Education

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The Detroit Public Schools’ elected board has filed a federal civil rights complaint against Governor Rick Snyder.

The Title VI complaint — the portion of the 1964 Civil Rights Act which deals with discrimination claims against institutions that receive federal funds — asks the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate a number of allegations against the district and its state-appointed officials.

Life Remodeled

Some 9,000 volunteers are remodeling Osborn High School in Detroit this week.

Last year, the same group – called Life Remodeled – focused on Cody High School, on the other side of the city. The non-profit even raised $1 million to build Cody a new football field.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

A tiny public school district in northwest Michigan has found an unusual way to raise big money.

Manistee Area Public Schools has had its share of budget problems. 

“Several years ago we were very, very low on our fund balance,” Kenn Cott, the assistant principal of Manistee High School/Middle School explained.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

An unspecified “technical glitch” in the Detroit Public Schools’ payroll system has left teachers in the lurch this week.

Some teachers were shorted hundreds of dollars in the last pay period, while others weren’t paid at all, according to Detroit Federation of Teachers President Steve Conn.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new study shows African-American, poor and academically weak students tend to be the ones opting for Michigan’s "schools of choice" program.

In 1994, Michigan began allowing school districts to enroll students from outside their borders. Since then, tens of thousands of Michigan school children have opted out of their local public schools. More than 200,000 students now attend "schools of choice" or charter schools.

Michigan State University researchers wanted to know who these students are.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Developers have until tomorrow to tell Lansing school district officials what they would like to do with an iconic high school in the capitol city.

Children have been learning at Lansing’s Eastern High School for nearly 90 years. But the aging building’s future is unclear.

“Everybody likes the building,” says district spokesman Bob Kolt, “but it doesn’t meet the educational needs for the future.”

slemboskilaw.com/

If you've ever needed a lawyer, but couldn't hire one because it was too expensive, you're not alone.

Three out of four low- and middle-income people don’t get the legal services they need, Michigan State University claims.

Classroom
User Motown31 / Creative Commons

Pontiac schools are getting an emergency $10 million loan from the state to pay its employees and vendors.

This is the second $10 million emergency loan the state has given the district. The previous one was made last year.

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

A new bill in the state House would require schools to adopt policies on social media interactions between students and school employees.

Supporters of House Bill 4791 say social media can be a great tool for teachers to communicate with students.

Michiganders are feeling better about the economy, but lukewarm on other topics
morguefile user Penywise / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Mom and dad are spending again.

For the first time since 2010, parents are the biggest contributors to college bills. At 32%, their giving just outpaces the 30% paid through scholarships and grants. That's according to a national survey on how Americans pay for college by Sallie Mae and Ipsos, an independent market research company based in France.

Fewer charter schools opening in Michigan this fall

Jul 15, 2015
Classroom
BarbaraLN / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The Michigan Association of Public School Academies says only seven new charter schools are opening for the 2015-16 school year.

That's down from 17 new charters that opened last year, and 32 in 2013.

Dan Quisenberry, president of MAPSA, said there's been a steady decline since state lawmakers voted to lift the cap on university-authorized charters in 2011.

The drop, he said, is a sign the state's authorization system is working.

Franca Grassi, Marc Grassi, Mina Grassi and Nikki Rittenour.
Zak Rosen / Michigan Radio

Five-year-old Franca Grassi is only looking for two things in a kindergarten: She doesn't want to be forced to nap, and she wants to see her mom every day. Franca's parents, on the other hand, are a lot more discerning.


“We actually have a google doc spreadsheet of pros and cons of some of the schools,” says Nikki Rittenour from the family’s long, wooden dining room table.

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

Michigan lawmakers have approved loaning more money to schools facing serious financial problems.

Long term, low interest emergency loans help school districts restructure and pay down their debt.

But the state’s Emergency Loan Board already offered more than $48 million dollars in loans to school districts, almost all the money state law allowed. Now the cap has been lifted to $70 million.

MSU officials expect fewer international students

Jul 8, 2015
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan State University officials are expecting fewer international students this fall after years of growth. 

Jim Cotter, MSU's director of admissions, says applications for international students are down by 4.5%. 

He says that fewer Chinese students sent in applications this year, which contributes greatly to the overall reduction. 

"China is our greatest international feeder, so when that number declined, it made a more significant impact," Cotter said. 

Oakland University Campus
Oakland University

State lawmakers could consider adding new penalties for universities that hike tuition above the state’s cap on tuition increases. This year, lawmakers set that cap at 3.2 percent.

Oakland University this week decided to join Eastern Michigan University in blowing past the cap. OU will hike tuition 8.48 percent, and EMU will raise tuition 7.8 percent.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

After more than two years with an interim superintendent, Flint schools may have a permanent leader.

On Tuesday night, the school board voted 5 to 4 to offer Bilal Kareem Tawwab the top job at Flint schools.

Tawwab worked at Detroit Public Schools for 18 years. Right now he’s an assistant superintendent responsible for overseeing more than 40 of the Detroit district’s lowest-performing schools.

Oakland University Campus
Oakland University

Oakland University is raising tuition by more than 8%, one of the biggest increases by a state school this year.

This means Oakland is busting a state-imposed, 3.2% cap on tuition increases.

Because of that, the school gives up about $1 million in state incentives for schools that stay below that cap.

But the tuition hike should bring in $12 million for the school next year, says Oakland University President George Hynd.

Albion Public Schools wants other districts to stop sending buses to Albion to pick up school of choice kids. Credit Bill McChesney / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM Edit | Remove

  

The superintendent of Albion Public Schools wants nearby districts to stop sending buses to Albion to pick up school-of-choice students.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Saginaw School Board may pick a new superintendent next month.

The district’s interim superintendent is retiring, in part, because of frustration with the board.    

Kelley Peatross came out of retirement 8 months ago to lead the district.  But she says the “antics” of some individuals have made it difficult for her to continue in the position. 

Brianna and Alyssa Foster have been to three different schools since 2013.
Zak Rosen / Michigan Radio

 

This fall, it’s looking like Alyssa and Brianna Foster might switch to a new school.

Again.

It’s a pretty common experience in Detroit, where students switch schools 2.5 times more frequently than kids in the rest of the state.

Manufacturing Tech Expo at College of DuPage 2014 4

Michigan has a teacher shortage, at least when it comes to vocational programs.

Education administrators say it's creating "emergency situations" in some parts of the state, especially rural areas. 

Will Folsom / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A new study shows the Kalamazoo Promise scholarship has "significantly" increased college enrollment and graduation rates.

The study says 48% of Promise-eligible students complete a post-secondary program within six years after high school. 

That's a 12% increase compared to pre-Promise students.

Wikimedia Commons

The University of Michigan has released the results from its campus climate survey on sexual misconduct.

And while the vast majority of students said they feel safe on campus, 11% of students had an unwanted sexual experience in the last 12 months.

user jdurham / morguefile

The class of 2017 at Jalen Rose Leadership Academy and Consortium College Prep High School has their work cut out for them.

The two Detroit schools chartered under the American Promise network are the first in the city to require students to pass at least one Advanced Placement course in order to graduate. Couple this with the expectation that all students gain admittance to at least two post-secondary institutions, and these kids have a challenging road ahead.

MichigansChildren / YouTube

Michigan’s top education official says the state should help Detroit Public Schools pay down its massive debt.

The governor and state lawmakers are discussing ways to turn around the district - which is almost $500 million in debt. The district spends $53 million dollars a year on debt service.

  

Outgoing state Superintendent Mike Flanagan says paying off the district’s debt would free up tens of thousands of dollars for every classroom in Detroit.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint school board has decided it needs more time to pick its “preferred” candidate for the district’s soon-to-be vacant superintendent job.

The board heard from the two finalists for the position last night.

Bilal Kareem Tawwab is an assistant superintendent in the Detroit Public School district. Errick Greene is an executive with an education consulting businesses.  Greene is also the son of one of Flint’s school board members.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint school board may pick the district’s new superintendent this evening.

Larry Watkins is currently Flint's interim school superintendent. His decision to retire prompted the district to launch a national search for his replacement.

The school board is scheduled to hold a final round of interviews with the two remaining finalists for the superintendent job.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Last summer Benton Harbor schools won a three-year, $18 million grant to improve student success. But the district is having major financial problems.

Now the district says it doesn’t have the staff it needs to put the grant money to work, so it’s giving up the grant after one year. The district hopes to be able to get the grant back for the 2016-17 school year.

Eastern Michigan University isn't the only school in Michigan bucking funding incentives
flickr user krossbow / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Eastern Michigan University will raise tuition by 7.8%, one of the biggest recent hikes by a public university in the state.  

The school is exceeding a state-imposed 3.2% cap on tuition hikes, which means the school is giving up a $1 million incentive payment it would have received if it had stayed below the cap.  

In-state students will now pay $10,417 in tuition and fees.

EMU says it's spending a lot of money on building improvements and repairs, hiring new faculty, and creating new academic programs for health-care workers, like a physician assistant program.  

Mr.TinDC / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

The Michigan Senate passed a pair of bills (SB 209 and SB 211) this week that promote teaching of civics principles from the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Michigan Constitution for all public school students.

The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, is intended to fill holes in civics education that Colbeck says leave many Americans unable to demonstrate basic knowledge about how government works.

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