negotiations.
The district’s budget for the coming school year is $784 million, a 25 percent cut, according to The News.
SOURCE: The Detroit News, “Detroit school chief imposes contract on teachers,” July 1, 2012
FURTHER READING: Michigan Education Report, “Illegal teacher strike possible in Detroit,” June 26, 2012

Manchester Looking for Alternatives to MESSA

MANCHESTER, Mich. – Manchester Community Schools recently approved a new agreement with its teachers union to limit health insurance costs and will seek a new provider, according to The Manchester Enterprise.

The district made the change to comply with a new state law and will pay a maximum of $5,500 for single employees and $15,000 for family plans, The Enterprise reported.
Manchester also is considering joining a consortium with nearby districts in order to seek a less expensive insurance option, The Enterprise reported. The district currently purchases insurance through the Michigan Education Special Services Association, a third-party administrator that is affiliated with the MEA.
SOURCE: The Manchester Enterprise, “Manchester Schools: Board ratifies agreement with teachers’ union in special meeting,” July 1, 2012
FURTHER READING: Michigan Capitol Confidential, “MEA Ignores Reality in Complaints About Health Care Cost Increases," May 3, 2012

Battle Creek Could Privatize Busing

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. – Battle Creek Public Schools is seeking bids from private competitors for its transportation needs, according to the Battle Creek Enquirer.

The district expects to overspend revenues by $2.4 million next year, the Enquirer reported. The BCPS board has voted to eliminate some sports and also laid off 26 teachers.
SOURCE: Battle Creek Enquirer, “Schools spend millions on non-mandated services," June 30, 2012
FURTHER READING: Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Michigan School Privatization Survey 2011," Dec. 7, 2011

Michigan Denied NCLB Waiver

LANSING, Mich. – Five states were granted waivers last week from the federal No Child Left Behind act, but Michigan was not one of them, according to MLive.

Arkansas, Missouri, South Dakota and Utah were exempted from the law, which requires all students be proficient in reading and math by 2014.
“The department has just submitted revisions to our waiver application and we hope to have a positive determination very soon,” Jan Ellis, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Education, told MLive.
The department said it wants to have 85 percent of students proficient in math and reading by 2022, MLive reported.
SOURCE: MLive, “Michigan not among five states granted No Child Left Behind flexibility waivers,” June 30, 2012
FURTHER READING: Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “No Cop-Out Left Behind,” March 23, 2005

State Sets New List of ‘Best Practices’

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan public schools must compete seven of eight new “best practices” to receive an additional $52 per student, according to the (Ionia) Sentinel-Standard.

Schools last year that met four out of five goals received an extra $100 per student.
The goals for districts now include: seeking competitive bids for at least one noninstructional service, acting as the policy holder for health insurance, providing dual enrollment and increasing online learning options, the Sentinel-Standard reported.
SOURCE: (Ionia) Sentinel-Standard, “State reveals new ‘best practices’ for public schools,” June 28, 2012
FURTHER READING: Michigan Capitol Confidential, “Only Two School Districts With Deficits Don’t Meet ‘Best Practices,’” Nov. 1, 2011

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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