Wednesday, July 1, 2009
What the legislature is not talking about is the growing amount of unused state tax dollars that local schools districts and ISD’s maintain in their general fund surplus balances. At the end of June 2008 K-12 public school districts and ISD’s reported $1.9 billion of unspent general fund tax dollars. The time has come for the legislature to pass “Use It or Lose It” legislation. School districts would be required to spend down their unrestricted general fund surpluses to a reasonable level in order to qualify for a full foundation allowance. This would translate into hundreds of dollars per pupil across the state and would offset any predicted short fall in state aid. Contact State Representative Darwin Booher and urge him to support “Use It or Lose It” legislation for Michigan’s public schools.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Please support the following local restaurants:
Big Boy - Cadillac
Burkes Waterfront - Cadillac
Frosty Cup - Cadillac
Flashback Cafe - Marion
Frosty Freeze - Marion
Kelley's - McBain
Mr. Pib's - LeRoy
Lisa's Cafe - Tustin
Lugger's Bar - Luther
The Merry Inn - Manton
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
The waiting period can be waived if you or a dependent has an involuntary loss of other group coverage or a qualifying event such as a change in your family status.
So...plan carefully if you are thinking about delaying enrollment in the health insurance plan at retirement.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Based on a 2004 study by the Citizens Research Council of Michigan that projected the 2008 contribution rate would surpass 20% of payroll Superintendents have been projecting that retirement costs will have a negative impact on future budgets. The modest increase for 2009-10 disproves that myth.
Mr. Scott Crosby, Superintendent of Wexford-Missaukeee ISD, stated in the Cadillac News he supports legislation that would require school employees share equally any increase in the retirement rate. In other words many employees could realize a pay decrease!
Please voice your view on Mr. Crosby's proposals by leaving a comment on this Blog.
Monday, March 30, 2009
"I'm disappointed that some of our legislators and school officials could not see the broader benefits for Michigan's future that this legislation would have brought," said MEA President Iris K. Salters in the release. "We are especially grateful that the bipartisan supporters of this legislation pushed through the obstacles their leadership created and put Michigan students before politics."
Monday, March 16, 2009
Public school districts will be receiving Federal Stimulus Money in the near future. The major share of these funds will be categorized as “Stabilization Funding.” According to the Senate Fiscal Agency the stabilization funding is specifically meant to prevent layoffs. School districts are obligated to spend the money on services, contracts, or other transactions. This money is not meant to be placed in a school district’s general fund balance or “rainy day fund.”
The Senate Fiscal Agency estimates school districts in the 15-B Coordinating Council shall receive the following amount of “Stabilization Funding.”:
Cadillac $2,212,521 Per Pupil $492
Manton $752,547 Per Pupil $511
Mesick $945,921 Per Pupil $828
Evart $1,284,326 Per Pupil $814
Marion $1,026,494 Per Pupil $1,179
Pine River $1,255,319 Per Pupil $709
McBain $860,515 Per Pupil $572
Forest Area $839,566 Per Pupil $760
Wexford/Missaukee ISD will receive $2,344,934 in Special Education Funding.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Here in Northern Michigan, where many families are now faced with a severe economic crisis, more and more students are losing their homes to foreclosure and job loss, which often also results in loss of medical care, lack of nutritious food, and enormous emotional stress. To expect these children to be able to fully concentrate and succeed in school is absurd.
Solving the problems of poverty and homelessness will take involvement from the entire community. We must address these out of school factors if we are to close the achievement gap and significantly impact student learning. We urge every Michigander to join us and work toward making sure our students have the safety and security they need to achieve their full potential and be prepared for the jobs Michigan needs.
Berliner study available at www.greatlakescenter.org.
Monday, March 9, 2009
If your district has not applied for this money, you might ask them to.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Lake City $1,195,696
Pine River $1,255,319
WM ISD $2,344,934
Forest Area $839,566
The answer to the most ask question is; Yes you can use a large share of this money for general operations, including salaries.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
The proposed Michigan School Accreditation System (MI-SAS) would replace Education YES!, an accreditation system used since 2002. The MI-SAS is expected to be used in the 2009-10 school year.
Public input is need by March 6, 2009
Please read information at http://www.mea.org/ and let the Michigan Department of Education know what you think about the proposal. The deadline for public input is March 6.
Monday, March 2, 2009
"School districts receiving stabilization funds may use the funds for general support, as well as for any activities authorized under ESEA, IDEA, the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006, and for school modernization, renovation, and repair of public school facilities (including charter schools), which may include modernization, renovation, and repairs consistent with a recognized green building rating system. "
Administrators who say that the stabilization money can't be used for compensation can be directed to the NSBA site.
Here is a link. This document is called "AARA Preliminary Information for School Districts" and you can find it under "Resources."
Thursday, February 26, 2009
The 15B Coordinating Council has approved funding for “Knowledge Has Value” placemats to be offered to area restaurants. Each placemat has the “Knowledge Has Value” logo along with facts supporting strong local public schools have value for the local community. Recognition of 15B MEA public school employees is also included on the placemat. Each local Association will be counting on volunteers to approach local restaurants in their communities asking them to use the placemat on their tables. There will no cost to restaurants. If you are familiar with a restaurant and you are willing to make a contact please let your local Association President know.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
To give you some perspective on the amount of money in the plan:
* School Aid Fund revenue (without the federal stimulus) is projected to be $11.4 billion in 2008-09.
* The projected deficit in the School Aid Fund for 2009-10 is $164 million.
* The Governor's K-12 budget for next year cuts $164 million in K-12 spending, mostly through a $59 reduction in the foundation allowance.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 would provide $1.6 billion over the next two years for education related "State Fiscal Stabilization." The goal of the Congressional plan is to prevent large reductions in state spending for education.
States will have some discretion in spending this money on education, but there is certainly enough money in the plan to more than offset the projected $164 million shortfall in the School Aid Fund.
We may have to make sure that the Michigan Legislature does the right thing with the money and does not funnel other money from the School Aid Fund to other departments.
Friday, February 13, 2009
Conferees have reached agreement on a final economic recovery package but final details have not yet been released. Reports indicate that the $789 billion package includes significant investments in education – a direct result of your intensive advocacy over the past few weeks.
Initial details of the package have been provided by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office although no official bill language has been released. According to the Speaker’s summary, key elements of the package include:
$53.6 billion State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, including $40.6 billion to local school districts using existing funding formulas, which can be used for preventing cutbacks, preventing layoffs, school modernization, or other purposes;
$13 billion for Title I grants;
$12.2 billion for IDEA (Special Education);
Increase in maximum Pell Grant by $500, for maximum of $5,300 in 2009 and $5,500 in 2010;
New bond-financing program for school construction, rehabilitation, and repair - reportedly close to $20 billion;
One-time payment for retirees: $250.