Education

Education
5:13 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

3% boost in public school funding might be wiped away one year later

MSU researchers say Michigan educators could better serve students on the Autism Spectrum Disorder.
user frank juarez Flickr

Michigan schools got about a 3% boost in funding under the state budget passed last month in Lansing, but a new report says that might not be sustainable.

The non-partisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan says the extra money could be wiped out after next year. 

Bob Schneider is the group's state affairs director.

"Unless we find new revenue growth that isn't anticipated yet, or the state draws upon additional general fund resources, or other resources to bring them into the School Aid Budget, the K-12 schools are looking to potentially have to give back a good chunk of the gains that they've made."

The report projects a budget shortfall of about $240 million for the School Aid Budget in the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

Schneider says that's partly because of additional state spending commitments to things like teacher retirement and early childhood education.

Education
1:20 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Books at Highland Park high school get tossed out - How could they have done it differently?

Some of the books found thrown away
Courtesy Paul Lee

There has been public outrage ever since a collection of African-American history materials were found in a dumpster outside Highland Park's high school. The ACLU of Michigan was one of the first to report the incident.

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Education
1:35 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Pontiac teachers sue district, facing health insurance cuts

A screen cap of Pontiac Middle School.
pontiac.k12.mi.us Pontiac School District

Teachers in the struggling Pontiac School District are suing the district after being told their healthcare coverage could get axed.

The teachers who filed the lawsuit are claiming school officials took money designated for their healthcare premiums, and transferred it to the general fund in order to make the district’s finances look better.

Diana Dillaber Murray from The Oakland Press reported:

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Education
10:23 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

State issues emergency loan so Buena Vista schools can pay off state loan

Lucy Perkins, Mark Brush Michigan Radio

The financially troubled Buena Vista school district got an emergency loan from the state Wednesday. But the district’s future remains uncertain.

Buena Vista schools borrowed money from the state last year. This was a typical advance that a lot of school districts get in the summer until state aid payments are dispersed in the fall.

The district needs to repay $2 million by August 20.

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Stateside
5:58 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Outrage after Highland Park high school's library material gets dumped in the trash

Hundreds of books were retrieved from the high school dumpster, but thousands more were lost.
Courtesy Paul Lee

An interview with historian Paul Lee.

There has been a firestorm of protest in Highland Park after the discovery that a large collection of history books, film and tapes from the city's high school was tossed in the trash.

Some 50 protestors gathered outside the high school in Highland Park, a member of the school board quit, and several people climbed into dumpsters to retrieve what they could.

The protests focused not only on the discarded books but on the way Highland Park's emergency manager Donald Weatherspoon is running the district.

One of those people who searched through the dumpsters to retrieve as many books as possible is Paul Lee. He is a Highland Park resident and an historian who helped build the collection of black history books, videos and movies.

Here is a video he shot while looking through the dumpster:

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Education
3:00 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Michigan's State Superintendent wants to move toward county-wide school districts

Michigan Superintendent Michael Flanagan
MichigansChildren YouTube

One hundred years ago, the state of Michigan had more than 7,000 local school districts.

There are slightly more than 800 school districts today, and many of them are struggling with their finances.

Today, State Superintendent Michael Flanagan outlined a plan he says would save money.

He wants more school services consolidated at the county level.

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Education
4:48 pm
Sun July 7, 2013

State reviewing finances of Hazel Park schools

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.

The Detroit Free Press says 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.

A report is due Monday.

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Education
2:07 pm
Sun July 7, 2013

Rolling back a student loan rate increase on Congress' agenda this week

Students on the Michigan State University campus (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Congress could act this week to roll back an interest rate hike on a student loan program that many Michigan college students use.

The interest rate doubled for federally subsidized Stafford loans on July 1st.   

The rate went from 3.4% to 6.8%.

Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow says the federal government will make a $50 billion profit from the student loan interest rate hike.

Education
6:46 pm
Sat July 6, 2013

Michigan State University offering a chance to 'Think Like A Writer'

Michigan State University campus in East Lansing (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan State University's Writing Department is testing out a new way to educate its students and, potentially, the masses.

Professors Julie Lindquist and Jeff Grabill are teaching an experimental online course this summer called "Thinking Like a Writer." It is free and open to the public.

Lindquist is quick to admit the downfalls of online classes. They're often large and impersonal, and relationships between students and instructors can be sacrificed for efficiency.

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Education
11:39 am
Fri July 5, 2013

An alternative school in Battle Creek will come under Marshall schools oversight later this month

Michigan Youth Challenge Academy on the grounds of the VA hospital in Battle Creek
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

An alternative school for at-risk kids in Battle Creek has found a new school district to oversee its academic program. .

Marshall Schools was the only district to apply to take over the academic program at the Michigan Youth Challenge Academy.

The alternative school program has operated for 14 years at the National Guard base in Battle Creek. The academy serves about 250 at-risk young people from across Michigan annually.

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Education
11:13 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Benton Harbor student population down 45% in a decade, schools work to reverse decline

Benton Harbor High School
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Benton Harbor Area Schools is already campaigning to get students enrolled in the fall. That’s because the district hopes to dig out of a major budget deficit by attracting more students.

Benton Harbor schools narrowly avoided a state appointed emergency manager a couple of years ago.

Superintendent Leonard Seawood says since then, they’ve balanced the budget for two years in a row.

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Education
11:12 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

University of Michigan students are being evacuated from Egypt

The University of Michigan says a group of U of M students are scheduled to leave Egypt Thursday as unrest continues in that country.   

The eight students were studying at the American University in Cairo when the Egyptian military ousted the government.    They were midway through a two-month cultural program offered through the U-M Center for Global and Intercultural Study, affiliated with the College of Literature Science, and the Arts. 

Other U of M students are scheduled to leave for Jordan and Morocco.

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Education
11:44 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Struggling school districts can be dissolved under new law

Inkster High School is one school that could face closures under the new law.
Dwight Burdette wikimedia commons

Small school districts with big money troubles could be broken up by the state under a new law signed by Governor Rick Snyder on Tuesday.

Saginaw County’s Buena Vista and metro Detroit’s Inkster could be the first districts dissolved and folded into their neighbors under the new law, MPRN's Rick Pluta reports.

Governor Snyder says that the review of the districts is proceeding quickly, so students and their families will know where they’re attending classes in the fall.

“We’re talking days, not months,” Snyder said.

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Education
5:56 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Judge allows "right to read" lawsuit to go forward

Credit user: jdurham / morguefile

Students in the Highland Park School district have been given permission to sue the district, the emergency manager, and the state for not adequately ensuring that they are reading at grade level.

A Wayne County judge today ruled that the so-called "right to read" lawsuit, brought by the ACLU, can move forward. 

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Education
2:38 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Detroit Public Schools pinning budget hopes on 5,000 new students

MLK High School
DPS

Consider this some free advertising.

Right now, Detroit Public Schools is proposing its most optimistic budget in years:

  • No teacher layoffs
  • The return of after-school programming, at least in some schools
  • Minimal increases in class sizes
  • New parenting resources
  • A little more money for instruction: about $2 million in total 

But it’s all riding on whether the district can lure 5,000 students away from competitors.

That’s a big bet to make.

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Education
1:26 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Wayne State says no choice but to raise tuition beyond state cap

The school is raising tuition 8.9%.
User: ellenm1 flickr

You’ll have to pay an additional $900 a year to be a Wayne State student next school year.

The university is raising tuition by 8.9%.

That’s especially tough on a student body that’s almost entirely from in-state.

And it’s a dramatic move for the school.

This year, every other public university in Michigan is playing along with a state deal: schools get access to an extra pool of state money, if they cap tuition hikes at 3.75%.

But that incentive isn’t enough to make up for deeper cuts from the state.   

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Education
3:18 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Buena Vista schools update: Layoffs and how the Voting Rights Act impacts dissolution

Sarah Alvarez Michigan Radio

Last night, Buena Vista School District held meetings to discuss two important issues.

Overall, while the board made decisions for the 2013-2014 school year assuming the school district would open this coming fall, the future of the district depends on whether or not higher ups decide to dissolve the struggling school system.

First, the board made decisions on the school district’s budget and layoffs.

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Education
8:00 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Celebrate State of Opportunity's first birthday!

Credit Tyler Wainright / Flickr

Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project is closing in on its first birthday!

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Education
7:00 am
Wed June 26, 2013

'People would expect me to fail, to keep popping out more babies.' An essay by a former teen mom

Three generations: Jacquise Purifoy (mom), Jasmine (daughter), Vivan (grandmother)
Photo courtesy of Jacquise Purifoy

The latest Kids Count data show that roughly 11,000 teens gave birth in Michigan in 2010. Statistically speaking, teen parents are more likely to drop out of high school, and their children are more likely to wind up in prison. But it doesn’t have to be like that.

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Education
11:16 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

Flint school board passes FY 2014 budget

Flint school classroom (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Flint school board members last night approved a budget for next year.

The district’s superintendent says Flint schools may be close to reaching bottom with its new budget.

Flint schools have been struggling with a declining student enrollment and budget problems for years.

The budget approved last night includes closing four schools and laying off around 150 employees.

Interim Superintendent Larry Watkins says more cuts may be needed, if enrollment slides even further.

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