June 4, 2013

Contents of this issue:

  • Nearly $60M raised to support EAA
  • EAA officials tout student academic progress
  • MDE barred from spending money to implement Common Core
  • Marshall school board votes to accept Albion students 
  • BV teachers paid; applied for unemployment during interim 

Nearly $60M Raised to Support EAA

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder announced that nearly $50 million in private donations has been raised to support the operations of the state’s Education Achievement Authority, according to The Detroit News. Some $60 million is available for the EAA, The News reported.

The EAA is operating 15 Detroit-area schools this year, and there are legislative efforts to expand it into a statewide reform district, The News reports.
Of the $60 million, $10 million is from state appropriations for the EAA, according to The News, $10 million is from Eli Broad’s foundation and another $10 million is from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s foundation.
SOURCE: The Detroit News, “Donors boost EAA $59.7M,” May 31, 2013
FURTHER READING: Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “EAA Could Take Over Successful Schools," April 16, 2013

EAA Officials Tout Student Academic Progress

DETROIT – Education Achievement Authority Chancellor John Covington says that students are making “phenomenal” academic progress, according to Michigan Radio.

Michigan Radio reports that 56 percent of EAA students saw at least a year of academic growth on reading tests, and 65 percent saw a year or more’s worth of growth on math tests. 
SOURCE: Michigan Radio, “Education Achievement Authority officials: Test scores show ‘phenomenal’ progress,” May 29, 2013
FURTHER READING: Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Instead of Focusing on Gaps, Focus on Growth,” Aug. 8, 2012

MDE Barred From Spending Money to Implement Common Core

LANSING, Mich. – A provision added to the state budget forbids the Michigan Department of Education from spending money to implement Common Core curriculum standards, according to MLive.

The Heritage Foundation reports that, while federal funding is being used to encourage states to adopt the standards, states will have to pay for implementation. According to Heritage, implementation costs could total more than $16 billion.
MLive, “Funding for Common Cores education standards struck from Michigan Department of Education budget,” May 28, 2013
The Foundry, “Michigan Budget Battle Provides Opportunity to Reject Common Core National Standards,” May 27, 2013
FURTHER READING: Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “National Education Standards Will Stifle Innovation,” April 26, 2013

Marshall School Board Votes to Accept Albion Students

MARSHALL, Mich. – The Marshall school board voted to accept Albion high school students, according to Michigan Radio. Albion recently chose to become a K-8 district, Michigan Radio reports.

According to Michigan Radio, under the proposed agreement, the Albion school district will pay for high school students’ transportation costs, and that Marshall will receive state per-pupil aid for the students, and accept their academic credits.
Marshall Superintendent Randy Davis told Michigan Radio that he anticipates as many as 130 Albion high school students will choose to attend Marshall, though some could go to other districts using Schools of Choice.
SOURCE: Michigan Radio, “Marshall school board OKs deal to accept Albion high school students,” May 30, 2013
FURTHER READING: Michigan Capitol Confidential, “Loss of Funding Not To Blame For School District Failures,” May 20, 2013

BV Teachers Paid; Applied for Unemployment During Interim

BUENA VISTA, Mich. – Buena Vista teachers received paychecks on May 31, the first since May 10, according to MLive.

Buena Vista district officials told The Detroit News that teachers had filed for unemployment benefits during the period that the district had to close for financial reasons.
MLive, “Buena Vista teachers receive first paycheck since May 10,” May 31, 2013
The Detroit News, “Buena Vista says back-to-work teachers to be paid June 7," May 24, 2013
FURTHER READING: Michigan Capitol Confidential, “Close Dysfunctional Schools, May 16, 2013