-Examine current education issues
-Stay informed about legislation regarding those issues
-Determine ramifications of legislation and the effects on students
-Provide accurate information regarding candidates and issues to district voters
-Establish relationships with our legislators
-Mobilize parents and community members to advocate for positive change in education policies and laws
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Minutes from 3-4 2013
EGRPS PTA Legislative
March 4, 2013
Present: Lucy Lafleur, Tina Murua, Louise Timkovich, Amy
Turner Thole, Anne Grobel, Dr. Sara Shubel, Elizabeth Lykins, Bob Wolford,
Tracy Wolford, Kevin Phillips, Steve Edison
Dr. Shubel commented that the Friends of Kent County/KISD
outreach to parents is very successful.She thanked Elizabeth, who has done 10 of these events with Christie
Ramsey from Rockford, and Lucy who did Thornapple-Kellogg schools this
week.This outreach seems to be paying
off with more parent groups being initiated.
EGRPS is holding a budget meeting on Monday, March 11 at 5pm
at the administration building, James E. Morse Administration Center at
Woodcliff, 2915 Hall S.E., East Grand Rapids, MI 49506.This meeting will highlight our budget
shortfall and the political/state budgetary climate that caused it.
Legislative Committee Concerns:
1.We are going to Lansing on Wednesday, March 6,
2013 to meet with our legislators, hear from the House Fiscal Agency, from an
expert on Early Childhood Education and from a representative from the Oxford
Foundation on revamping public school financing.A report will follow that visit.It is being organized by KISD.
recommends reviewing The Center for Michigan’s website the www.centerformichigan.org for work
they have done asking Michigan residents their opinions about public
education.They are having a live
Education Town Hall on Wednesday, March 6.We will not have television broadcast in West Michigan, but we can
stream it. Check it out.
continue to recommend Michigan Parents for Schools as an excellent site to get
good information.Steve Norton is an Ann
Arbor stay at home dad who has become an education policy wonk and who is
linking parent school advocates around the state.Check out his latest http://www.miparentsforschools.org/.
are continuing to work with the PTA to improve communication.We are working hard to solve difficulties in
communicating with high school parents.Any suggestions would be firstname.lastname@example.org.
is a national issue which usually doesn’t affect local/state funded
schools.However, the Washington Post
has published an article on the impact of sequestration on states and it looks
like Head Start, Title I dollars and special education will be hit.This is right when we are looking to expand
early childhood education, our urban schools have been hit hard by state cuts
and will be devastated by losing federal dollars.Read for yourself.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/sequestration-state-impact/.
a movement is afoot to tie the attacks on public schools to civil rights.Please view http://unitedoptout.com/
to see what is going on.We are
supportive of all public schools and support local control.We support the right of all students to have
an excellent education.
continue our outreach to each school in our district with Legislative
Coffees.We are considering doing a
larger event to remind everyone in the district about the issues of Proposal A,
how that funding was undermined during our Great Recession and how we will be
affected by the proposals being written by the Oxford foundation.http://oxfordfoundationmi.com/
As usual, I will try to simplify the above into an easily
readable three main points:
Please review and be ready when your Legislative
Committee calls on you to act!
Budget Issues have local, statewide and National Impact
1.Local:Our EGRPS Schools are again facing a budget
deficit over $1 million.Please attend
the March 11, 2013 budget meeting at 5pm at the Morse Administrative Building 2915
Hall Street SE East Grand Rapids, MI 49506. www.egrps.orgLook for information coming from EGR NOW! To support
our district.Not from our
district?Get your district to be
transparent about your budget crisis and educate your parents.We can’t fund raise our way out of this
problem.Let’s all get on board!!
2.State: How can there be a cut if the governor
says there was more money in the School Aid Fund?There are more entities taking money out of
the pot, such as the community colleges and universities, which used to be
funded through the State’s general fund.Check out Michigan Parents for Schools Article http://www.miparentsforschools.org/node/187
Education Achievement Authority.Overreach.Overkill.Although it was capped at 50 schools in the lame duck session, it is
still a bad law.It is bad for urban
schools.It is bad for all schools.Please read: http://www.miparentsforschools.org/node/184
Foundation school financing revamp.This
unbundling of schools will take local control away.We will have our districts become the ATM for
children’s education while still being held responsible for test scores and
other administrative costs.This is a
boon for cyber schools.
of choice.We are revisiting the
uncapping of charter and cyber schools with the ability of any entity to open a
school.These schools will be able to
have entrance criteria.Our local public
schools take everyone.These schools
will take the least expensive students and our society will be ever more
Educate yourself.Join Michigan Parents for Schools http:www.miparentsforschools.org,
Friends of Kent County Schools Facebook Page and the ERG Legislative Committee
Facebook page or follow us on our blog,