September 10, 2013

Contents of this issue:

  • 9,000 students return to Education Achievement Authority
  • Michigan scores low on ‘parent power’ list
  • Inkster students at new schools this fall
  • DPS ramps up attendance enforcement
  • Nationwide, schools charge students more for supplies
  • Forum featuring Clark Durant postponed

9,000 Students Return to Education Achievement Authority

DETROIT – Approximately 9,000 students returned to school at the Education Achievement Authority, the statewide reform district, The Detroit News reports.

According to The News, a new program at the EAA will allow 1,000 high school juniors and seniors to earn as much as $30,000 each in college credit. The News reports that the district has approved a $92.3 million budget for the 2013-14 school year.
Last year, according to The News, the EAA had an $18 million shortfall at the beginning of the year, and “routinely” ran out of money.
SOURCES: The Detroit News, “Michigan recovery school district opens 2nd year in Detroit,” Sept. 4, 2013
FURTHER READING: Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “No Grand Rapids Carve-Out under EAA Bill," March 8, 2013

Michigan Scores Low on ‘Parent Power’ List

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan was ranked 11th among states on the Center for Education Reform’s “Parent Power Index,” according to MLive.

Michigan received high ranks for its charter public school law, but received a low score due to the state’s prohibition on private school choice, MLive reports.

The Center for Education Reform noted that Michigan’s charter school system is strong because it has “a variety of independent authorizers,” “freedom for teachers from rules and regulations,” and “fairly equitable funding for charters,” according to MLive.

On this ranking, Michigan trails behind Indiana, Florida, Ohio, Louisiana and Arizona, MLive reports.
SOURCE: MLive,“Michigan ranks 11th in education reform group’s list of ‘parent power’ states,” Sept. 3, 2013  
FURTHER READING: Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “State Should Boost ‘Parent Power,’” Sept. 6, 2013

Inkster students at New Schools This Fall

DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. – More than 900 former Inkster students are attending new schools this fall after the Inkster school district was dissolved by the state, according to The Detroit News.

“It’s been good so far. I’m getting comfortable. I was nervous this morning,” Daisha Roberts, 13, told The Detroit News. Roberts is now attending Westwood New Tech High School, The News reports.
The Romulus school district will enroll about 200 students, according to WXYZ TV-7 News. “It’s been kind of a whirlwind,” Superintendent Paula Daniels told WXYZ.
WXYZ reports that Romulus hired some Inkster staff members who had been laid off from the dissolved district.
SOURCE: Detroit News, “Inkster children start new school year in new districts,” Sept. 3, 2013

WXYZ TV-7 News, “Inkster students find new schools for near year after the state dissolved the district,” Sept. 2, 2013

FURTHER READING: Michigan Capitol Confidential, “Dissolved School District Repeatedly Overspent Despite Deficits,” Aug. 5, 2013

DPS Ramps Up Attendance Enforcement

DETROIT – Detroit Public Schools is strengthening its attendance enforcement this year, Michigan Radio reports. Under a policy called “3-6-9,” school intervention will begin after a student’s third unexcused absence, according to Michigan Radio.

After the third unexcused absence, parents will be notified, Michigan Radio reports. If the unexcused absences continue, attendance agents will visit, and may even have referrals to the Michigan Department of Human Services, according to Michigan Radio.
DPS will refer families to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office after students have nine unexcused absences, Michigan Radio reports.
SOURCE: Michigan Radio, “New attendance policy in Detroit Public Schools,” Sept. 7, 2013
FURTHER READING: Michigan Education Digest, “DPS undertakes school marketing campaign to boost enrollment,” Aug. 13, 2013

Nationwide, Schools Charge Students More for Supplies

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Wall Street Journal reports that though many state constitutions assure free public education, schools have begun charging for course supplies, extracurricular activities and registration fees, among other things.

According to The Journal, Ann Arbor Public Schools considered a $100 fee for students taking seventh hour courses — something that was ultimately dropped after the American Civil Liberties Union sued.
In Chicago, one school is charging students a mandatory $65 fee, The Journal reports. Many school districts charge students for participating in sports, and one Dallas parent told The Journal that her daughter’s participation in dance squad cost $500 per year — excluding uniforms.
SOURCE: The Wall Street Journal, “The Rising Costs of a ‘Free’ Public Education,” Sept. 8, 2013
FURTHER READING: Michigan Capitol Confidential, “School District Settles Lawsuit Over School Supplies Fees,” Aug. 3, 2013

Forum Featuring Clark Durant Postponed

A forum featuring Clark Durant, former state Board of Education member and founder of Cornerstone Schools, has been postponed for later this fall. 

The event will include a presentation by both Durant and the Great Lakes Education Project about educational options, school choice and legislative developments.

When new dates are determined, the event will be announced in M.E.D.