Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Michigan PTA Advocacy Day

Michigan PTA
Advocacy Day 2012
Saturday, March 3rd
Holiday Inn – Livonia
Zero Tolerance for Unwarranted Expulsions —
Strategies and Alternatives 
Guest Speaker:  Mark P. Fancher
Attorney for the Racial Justice Project of the ACLU 

Grassroots Advocacy Training
Common Core State Standards
Update on Education Funding in Michigan
Reduced Registration Rates for 2012!
New This Year!  
Member Parent + Student Rate - $55
Flyer/Registration Form Online registration will be available next week.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Some Articles in Response to Governor Snyder's State of the State

Governor Snyder states he wants to increase Education spending, but this might look very different than what you are imagining right now.  Lucy


An analysis of the Governor Snyder  quote that only 17% of high school students are college ready in Michigan.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Important!! All Day Kindergarten Funding Cuts

We need to get communication out to our legislators about All Day Kindergarten.  This is not an academic issue or an issue only for parents of Kindergarten students.  This is another straight funding cut.  The cut comes from the common sense desire of the framers of Proposal A who did not want to dictate the use of every dollar sent to local districts.  They felt that each grade level had a different level of funding needs and that these decisions could be made on the local level, thereby sending the same amount for a Kindergarten student as a high school student.  Our current legislators frame this as the school districts "ripping off" Lansing and they demand to set the funding for Kindergarten at half the amount of the full day student.  So, we will face a $900,000 cut if we keep our program as it is and a $450,000 cut if we ramp up our program.  Either way, this is an extreme cut when we are already facing multiple cuts and federal income declines as well as multiple other changes in education laws that have to be addressed.  This isn't the time to add All Day Kindergarten cuts to Michigan K-12 schools.  Please consider the following letter:


Dear Ms. Posthumus-Lyons:
The proposal to reduce funding for districts operating half-day kindergarten programs is yet another huge blow to the public schools on top of the already unsustainable cuts the legislature and Governor imposed in the last budget. Our district stands to lose $900,000 if we stay with a half day program.  If we implement a full-day kindergarten program, it will cost our district $450,000, which the legislature is not proposing to fund.  It is unclear how this proposal will save the state any money.  Surely every district will have to go to full-day kindergarten.  It is safe to assume that student enrollment for kindergarten will not decrease because of this, so the cost to the state is the same.  The only effect this proposal will have is to cost districts more money, meaning that they will have to make even more cuts to significant academic programs, which will affect the students directly.

The per pupil funding is not intended to represent the cost per pupil; it is intended to represent the total cost to educate all the students divided by the number of students.  The fact is, it costs significantly more to educate a high school student than a kindergartener.  Every other legislature understood this and allowed districts to apportion the funding to accommodate this fact.  When you and your colleagues suggest cutting per pupil funding in half for each half day kindergartener, you are taking precious resources from the higher grades. 

I demand that you abandon this latest assault on the public schools.


Mr. MacGregor is 73rd District Representative.  EGR will be part of the 73rd District after the 2012 election.  Consider introducing yourself to him and letting him know how you feel.

Senator Mark Jansen will continue to be our Senator after redistricting.

What Does it all Mean? Upcoming State of the State and Revenue Conference Numbers

What are we going to see for Michigan in the next year?  We hope to get a picture from the Governor's State of the State.


Apparently, there is no big budget surplus in Michigan.  What there is has already been appropriated.


Center for Michigan Education Talks Coming Soon. Wixom talk to be aired on Public TV Jan 20, 7pm.

The Center for Michigan will hold meetings around the state.  The first one took place in Ann Arbor in December.  The second one will be televised on public television and will be held in Wixom, MI on Friday, January 20, 2012.  It will be aired at 7pm on Friday night.  We are trying to make sure that Grand Rapids/West Michigan is included in the talks.  Please keep your eye out for this great opportunity.  Lucy


School Districts are in Deficit Following Unprecedented Cuts

What a surprise...districts are in deficit!  K-12 funding has taken hits over the last five years.  No amount of fiscal responsibility can bring you above water in times like these.  Please read the district Communications regarding how these cuts are affecting EGRPS.


Did You Know We Already Have 25% of For-Profit Charter Schools in the Nation?

Julie Mack revisits Western Michigan University Professor Miron's research on charter schools.