Brandon Dillon 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 Democrats call for election law changes after investigation in Schmidt-Bolger incident http://michiganradio.org/post/democrats-call-election-law-changes-after-investigation-schmidt-bolger-incident <p>Democrats are pushing for the changes in the wake of a plot by State Representative Roy Schmidt and Speaker of the House Jase Bolger so Schmidt could <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/damning-report-text-messages-lead-political-embarrassment-gop-lawmakers">switch parties and be re-elected as a Republican</a>.</p><p>Earlier this month the Kent County Prosecutor <a href="http://platform.publicbroadcasting.net//michigan-new/media/docs/Schmidt.pdf">issued a report on his investigation</a>.</p> Thu, 26 Jul 2012 16:33:27 +0000 Lindsey Smith 8448 at http://michiganradio.org Democrats call for election law changes after investigation in Schmidt-Bolger incident House approves state worker retirement contribution http://michiganradio.org/post/house-approves-state-worker-retirement-contribution <p>Michigan state workers may soon be required to contribute four percent of their salaries into their retirement benefit plans, or choose to convert their retirement benefits to a 401-K plan.</p><p>That&rsquo;s according to a bill approved by the state House.</p><p>Democratic state Representative Brandon Dillon said the proposal puts the health and wellness of future retirees at risk.</p><p>&quot;We should be looking at ways to expand access to health care, whether in the public or private sector, and the reality is this bill is going to make people&rsquo;s health care and the ability to get treatment essentially based on the stock market, which we know in the past 10 years has been pretty tough, and I just don&rsquo;t think that&rsquo;s the right direction to go,&quot; said Dillon.</p><p>State employees currently contribute three percent of their salaries to their retirement benefits plans.</p><p>Republicans say the current retirement plan is not financially sustainable with too many retirement obligations going into the future. Thu, 03 Nov 2011 21:11:35 +0000 Laura Weber 4829 at http://michiganradio.org Another Michigan lawmaker facing a recall effort http://michiganradio.org/post/another-michigan-lawmaker-facing-recall-effort <p>Organizers are expected to begin collecting signatures to recall State Representative Brandon Dillon of Grand Rapids. A panel of Kent County officials approved the recall language Tuesday. That&rsquo;s despite the fact that the claim laid out in the petition is untrue.</p><p>The petition claims Dillon voted against a bill aimed at investigating unemployment fraud. Dillon voted against one of the amendments, but voted for the actual bill.</p> Tue, 27 Sep 2011 20:12:53 +0000 Lindsey Smith 4327 at http://michiganradio.org Another Michigan lawmaker facing a recall effort Democrats calling on Snyder to send more money to K-12 schools http://michiganradio.org/post/democrats-calling-snyder-send-more-money-k-12-schools <p>Kids still enjoy the playground at Stocking Elementary School. The school in Grand Rapids was closed last year to save money. State Representative Roy Schmidt used the shuttered school as a backdrop while telling people Michigan&rsquo;s fund for K-through-12 schools had a surplus this year.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;We had the money, it just got switched somewhere else.&rdquo;</p> Mon, 27 Jun 2011 18:16:26 +0000 Lindsey Smith 3033 at http://michiganradio.org Democrats calling on Snyder to send more money to K-12 schools Republican led state Senate introduces first draft of K-12 schools budget http://michiganradio.org/post/republican-led-state-senate-introduces-first-draft-k-12-schools-budget <p>Republican lawmakers in Lansing are taking feedback on <a href="http://platform.publicbroadcasting.net/michigan/media/news%20stories/fy12_13chairsdraftrecdocuments.pdf">their first draft of the budget for K through 12 public schools</a>. The plan cuts less per student than Governor Rick Snyder&rsquo;s proposed budget.</p><p>Senator Howard Walker chairs the appropriations subcommittee on K-12, School Aid and Education. He says instead, the Senate version gets rid of line items funds in the budget that cover specific things like school bus inspections, adult education, and money for districts with two consecutive years of declining student enrollment.</p><blockquote><p>&nbsp;&ldquo;We&rsquo;re not making broad-based cuts to programs, that we&rsquo;re not increasing class sizes too broadly so that the delivery of good educational opportunities is not affected.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>School districts get a certain amount of money from the state for each student. Currently, $7,316 is the minimum per pupil allowance a district gets. Governor Snyder is proposing to cut that amount by $470 (including making permanent a $170 cut made last year) for all school districts. The plan before the Senate would cut that per pupil allowance by $290. Thu, 24 Mar 2011 14:41:53 +0000 Lindsey Smith 1772 at http://michiganradio.org Republican led state Senate introduces first draft of K-12 schools budget