mike flanagan http://michiganradio.org en State leaders question oversight role when charter companies run entire school districts http://michiganradio.org/post/state-leaders-question-oversight-role-when-charter-companies-run-entire-school-districts <p>State Superintendent Mike Flanagan says the consequences of turning&nbsp;entire school districts over to for-profit charter school companies deserves more consideration from state lawmakers.</p><p>Flanagan told a state panel last week it’s not clear if the <a href="http://michiganradio.org/term/muskegon-heights-school-district">Muskegon Heights school district</a>, or the for-profit charter company that ran it the last two years, will face any consequences for running up a deficit big enough to require an emergency loan worth $1.4 million and two cash advances to keep schools open through June. It’s unclear exactly what the deficit is for the 2013-2014 school year.</p><p>The Muskegon Heights school district is now looking for a new operator. That’s after the district and its emergency manager <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/muskegon-heights-ends-contract-charter-school-company">agreed to end its contract with Mosaica Education Inc.</a> when the <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/charter-school-ceo-says-muskegon-heights-schools-owes-company-2-million">company couldn’t turn a profit.</a></p><p>“Now that (Mosaica) is leaving, they pretty much told us they’re not going to do (the district’s) deficit elimination plan. To follow up on that, we should wait for the new management company and deal with them,” Dan Hanrahan, Michigan Department of Education’s director of state aid and school finance, told the panel. Mon, 09 Jun 2014 14:34:45 +0000 Lindsey Smith 17910 at http://michiganradio.org State leaders question oversight role when charter companies run entire school districts Michigan schools’ finances “stabilizing,” says state superintendent http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-schools-finances-stabilizing-says-state-superintendent <p>Late last year, the state’s top education official had dire predictions for the finances of Michigan schools. He predicted the number of districts in deficit could reach 100 “before long.”</p><p></p><p>Now, state Superintendent Mike Flanagan says the situation is stabilizing, and he credits increased funding from the state.</p><p></p><p>“Debates aside about how much of an increase there is – there’s been improved funding the last couple years,” said Flanagan. “I think there could be more. But I think that’s helped.”</p><p></p><p>Flanagan gave his latest regular update to the state Legislature Thursday on school districts with budget deficits. He says the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) expects the number of deficit districts to have dropped from 52 to 45 over the course of this school year.</p><p></p><p>Flanagan says the state’s sluggish economy in recent years has made it difficult to help schools get their books in order.</p><p></p><p>“Now we’re coming out of it,” he said, “and we need to continue to invest in our kids. And I appreciate the start that this legislature and governor have made. I do think we can and will do more in the future.”</p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Flanagan is urging state lawmakers to create an “early warning system” for schools facing financial emergencies. Legislation in the state Senate would also make it easier for the state to assign an emergency manager if a district violates a deficit elimination plan.</span></p><p></p><p>Democrats say it’s not fair to say Gov. Rick Snyder and the Republican-controlled Legislature have increased state education funding. Republicans include money that went into the teacher pension system.</p><p> Thu, 05 Jun 2014 22:04:35 +0000 Jake Neher 17890 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan schools’ finances “stabilizing,” says state superintendent Flanagan: "The MEAP’s not an option" for next year http://michiganradio.org/post/flanagan-meap-s-not-option-next-year <p>State Superintendent Mike Flanagan is warning Michigan lawmakers against trying to take <a href="http://www.mlive.com/lansing-news/index.ssf/2014/04/meap_test_is_not_an_option_for.html#incart_river_default">a step back on school testing.</a></p><p></p><p>An amendment to next year’s school aid budget would require schools to give the MEAP exam next year. Some lawmakers are upset the state has contracted with a new company using a test tied to Common Core standards.</p><p></p><p>Flanagan says the MEAP test is not an option at this point. He says changing now would cost the state.</p><p></p> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 01:52:25 +0000 Steve Carmody 17344 at http://michiganradio.org Flanagan: "The MEAP’s not an option" for next year Michigan ending its exclusive contract with the EAA http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-ending-its-exclusive-contract-eaa <p>The Michigan Department of Education will end its exclusive contract with the Education Achievement Authority to oversee some of the state's lowest-performing schools.</p><p>State Superintendent Mike Flanagan has sent a letter to the EAA notifying it that the contract will be terminated a year from now.</p><p>The MDE says it still intends to use the EAA to turn around struggling schools. It says ending the contract will simply open up more options to other entities that can oversee the schools.</p><p>The&nbsp;EAA&nbsp;currently runs 15 schools in Detroit.&nbsp;</p><p>Martin&nbsp;Ackley&nbsp;is a spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Education.</p><p>"There are situations where a struggling school may be better served by a neighboring school district or the local intermediate school district as opposed to the&nbsp;EAA."</p><p>Ackley&nbsp;says the state still intends to use the&nbsp;EAA&nbsp;to help oversee struggling schools. He says ending the contract will simply give state education officials more options.</p><p>"Now, this is in no way a statement or an indication of alack of confidence in the&nbsp;EAA&nbsp;or its academic strategies. This is just an action that needed to be taken in order to provide flexibility and to provide options other than the&nbsp;EAA&nbsp;in which to place these most struggling schools."</p><p>Critics of the&nbsp;EAA&nbsp;say it's struggling with declining enrollment, finances, and school safety. Lawmakers are considering legislation that would bolster the authority and allow it to expand it statewide.&nbsp;</p><p> Thu, 20 Feb 2014 15:02:29 +0000 Jake Neher 16516 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan ending its exclusive contract with the EAA Buena Vista and Inkster schools have until Monday to avoid closure http://michiganradio.org/post/buena-vista-and-inkster-schools-have-until-monday-avoid-closure <p style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;"><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif;">The financially troubled Michigan school districts of </span>Inkster<span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif;"> and Buena Vista have until 5 p.m. Monday, July 22 to prove they have the money to run their school districts and that they have plans to eliminate their deficits.</span></p> Thu, 18 Jul 2013 17:19:33 +0000 Mark Brush 13602 at http://michiganradio.org Buena Vista and Inkster schools have until Monday to avoid closure State lawmakers begin hearings on Common Core, anger and frustration ensues http://michiganradio.org/post/state-lawmakers-begin-hearings-common-core-anger-and-frustration-ensues <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Debate is underway in Lansing about whether to implement a set of state school standards.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">A state House panel held its first meeting on Common Core State Standards Tuesday.</span><br><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Republican Representative Tom McMillin&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">(R-Rochester Hills)</span><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"> grilled state Department of Education officials about Common Core. He says the standards take away local control and were developed and adopted without public input.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Meanwhile, state Superintendent State Superintendent Mike Flanagan is urging lawmakers to go forward with a set of nationwide school standards. Flanagan argues that districts would have final say over standards and curriculum.</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">“Technically, [districts] don’t even have to follow the Common Core,” Flanagan said. “Now, I think they will. It’s a smart...well thought out set of standards.”</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Gov. Rick Snyder also supports adopting the Common Core standards.</span></p><p></p><p> Wed, 17 Jul 2013 14:45:18 +0000 Jake Neher 13574 at http://michiganradio.org State lawmakers begin hearings on Common Core, anger and frustration ensues What would happen if we consolidated schools into county-wide districts? http://michiganradio.org/post/what-would-happen-if-we-consolidated-schools-county-wide-districts <p>More and more of our local school districts are in financial trouble, and State Superintendent of Schools Mike Flanagan has a couple ideas as to what we can do about it.</p><p>As I discussed briefly last week, he is proposing either going to a system of county-wide districts, or, if that won't fly, at least consolidating and centralizing administrative and some academic functions at either a county or a regional level.</p><p> Tue, 16 Jul 2013 12:38:39 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 13550 at http://michiganradio.org What would happen if we consolidated schools into county-wide districts? This week in Michigan politics: Consolidating schools, creditors' bus tour, Detroit City Council http://michiganradio.org/post/week-michigan-politics-consolidating-schools-creditors-bus-tour-detroit-city-council <p>This week in Michigan politics, Jack Lessenberry and Emily Fox discuss the proposal to <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/michigans-state-superintendent-wants-move-toward-county-wide-school-districts">consolidate school districts</a> into county-wide systems, the <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/orr-cancels-detroit-bus-tour-creditors-pull-out">canceled bus tour</a> for Detroit creditors, and the new changes on the <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/detroit-city-council-elects-new-leaders">Detroit City Council</a>.</p><p> Wed, 10 Jul 2013 13:43:46 +0000 Jack Lessenberry, Emily Fox & Michigan Radio Newsroom 13455 at http://michiganradio.org This week in Michigan politics: Consolidating schools, creditors' bus tour, Detroit City Council Streamlining our public schools is a smart move http://michiganradio.org/post/streamlining-our-public-schools-smart-move <p>Virtually everybody agrees Michigan has too many public school districts. Some are too small to provide adequate educational opportunities for their students, in part because they have difficulty coming up with enough revenue to operate properly.</p><p>The legislature recently passed a law to allow two of the weakest of these districts, Buena Vista and Inkster, to be dissolved.</p><p>But Michigan has a lot more districts running deficits, and the situation is expected to get worse. The root of the problem is this:&nbsp;We can’t decide whether we want primary and secondary education to be a state or a local responsibility.</p><p> Wed, 10 Jul 2013 13:18:17 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 13456 at http://michiganradio.org Streamlining our public schools is a smart move In this morning's news: Detroit pension systems, consolidating school services, Detroit City Council http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-detroit-pension-systems-consolidating-school-services-detroit-city-council <p><strong>Detroit's pension systems vs. Kevyn Orr</strong></p><p>Detroit has two pension systems and both have posted fairly strong funding levels. But emergency manager Kevyn Orr has questioned some of those numbers. Orr spokesman Bill Nowling says using more realistic projections changes the funding levels, but Detroit’s pension systems say their numbers are correct.</p><p><strong>Michigan schools might consolidate services</strong></p><p>Michigan schools could be forced to consolidate many of their services into <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/michigans-state-superintendent-wants-move-toward-county-wide-school-districts">county-wide systems</a> if state lawmakers decide to go along with a plan released yesterday by state Superintendent Mike Flanagan. Flanagan wants services like transportation, food, and staff training to be handled at the county or regional level.</p><p>“And local districts, they can spend time on student achievement issues and not worry about all that other stuff,” Flanagan told Michigan Public Radio's Jake Neher.</p><p><strong>Detroit City Council will select new leader</strong></p><p>The Detroit City Council is expected to select a new president today. The board typically numbers nine but now has six members after two recently resigned and the former President Charles Pugh deserted his duties.</p><p> Tue, 09 Jul 2013 11:29:59 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 13428 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news: Detroit pension systems, consolidating school services, Detroit City Council Michigan's State Superintendent wants to move toward county-wide school districts http://michiganradio.org/post/michigans-state-superintendent-wants-move-toward-county-wide-school-districts <p><span style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">One hundred years ago, the state of Michigan had more than 7,000 local school districts.</span></p><p><span style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">There are slightly more than 800 school districts today, and <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/June_2013_Quarterly_Report_FINAL_423427_7.pdf">many of them are struggling with their finances</a>.</span></p> Mon, 08 Jul 2013 19:00:11 +0000 Mark Brush 13421 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan's State Superintendent wants to move toward county-wide school districts State reviewing finances of Hazel Park schools http://michiganradio.org/post/state-reviewing-finances-hazel-park-schools <p>Michigan's top educator has ordered a financial review of the Hazel Park schools, a step that could lead to a state takeover of the suburban Detroit district.<br><br><a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20130620/NEWS05/306200127/">The Detroit Free Press says</a> state schools Superintendent Mike Flanagan wrote Hazel Park Superintendent James Meisinger that he's concerned the district's deficit will reach $3.3 million by month's end. That's up from $1.5 million at the end of June 2012.<br><br>A report is due Monday.</p> Sun, 07 Jul 2013 20:48:31 +0000 Associated Press 13408 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news: decriminalizing marijuana, truancy and welfare, skunkworks project http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-decriminalizing-marijuana-truancy-and-welfare-skunkworks-project <p><strong>Bill to decriminalize marijuana introduced in state Legislature</strong><br><br>State Representative Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) has introduced a <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/proposed-state-bill-seeks-decriminalize-marijuana">bill</a> in the state Legislature that would make possession of one ounce or less of marijuana a civil infraction rather than a misdemeanor.<br><br>"Irwin says state and local governments spend about 326-million dollars per year enforcing current marijuana laws. Republican Representative Mike Shirkey is a co-sponsor of the bill, and Irwin says it has bi-partisan support," according to Michigan Radio's Joseph Lichterman.<br><br><strong>Legislation to tie welfare benefits to school attendance approved by House</strong><br><br>A bill that would take away the welfare benefits from parents whose children miss too much school is on its way to the floor of the state House. The bill would take an existing Michigan Department of Health and Human Services policy and make it state law. Republican Representative Al Pscholka law says it is an effective way to keep kids in school, but opponents argue the bill doesn't provide enough safeguards to ensure low-income families are treated fairly.<br><br><strong>State superintendent Mike Flanagan to take over secret education work group</strong><br><br>"Governor Rick Snyder has asked the state’s education chief to take over a controversial project that’s looking for ways to reduce school costs. The new project will be narrower in scope than one handled by a controversial group that met in secret and included members of the governor’s administration. Snyder says he wants the new group to consider ways to use technology to reduce school costs," Rick Pluta reports.</p><p> Thu, 25 Apr 2013 12:21:58 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 12281 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news: decriminalizing marijuana, truancy and welfare, skunkworks project Commentary: Education for education's sake http://michiganradio.org/post/commentary-education-educations-sake <p>I was struck by something Superintendent of Schools Mike Flanagan said yesterday at the Governor’s Education Summit.</p><p>This year’s summit was largely designed to examine how educators at all levels could better work with business to help students be ready for the careers for which there are jobs.</p><p>Nothing wrong with that, I suppose—up to a point. We probably need more high schools offering Chinese, for example.</p><p>Students in vocational education, or learning computer applications need to work on state-of-the-art technology. But I think having education be too narrowly focused is as ominous and scary as having kids insufficiently trained.</p><p> Tue, 23 Apr 2013 13:11:33 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 12248 at http://michiganradio.org Commentary: Education for education's sake In this morning's news: education work groups, floods receding, trust fund off-limits for dredging http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-education-work-groups-floods-receding-trust-fund-limits-dredging <p><strong>Mike Flanagan announces public work group on education</strong><br><br>Mike Flanagan, the state's superintendent, announced the formation of his own public education work group at Governor Snyder's education summit in East Lansing yesterday. His announcement comes days after a Detroit News <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130419/SCHOOLS/304190361">report</a> uncovered a secret work group that included top aides to Governor Snyder and private sector representatives. Flanagan says the secret group&nbsp; should be disbanded.<br><br><strong>Flooding in Grand Rapids is receding</strong><br><br>After the worst flood on record, Grand Rapids city officials are relieved that the Grand River is finally receding.<br><br>"There’s rain in forecast for Tuesday so conditions could change. But the National Weather Service predicts the river will go down as much as a foot per day until it gets back to normal levels on Thursday," Michigan Radio's Lindsey Smith <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/grand-river-reaches-peak-floodwaters-remain">reports.</a><br><br><strong>Schuette says trust fund money off-limits for dredging</strong><br><br>"Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says a trust fund for land purchases and improvements can't be used for harbor dredging. Schuette's opinion released Monday found that dredging is upkeep and can't be paid for with Natural Resources Trust Fund money...The Republican's opinion is considered binding unless reversed by the courts," the Associated Press reports.</p><p> Tue, 23 Apr 2013 12:30:10 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 12247 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news: education work groups, floods receding, trust fund off-limits for dredging Superintendent: School funding reform should include early childhood, college http://michiganradio.org/post/superintendent-school-funding-reform-should-include-early-childhood-college <p>The state&rsquo;s education chief says money for early childhood education and community colleges needs to be part of fixing Michigan&rsquo;s school funding system. Mike Flanagan is the Michigan Superintendent of Public Instruction and leads the state Department of Education.<br /><br />He spoke today at the first public hearing held by Governor Rick Snyder&rsquo;s workgroup that&rsquo;s devising a school funding proposal. The governor wants a system that rewards proficiency.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />Flanagan says that won&rsquo;t happen if the state doesn&rsquo;t find a way to offer universal early childhood learning.<br /><br />&quot;We spend a billion dollars per grade and we spend nothing on early childhood, and we wonder why the results are exactly the same, and we blame the teachers, we blame the state superintendent, we blame the parent for not reading to them enough, and the bottom line is, we should blame the system first and foremost,&quot; he said.<br /><br />Flanagan says every student should also be guaranteed a year or two of community college or its equivalent. &nbsp;<br />&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />The school funding workgroup will spend the summer working on its recommendations. Tue, 17 Jul 2012 18:24:51 +0000 Rick Pluta 8311 at http://michiganradio.org Superintendent: School funding reform should include early childhood, college Pontiac school finances face state scrutiny http://michiganradio.org/post/pontiac-school-finances-face-state-scrutiny <p>The state is set to take a preliminary look at the financial situation of Pontiac&#39;s public schools, a step that could eventually lead to the appointment of an emergency manager.</p> Wed, 02 May 2012 20:10:47 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 7305 at http://michiganradio.org Pontiac school finances face state scrutiny Jeb Bush in Lansing to talk education reform http://michiganradio.org/post/jeb-bush-lansing-talk-education-reform <p>Since he left office in 2008, former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush has been heading up the nonprofit <a href="http://www.excelined.org/Default.aspx">Foundation for Excellence in Education</a>.</p><p>The foundation&#39;s goal is to &quot;ignite a movement of reform, state by state, to transform education for the 21st century.&quot;</p><p>Today, Bush is in the state of Michigan.</p><p>Governor Snyder&#39;s office reports that Snyder and Bush will meet with Michigan Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger, and Michigan Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan at 11:30 a.m. this morning today to discuss education reforms.</p><p>From the <a href="http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/06/15/2267294/jeb-bush-to-testify-on-education.html">Associated Press</a>:</p><blockquote><p>Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is coming to Michigan to meet with Republican leaders and testify about how he thinks states should change how they approach education....</p><p>Bush will testify before the Senate-House Education Committee Wednesday morning. He&#39;ll also join Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, state superintendent Mike Flanagan and the House and Senate GOP leaders for a news conference to discuss education improvements.</p><p>Snyder outlined a sweeping education proposal this spring that included new rules for teacher tenure, anti-bullying legislation and new ways for students to start taking college classes as early as the ninth grade. Lawmakers are working on the changes. Wed, 15 Jun 2011 15:20:39 +0000 Mark Brush 2893 at http://michiganradio.org Jeb Bush in Lansing to talk education reform Drunken Sailors http://michiganradio.org/post/drunken-sailors <p>http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/michigan/local-michigan-963525.mp3</p><p>I&rsquo;ve been following the Michigan legislature&rsquo;s attempts to approve various sections of the state budget, and the cliché that first came to my mind this morning was the wrong one. I was tempted to tell you that they have been behaving like drunken sailors.</p> Fri, 15 Apr 2011 16:09:20 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 2089 at http://michiganradio.org Drunken Sailors State Superintendent Mike Flanagan to stay on the job http://michiganradio.org/post/state-superintendent-mike-flanagan-stay-job <p>The <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,1607,7-140-5373---,00.html">Michigan Board of Education</a> has extended the contract of state Superintendent of Public Instruction <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,1607,7-140-6530_6526-121770--,00.html">Mike Flanagan</a>, the Associated Press reports. The AP reports:</p><blockquote><p>The decision means Flanagan will remain on the job until 2014. The extension doesn&#39;t come with a salary increase for Flanagan, who currently earns $183,995.</p></blockquote><p>Flanagan was first appointed State Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2005. Wed, 09 Mar 2011 11:31:26 +0000 Zoe Clark 1559 at http://michiganradio.org