• Michigan Legislature Passes Historic $17B School Aid Budget

    Posted by Sherisse M. Butler on 7/1/2021 6:50:00 PM

    We are proud to announce that due to the collaborative efforts of our Michigan Legislature and Governor, on June 30, 2021, the school aid budget passed both the chambers. This $17 Billion dollar budget is a historic and timely investment in public education here in the State of Michigan. It reflects months of advocacy and outreach from our community and education advocates.

    This budget closes the equality gap by making the minimum and target foundation allowance equal. The majority of Michigan schools receive that same base level of funding, $8,700! Because of the historic increase in K-12 funding, DPSCD's per pupil allotment increased from $8,142 per student to $8,700 per student! WOW!

    The fight is not over, but we applaud our legislative leaders for taking a leap toward adequate and equitable funding. We have not achieved equitable funding until special education is fully reimbursed and significant increases are made in at-risk and english language learner programs. 

    Nevertheless, we express gratitude to our advocates who raised their voice and to our legislators who have heeded the call to educational equity. 

    Significant Funding Highlights include:  

    School Nurses and Counselors $240 Million   

    Reading Scholarships $155 Million funds for reading scholarships administered by Grand Valley State University  

    Special Education Reimbursement $44 Million increase   

    Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) $8,700 per child   

    Special Programs $1.0 Million for innovative community libraries; $3.75 Million for YMCA Youth in Government 

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  • Michigan State Board of Education Meeting - June 8th, 2021

    Posted by Sherisse M. Butler on 6/28/2021 5:40:00 PM

    Michigan State Board of Education Meeting - June 8th, 2021

    The Michigan State Board of Education convened virtually on June 8th for their monthly meeting. All board members were in attendance. The Board heard testimony from Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Chief Medical Executive for the State of Michigan. In addition, members received informational presentations on proposed revised MI Out-of-School Time (MOST) standards, the MI Blueprint for Comprehensive Student Recovery, and the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) state plan for 2022-24. 


    Dr. Khaldun testimony highlights:

    • Since April 11th, Michigan has seen a consistent downward trend in case rates across all age groups. 
    • 59.7% of Michiganders aged 16+ have received at least one dose of a vaccine.
    • Over 8.4 million doses administered in Michigan. 
    • Fully vaccinated students who remain asymptomatic will not be required to quarantine if exposed to COVID-19.
    • Broad mask mandates in Michigan to be lifted on July 1st.


    State Superintendent Rice provided his monthly report:

    • Detailed Gov. Whitmer’s proposal to expand pre-K to an additional 22,000 four-year-olds in Michigan through a $405 million expansion of the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) over the next three years. This expansion would be financed through a combination of state dollars and federal COVID-19 relief funds. 
    • Emphasized the importance of narrowing the digital divide in Michigan schools.
    • Almost all end-of-year assessments have been completed and submitted. However, the distribution of test completion rates is uneven across the state.
    • 65% of Michigan’s 6th & 7th graders took the M-STEP assessment.
    • Urges suspension of the A-F accountability system for this school year. 


    MI Blueprint presentation:

    • District plans must be multi-year to support a comprehensive recovery for all students.
    • Investments in holistic student supports are needed:
      • Pediatricians
      • School nurses
      • Social workers
      • Regular opportunities for physical activity


    In several comments, Board Members Snyder (R) and McMillin (R) expressed opposition to elements of the MI Blueprint they considered to be promoting “critical race theory.” Both members also lodged their opposition to COVID-19 restrictions during Dr. Khaldun’s testimony. 

    Board President Ulbrich (D) expressed opposition to SB 218, banning transgender athletes in high school sports, during her report. 

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  • State Board of Education Update- May

    Posted by Sherisse Butler on 5/21/2021 10:00:00 AM

    The May 2021 meeting of the Michigan State Board of Education was held remotely on May 11th. State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice delivered an update on Michigan’s response to COVID-19, the effects of pandemic learning on Michigan students, and the MI Department of Education’s (MDE) priorities going forward. In particular, Superintendent Rice offered recommendations for how best to utilize the $3.5 billion in federal funds the state is receiving for K-12 education from the American Rescue Plan.


    Superintendent Rice outlined the following priorities for MDE:

    • Early Childhood Education expansion: 
      • Districts can make an investment in preschool with federal dollars not typically available. Investing in children early on will benefit students in our state for years to come.


    • Health & Wellness: 
      • HVAC replacement/upgrades, windows able to open and close for ventilation
      • Expand programs in trauma-informed care, implicit bias training, social and emotional learning, and hire more mental health professionals in Michigan schools.
    • Michigan’s Teacher Shortage: 
      • Expand programs allowing school support staff to become teachers
      • Increase teacher pay (especially for starting positions) 
      • Reduce or eliminate barriers to recertification to encourage educators to remain in the profession. At least 1,000 former educators have expressed to MDE an interest in returning to the profession. 


    • School Accountability: 
      • Superintendent Rice called on legislators in Lansing to take action on third grade reading retention requirements, student testing performance being tied to teacher evaluations, and A-F grading in light of pandemic learning’s effects.


    Following the superintendent’s report, the Board heard from Gloria Chapman, assistant director of MDE’s Office of Partnership Districts, on the partnership program and its implementation in DPSCD and other districts across the state. Chapman highlighted the receipt of Comprehensive Literacy State Development Grants by DPSCD and three other partner districts, as well as the collaborative efforts of MDE Partner Districts to provide students with food, technology, and social/emotional learning support during the pandemic.


    The Board heard informational presentations from Easterseals Michigan on their work with behavioral health services in Oakland County Schools and from two Michigan Teachers of the Year from Oak Park and Portage Schools. Finally, a data presentation on the Top Ten Strategic Education Plan’s secondary learning expansion goal detailed the overall increases in both enrollment and completion of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Early Middle College, Dual Enrollment, and Individualized Education programs by Michigan students, while also recognizing areas with room for growth.


    The Michigan State Board of Education will meet again on June 8th, 2021. 

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  • House and Senate FY22 K-12 Budget Update

    Posted by Sherisse Butler on 4/26/2021 1:30:00 PM

    Alas! State Budget Season is steaming ahead. Last week both the Senate and the House introduced the FY22 budgets and the House introduced a FY21 School Aid Supplemental, which allocates federal stimulus funds. This is only the beginning of the budget process. Now that we have an Executive, House and Senate budget, the negotiations can begin. 

    Want to know a cool fact about school funding? School districts and the State of Michigan have a different budget cycle. DPSCD's budget cycle begins on July 1, whereas the budget cycle for the State of Michigan is October 1. Timely adoption of a School Aid Budget is very important for school districts!

    Let your representatives know that we need them to act quickly. 

    Here are a few details about the budget: 

    HB 4407 H-3 House FY22 Budget

    • Increases the foundation allowance by $50 - $100 per pupil using the 2x formula
    • Does not provide increases in at-risk funding; expands definition to include Pre-K
    • Increases School Mental Health funding by $4.3M
    • Eliminates $400K DAPCEP funding
    • Retains extended continuity of learning plan otions

     SB 83 (S-1) Senate FY22 Budget

    • Increases the foundation allowance by $125 - $250 per pupil using the 2x formula
    • Does not provide increases in at-risk funding
    • Increases School Mental Health funding by $20M; separately funds the UM Trails program

     HB 4421 House School Aid Supplemental

    • Fully appropriates remaining $4.1B of federal ESSR formula grant funds.
      • $840M ESSR-II (CRRSA)
      • $3.3B ESSR-III (ARP)
      • The funding is tie-barred to HB 4082, which modifies the executive’s transfer powers. The act would cap administrative transfers to $200K max


    Stay tuned for the latest news in Lansing!


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  • Senate FY22 K-12 Budget Expected This Week

    Posted by Sherisse Butler on 4/20/2021 12:00:00 PM

    Things in Lansing have been quiet for a few weeks, but that is certainly about to change. The State Budget Season will resume this week, as the Senate K-12 Appropriations Committee has posted for 8 AM on Thursday. 

    Earlier this year, Governor Whitmer introduced the FY 22 Executive Budget. As is custom, Michiganders must await both chambers of the Legislature to introduce their budget proposal before all parties come together to negotiate. 

    Stay tuned for more updates later this week. 


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