A few thousand supporters of early childhood education are gathering at the State Capitol today.
Participants in the annual "Star Power" rally will encourage state lawmakers to approve a proposed $130 million increase to the state budget for families-in-need who want to participate in Michigan’s Great Start Readiness Program. Currently, the program can afford assistance for only about half of those eligible statewide.
Administrators, staff and students of one of Lansing’s newest charter schools got some bad news yesterday. The Learn, Live, Lead Academy, launched by local banking executive and former Lansing Community College President Paula Cunningham, was told its contract was being revoked. “L3,” as it’s called, is nearing the end of its first year of operations.
Recently, the Lansing school district announced that it will cut as many as 87 teachers in an effort to address the district’s budget deficit. Many of the teachers expected to be laid off are certified to teach art, music and physical education to elementary school students. The district says it's not eliminating its arts and physical education programs, but “redesigning” them, using existing teachers and outside programming as a substitute.
Last Thursday, the Lansing School District and the city teachers’ union reached a new five-year contract agreement. The deal cuts 87 full-time equivalent positions in art, music and physical education classes. On Friday we spoke with school board president Guillermo Lopez. He assured us that those particular curricula would continue in Lansing schools, but that the method of providing that instruction is going to be restructured. After Mr. Lopez’s interview aired, Current State’s Kevin Lavery caught up with Patti Seidl, the president of the Lansing Schools Education Association, to hear the union’s perspective on the deal.
Today on Current State: contracts for Lansing teachers; a look at the new Financial Empowerment Center; East Lansing high school's theater fundraiser; Michigan's 20-20 plan and reform options; sports check-in; Lansing's historic Albert Kahn building.
Democratic State Representative Sam Singh of East Lansing sits on the House appropriations committee and education appropriation subcommittees. We welcome the first-termer back to Current State to get his thoughts on what’s happening at the state capitol, including a last-minute bill that would make major cuts to universities that do not meet the new union contract rules.
Today on Current State: Gay marriage in Michigan; a debate on the merits of "Common Core" education; MSU men's basketball with the Detroit Free Press' Joe Rexrode; the new realities of the publishing world; Ann Arbor teen named to inagural Carnegie Hall youth orchestra; MSU hockey playoffs; Interlochen Radio at Elderly Instruments this weekend.