Michigan Education

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

Lou Anna K. Simon sits with one of her attorneys, Lee Silver.
Cheyna Roth

The former president of Michigan State University was arraigned on Monday on felony and misdemeanor charges surrounding her involvement with the school’s handling of serial sexual predator, Larry Nassar.

Morgan Springer

Voters mostly rejected a group of candidates campaigning as a team for the Traverse City school board. Team 5 TCAPS candidates ran on a similar platform, calling for more transparency and accountability in the district, but only one of the five candidates – Erica Moon Mohr – was elected Tuesday.

Morgan Springer

The Mesick Consolidated Schools bond has failed again. This was the third time the district asked the community for more money for schools. The $13.7 million plan was to build an elementary school wing on the high school, upgrade technology and enhance security.

Judy Myers is 71. She doesn't have any grandkids in the district, but she voted for the bond.

"If we can pay for seniors to have a senior center," says Myers, "we can have a school for the kids."

But more people agreed with Cindy Short, who voted against it.

Morgan Springer

The leader of Traverse City’s school district has said he was "blindsided" when he found out last week the state might take back money from a homeschool program. But other sources indicate TCAPS Superintendent Paul Soma knew it was a possibility for months. 


Mesick school bond goes before voters a third time

Oct 25, 2018
Mesick Consolidated Schools

UPDATED Oct. 31, 2 p.m.  This story has been updated to clarify the cost of the proposed millage, which would add an extra $480 to the property tax bill on a home with a state equalized value of $100,000. State equalized value is 50 percent of the market value of a property.

On election day, Mesick residents will vote on a $14 million school bond. This will be the third time the bond proposal has gone before voters. It was rejected in 2017 and then again in May, when it failed by only 10 votes.

District officials hope this time around, more people will turn out to vote for the bond. Superintendent Scott Akom says most of the money would go toward building a new elementary school wing onto the high school.

Today on Stateside, the executive director of the Michigan Association of School Superintendents and Administrators talks about how Michigan school districts are responding after a company that provides substitute teachers to more than 100 Michigan districts abruptly closed its offices. Plus, we hear from the Republican and Democratic candidates for Michigan’s next Secretary of State.

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

Morgan Springer

At a forum Thursday night, candidates for the Traverse City school board were asked if the election was a referendum on district Superintendent Paul Soma. The Traverse City Area Public Schools superintendent has been under criticism for potential financial issues relating to the district's homeschool program and allegations of bullying

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.

MSU announces search committee for new president

Aug 23, 2018
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.

Child homelessness rates high in northern Michigan

Apr 11, 2018
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.

Flu closes some Up North schools

Feb 1, 2018
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.

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