Michigan Education

Education is a big issue in northern Michigan, whether we're reporting on school funding issues to breakthroughs in the classroom.

A former Michigan State University coach was back in court Thursday on criminal charges.

An Ingham County District Court judge determined there was enough evidence to send Kathie Klages to trial. She’s charged with a misdemeanor and a felony.

Michigan ranks first in the nation for per capita violent incidents at schools, according to a new report.

The report, from the Educator’s School Safety Network, compiled the number of school threats and violent incidents at schools across the country.

Michigan ranked number one in per capita threats and incidents, with 196 threats in the 2017-18 school year and 13 incidents.

Amanda Klinger is with the network. She says the study compiled news reports of incidents and threats and controlled for population.

Cheyna Roth

Michigan State University has named a search committee to find a new president.

Morgan Springer

Residents will continue funding improvements in Traverse City schools. Voters passed a $107 million bond for Traverse City Area Public Schools. According to unofficial election results, 67 percent (15,679 residents) voted yes, while 33 percent (7,662) said no.

The money will go towards things like building reconstruction, safety and technology improvements and bus replacements. 

“I mean you have to educate your kids or you’re going to be nowhere," says Kathleen Ziege who lives in Interlochen and voted for the bond.

 

Michigan is the only state failing to meet enough special education requirements to need intervention, according to a recent evaluation by federal education officials.

The Department of Education breaks its annual evaluation on special education down into three categories: meets, needs assistance, needs intervention, and lastly “needs substantial intervention.” The state of Michigan spent the past four school years in the “needs assistance” category.

David Cassleman

Traverse City school officials have released to the public an investigation into the district’s superintendent.

David Cassleman

Traverse City school officials have cleared the superintendent of allegations of illegal gender discrimination.

The board of Traverse City Area Public Schools voted unanimously Monday night to accept the findings made in an investigative report. In March, the board hired a firm to look into claims that Superintendent Paul Soma bullied female principals.

Morgan Springer

In Tuesday's election, voters passed two school bonds in northwest Lower Michigan, while two narrowly lost. 

It worked out for Cadillac Area Public Schools this time. Its bond proposal failed last year, but yesterday a new proposal – for slightly less money – passed with 56 percent of the vote. Now $65.5 million will go towards things like a new early childhood center, renovating buildings and equipment. 

Morgan Springer

School districts across Michigan are asking voters for more money for building renovations and equipment. More than 20 bond proposals are on ballots Tuesday, May 8. A number of those districts are trying again after bond proposals failed in previous elections.

University of Michigan

Michigan has one of the largest populations of homeless students in the United States, according to new research from the University of Michigan. Communities in northern Michigan have some of the highest rates of child homelessness in the entire state. 

 


Morgan Springer

The superintendent of northern Michigan’s largest school district will keep his job. The board of Traverse City Area Public Schools voted unanimously to keep Superintendent Paul Soma during his annual performance evaluation Monday.

Morgan Springer

A new education report says third-graders are getting worse at reading in Michigan, even though the state has spent tens of millions trying to reverse the trend in the last few years. 

 


More than 60 people showed up for an emotional school board meeting in Traverse City Area Public Schools district Saturday. Most people showed up in support of Superintendent Paul Soma.

Woman's March Network

  

Next month, students from hundreds of schools across the country will walk out of classes for 17 minutes, protesting gun violence in schools. This comes in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida where 17 people died.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A second school district in northern Michigan has shut down because of the flu.

Mesick Consolidated Schools closed on Wednesday and doesn’t plan to open again until next week.

The district says nearly a quarter of students missed class on Tuesday due to illness.

Morgan Springer

Gov. Rick Snyder is calling for more money to be spent on public schools in Michigan. The governor spoke about the issue during his final State of the State address last week. 

 


Students spin, balance, jump and walk at different stations in the gym at Central Grade School in Traverse City. Each movement is designed to help train the brain to read better.
Morgan Springer

 

A growing body of research says more physically active kids do better in school. But, across the country, time for gym class and recess has been replaced with more sedentary time in classrooms. Traverse City Central Grade School is doing the opposite though, giving kids more exercise to help boost their reading scores.

Morgan Springer

Many school districts Up North – and across the state – are suffering from chronic budget problems. It comes at a time when there’s also increasing pressure from parents and lawmakers for students to do better in school.

Morgan Springer

It’s back to school Tuesday for most students in public schools in Michigan. 

The law requires that class begin after Labor Day, although some districts do have waivers from the state to start earlier. In fact, an increasing number of schools are requesting them. 

Test scores for Michigan’s students showed some improvements, but declines in crucial subjects.

The state’s M-STEP scores were released Tuesday. The M-STEP tests third through eighth and eleventh grade students in various subjects, including math, social studies and English language arts.   

Scores for math and social studies were up – but fewer students were proficient in English language arts than last year.

The state shouldn’t be satisfied, even where there was progress, said The Education Trust Midwest’s Director of Public Engagement, Brian Gutman.

A free market think-tank says the use of private contractors in public schools has grown over the last decade-and-a-half.

70 percent of public school districts in Michigan forgo the search for janitors, bus drivers and cafeteria staff. Instead, those schools rely on private contractors for at least one of those services. In 2001 only about 30 percent of school districts outsourced services.

James Hohman is with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy – which conducted the study. He said no school can provide public education by itself.

The use of Native American logos and images for school mascots is once again in the spotlight.

On Thursday, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette weighed in on whether the State Superintendent can withhold money from schools that refuse to change their mascots. In the opinion, Schuette says there’s no rule or portion of the school code that lets the Superintendent keep money from schools as a penalty for their mascot. 

Morgan Springer

The pressure is on for schools to improve reading scores in Michigan. Last fall, the state legislature passed the third-grade reading bill. The bill goes into effect in two years and will require schools to hold back third-graders who are not proficient readers, with a few exceptions.

Zero tolerance in Michigan schools is out. Now the State Board of Education is working on revising the Model Code of Student Conduct to reflect the change.

Last year Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation effectively getting rid of zero tolerance in schools. Schools now have to consider things like age, student’s disciplinary history, and seriousness of a violation before they can expel or suspend a student.

State Superintendent Brian Whiston said the revision is a good idea.

A deal for the state’s budget and teacher retirement has been made.

Top Republican lawmakers and Governor Rick Snyder have been in a stalemate over what to do with the teacher’s retirement plan, but now a deal is in place.

The current teacher retirement plan gives teachers the option between a straight 401(k) and a hybrid 401(k) and pension-type plan.

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