Thursday, February 26, 2009

Watch for “Knowledge Has Value” at your local restaurants.

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

OPIE Reminder

This years banquet will be held on Thursday, April 16, 2009. We are now accepting reservations. These forms are available on line at or through you local association. Reservations are limited, so get yours in early.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Stimulus Plan In Perspective

GA sent out some documents regarding the federal stimulus plan (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) that just passed.

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

Stimulus Package

Federal Stimulus Package
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.