Education

Education
6:00 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

Are schools gaming the system or following the rules?

Derringer recently wrote a piece for Bridge Magazine
Nancy Nall Derringer LinkedIn

Governor Snyder’s school reform agenda includes rewarding schools for so called best practices.

Those include providing physical education, offering online instructional programs or blended learning opportunities, or being a school of choice. Districts meeting seven out of eight of those best practices are eligible to receive 52 additional dollars per pupil in the district.

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Education
3:11 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

Forget a modest increase, tuition might jump significantly at Wayne State

Governor Snyder's budget calls for further cuts to public universities.
user dig downtown detroit Flickr

We've heard about the tuition increases for other public universities in Michigan.

Tomorrow, the board of regents for Wayne State University will vote on that school's increase.

David Jesse over at the Detroit Free Press reports it could be a big one:

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Education
1:46 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

Kalamazoo Promise 2.0? Ypsilanti embarks on districtwide scholarship program

The mascot of the new Ypsilanti Community Schools district.
Ypsilanti Community Schools

Ypsilanti’s school district is pushing for a districtwide scholarship program that will provide tuition funds to its graduates.

On Monday, Ypsilanti Community Schools officially opened its doors. YCS is the product of school consolidation in Washtenaw County. Earlier this year, voters approved the combination of the financially troubled Ypsilanti Public School district and Willow Run Community Schools.

With a new mascot selected and a logo finalized, the merged district is beginning to rebrand its image.

School supporters hope a new scholarship program that would provide funding for community college tuition for all qualifying students will be a big part of that new image.

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Education
10:47 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Muskegon Heights schools emergency manager: 1 year to local control, 28 to pay off debt

EM Don Weatherspoon at a meeting in May 2012.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

With a little luck and another loan from the state, Muskegon Heights Public Schools’ Emergency Manager Don Weatherspoon is predicting the district will pay of its debt the year 2041.

Don Weatherspoon told a small crowd gathered in the high school auditorium Monday night he hopes to hand local control back to the district’s elected school board in one year.

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Education
11:09 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Standardized test results remain status quo for Michigan high school students

Jennifer Guerra Michigan Radio

The Michigan Department of Education released overall standardized test results for Michigan's high school students this morning.

Test results for all subjects in the Michigan Merit Examination (MME) were down slightly when compared to last year. ACT results showed a mix bag when compared to last year's results.

When looking back over the last four years, officials at the Michigan Department of Education say the test results show an "upward trend in student proficiency on both the 2013 Michigan Merit Examination (MME) and ACT college entrance exam."

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Education
9:12 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Muskegon Heights schools' emergency manager to update community tonight

MHPS Emergency Manager Don Weatherspoon at a town hall meeting in May 2012.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Muskegon Heights Public  Schools had nearly a $12 million deficit at the end of last school year. That's when the district’s newly appointed Emergency Manager Don Weatherspoon said the district couldn't afford to open school in the fall. He laid off most all the staff and hired charter school company Mosaica Education to run the schools for five years.

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Education
2:52 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Which Michigan colleges are raising tuition? By how much?

The U-M Board of Regents will meet at the Michigan Union today to set tuition.
Wikimedia Commons

The University of Michigan’s Board of Regents set the 2013-2014 tuition price yesterday afternoon -

  • a 1.1% increase for in-state students, and a 3.2% increase for out of state students

And Michigan State University's regents set their increase this morning

  • a 2.8% tuition rate increase

The two joined six other state universities in the state that have set their sticker prices for the coming academic year.

This year, regents for all the public universities in Michigan will be seeing a slight increase in state funding.

In a recently passed higher education budget, the state’s legislators afforded $31.1 million towards Michigan’s public colleges and universities — a 1.8% increase from 2012.

Still, in the face of a continued decrease in higher education funding (Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2011 budget called for a 15% decrease in state appropriations to colleges), balancing affordable tuition and sufficient revenue is more and more challenging for universities.

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Education
12:19 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Michigan State University trustees consider tuition increase this morning

A student walks on the MSU campus (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan State University students should prepare to pay more tuition this fall.

The M-U Board of Trustees will vote on a tuition hike this morning. 

The proposed tuition hike averages out to about 2.8%.

MSU president Lou Anna K. Simon defends the tuition increase.

“In terms of planning for families, we’ve tried to be as transparent as possible,” says Simon, “And we actually have a lower number than we planned.”

The tuition rate increase will not be uniform across the board.

Education
10:22 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Lansing school board approves a lean budget for the upcoming school year

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The Lansing school board last night approved the district's budget for next year.

The $142 million spending plan is $25 million smaller than the current year budget.    The district is tightening its belt, including laying off between 90 and 100 employees.

Yvonne Caamal Canul is Lansing’s school superintendent. She describes the budget plan as setting a baseline for the district, one the district can grow from in the future.

Right now, it’s about preparing for this fall. 

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Education
6:54 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

University of Michigan raises in-state tuition 1.1%, or $148 per year

University of Michigan Provost Martha Pollack discusses the budget passed June 19 by the U of M regents.
Credit Sarah Kerson / Michigan Radio

This year marks the lowest tuition rate increase for University of Michigan undergraduate students in nearly 30 years.

The 1.1% increase, or $148 per year for the average undergrad, puts U of M's in-state tuition at $13,142 per year. Out-of-state students will have to foot a slightly bigger bill. U of M regents approved a 3.2% for those students, which is an additional $1,270 per year, on average.

The university also marked another financial success for the upcoming term.

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Education
8:57 am
Thu June 20, 2013

For Sale signs may soon pop up in front of empty Flint school buildings

Bryant Elementary on Flint's north side closed this year. It's one of about two dozen properties the school district may soon try to sell.
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The man hired by the Flint School Board to find buyers for closed school buildings is not optimistic he’ll be able to find buyers.

Last night, the Flint school district hired Cooper Commercial, a Genesee County commercial real estate company, to try to find buyers for more than two dozen old schools and other buildings.

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Education
5:48 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Teachers rally in Lansing for more support of public education

A few hundred demonstrators rallied in front of the state Capitol today.

They called for more support for public education. They say Republican policies in Lansing to encourage more charter schools and online learning would come at the expense of students in traditional public school classrooms.
    
Stephanie Keiles is a middle school teacher in the Plymouth-Canton district who helped organize the rally. She says teachers are growing frustrated.

“We just felt like our profession’s been demoralized, that things are being done that are not in the best interest of kids, and we don’t like where everything is headed, and how can we stop it?”

Democratic candidate for governor Mark Schauer was among the speakers who addressed the crowd.

Governor Rick Snyder’s office released a statement that per-student financial support has grown over the past three years since he took office.

Education
2:48 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

MSU breaks ground on new bioegineering facility

MSU administrators, trustees and others toss shovels full of dirt in the air during a ground breaking ceremony
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan State University broke ground today on a new, $60 million dollar bioengineering building.

The building will serve as place for researchers in different disciplines to share ideas for advancements in medicine and other sciences.

“Let’s not forget that as important as the facility is to our success, it is the people, the researchers, the medical professionals applying their knowledge, curiosity and perseverance that will ultimately triumph,” said Stephen Hsu, vice president for Research and Graduate Studies at MSU.

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Stateside
5:40 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Michigan's Department of Human Services cracks down on high truancy rates

O.k., o.k., we know this one is empty, but some high school students in the Detroit Public Schools say their classroom are far from empty.
User Motown31 Creative Commons

A report from Jake Neher.

With school out for the summer, state officials are already looking for ways to get more students to show up for classes in the fall. The state Department of Human Services wants to expand pilot programs that put more social workers in schools with high truancy rates.

At the same time, DHS has a new statewide policy that threatens to take away welfare benefits from families with kids who persistently miss school.

But, critics say that still means too few families are getting the support they need to avoid losing their cash assistance.

Michigan Public Radio's Jake Neher gave us the full report.

Education
4:59 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

MSU introduces new program to train autism specialists

Credit Powell K (2004). "Opening a window to the autistic brain"

For families who have children with autism, finding a specialist to care for their children can mean being put on a long wait list.

Currently, there are about 50 certified behavior analysts in the state of Michigan.

However, there are over 18,000 children with autism.

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Education
8:21 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Ann Arbor to cut 30 teachers from district

A parent expresses concerns as one of over 45 people who spoke during public comment
Alana Holland, Michigan Radio Newsroom

At a meeting that lasted until almost 2 a.m., the Ann Arbor School Board voted to cut 27 full-time teachers from schools across the district. The school board also voted to eliminate three teachers from Ann Arbor's reading intervention program.

The board had to make some tough decisions for the 2013-14 school year, according to Board President Deb Mexicotte.

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Education
10:03 am
Wed June 12, 2013

'It's so worth it.' The story of three girls, six buses and the hope for a better education

Navia Daniel (left), Shaqueria Harris-Bay and Tanesha George take a total of six buses to get to the school of their dreams.
Jennifer Guerra Michigan Radio
  • Tanesha, Shay and Navia captured their morning travels in an audio diary.

School is almost out for summer! For some students, that means camp. For others, it means time to get a job. For the three high school sophomores you’re about to meet, it means a break - not just from school, but from riding the bus.

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Education
1:13 pm
Sun June 9, 2013

Michigan facing a lawsuit over student loan program

Michigan State University graduates (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan is facing a potential class action lawsuit over a student loan program.

Beginning in 2003, the Michigan Students First loan program offered college students an interest rate subsidy after their first 36 on-time loan payments, effectively reducing their interest rate to zero.

But in 2010, the subsidy was ended.

Attorney Jeff Hank says that left thousands of Michigan college students having to pay more in student loans than they had originally planned.

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Education
10:35 am
Sun June 9, 2013

College grads could get tax credit for loans if they stay in Michigan

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - New legislation would give college graduates an income tax credit for their student loans if they stay in Michigan after graduation.

The credit would be equal to half the amount paid on qualified student loans in a tax year but couldn't exceed 20 percent of the average annual tuition at Michigan's public universities. To be eligible, students would have to be a state resident, a graduate of a Michigan university and have earned a bachelor's degree.

Democratic Senator Glenn Anderson of Westland says his bill introduced last week gives graduates an incentive to stay in Michigan and helps address the "brain drain" of grads leaving the state. His legislation is backed by Democrats along with a couple Republicans in the GOP-led Senate.

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Education
10:21 am
Fri June 7, 2013

State fines Muskegon Heights schools for hiring teachers without proper certification

The Muskegon Heights school system has been fined nearly $100,000 by the Michigan Department of Education. The department launched the investigation after Michigan Radio reported the new Muskegon Heights charter school district had about 10% of teachers working without a valid teaching certificate or permit. It’s against state law to do that.

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