Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Local, State, Federal Budget Thoughts (Slightly Random)

1. Tomorrow is Count Day. A day that makes a huge difference in the budgets of school districts around the state. Please make sure your kids go to school, or if they're sick, call them in for excused absences. Why does it make a difference? Read about Proposal A here.

2. Want to learn more about the Sinking Fund schools proposal on the Ann Arbor ballot? Here's your opportunity: There is a Community Forum on Wednesday, Oct. 2 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Pioneer Annex.

3. There was an interesting piece last night on Michigan Radio on the effects of the sequester on education, especially special education and Head Start preschool. Listen to the story, or read it, here

4. At the state level, you might remember that the Legislature was fighting about the implementation of the Common Core curriculum last year. I think we were left, at the end of the last legislative session, with the legislative decision that no funding could go for the Common Core. (That, by the way, was heavily influenced by "tea party" Republicans.) So today, Gongwer News Service reports this ridiculousness (taken from the Michigan Parents for Schools facebook page): 
Tuesday, October 1, 2013, 10:24 AMMDE Website To Be Shuttered Under Common Core Spending Ban
The Department of Education website was still up this morning, but is expected to go offline sometime during the day because the site contains resources to help teachers implement the Common Core State Standards, officials said in an email to teachers and local school officials.
The new budget effective today prohibits the department from spending money to implement the Common Core or Smarter Balanced Assessment without legislative approval. Since that approval is still pending in the Senate, Martin Ackley, communications director for the Department of Education, said his department was asking the Department of Technology, Management and Budget to take the MDE site down because of the integration of Common Core into the site.
Pages of the site are to be restored as Education officials have time to review them for Common Core elements, Mr. Ackley said in his email.
The current budget also could affect some federal grants to districts, the email said, because implementing the Common Core is an element of the state’s No Child Left Behind waiver. That waiver expires essentially at the end of the current school year.
5. Oh yeah, and then there's the US government shutdown. Here is information from the U.S. Department of Education about the shutdown. And here is the scoop from Education Week.


  1. So some Michigan legislators don't want any money spent on implementing Common Core, but they're okay with spending money to make sure Common Core isn't mention? Oh brother.

    I heard some summary of what passed in the MI House. They mentioned that schools weren't allowed to release info about students to the federal gov't. But aren't the schools already required to release info to military recruiters? So it's just some undefined thing related to common core that they can't release?

  2. It turns out that Michigan DoE is not going to take down their website, because the AG has given them an opinion that says they are within the requirements of the law merely by not adding any additional Common Core / Smarter Balanced Assessment material. That's a victory for common sense and reason.

  3. Thanks for the update.

    Tricia, I'm at least as confused as you. If that's any comfort (not!).