Education Michigan 2018

In Michigan, we have a lot to celebrate. But our schools are in crisis. WKAR is committed to identifying the problems, searching for solutions and hearing from you on how to get education back on track.

New stories every Tuesday from WKAR's Kevin Lavery.

mother and son
Kevin Lavery / WKAR-MSU

The Lansing School District has a high percentage of students who meet the federal poverty threshold. During the school year, thousands qualify for federal free and reduced lunches.  But are they getting enough to eat when school is out for the summer?  WKAR’s Kevin Lavery reports on one program that tries to fill that need.

 


classroom photo
Courtesy / Wikimedia Commons

With a new budget in hand, Michigan school districts now have the numbers they need to start planning for the fall.  Last week, Governor Rick Snyder signed a nearly $17 billion K-12 spending plan.  The Lansing and Detroit public schools are among 10 so-called “partnership districts” which are legally obligated to ensure all of their students are reading at grade level. 

 


Capitol building
File Photo / WKAR-MSU

Governor Rick Snyder visited a high school in Ypsilanti Thursday to sign the 2019 K-12 education budget.  WKAR's Karel Vega and Kevin Lavery break down the details.


man and school sign
Kevin Lavery / WKAR-MSU

Summer vacation is just getting started, but educators in mid-Michigan are already thinking about next fall.  In August, the first charter school ever built in East Lansing will open its doors.  Cole Academy East is an expansion site for a charter school that’s been operating in nearby Lansing for decades. 

 


teacher and student
Kevin Lavery / WKAR-MSU

Remember your elementary school teacher?  It was the one who taught you that respect is just as important as reading, and that manners count just as much as math.  That teacher still exists in schools all over America.  One of them has recently been named the 2018 Michigan Teacher Of The Year.

 

 


Gerald Cohoon former teacher
Kevin Lavery / WKAR-MSU

It’s commencement season again in Michigan.  Graduation is a time for making important choices about life and career plans.  But  it’s not just students who stand at the crossroads.  Sometimes, teachers find themselves making hard decisions at the end of the school year. The challenge before Michigan is to keep more teachers walking in than walking out.

 


kids in class
Kevin Lavery / WKAR-MSU

Everyone loves a tale of redemption.  The 2016 Cubs.  The 2018 Loyola men’s basketball team.  Of course, comeback stories don’t just happen in sports...or in Chicago!  This one takes place on our side of the lake, at an elementary school in a northern Michigan tourist town.   You might call this one “The Kenwood Comeback.”

 


stack of money
flickr/Ken Teegardin

The Michigan Legislature has approved a $57 billion budget package that includes what GOP leaders tout as the largest per-student spending increase in 17 years.  The state will crunch those numbers to prepare a final budget for Governor Snyder’s signature.  But Michigan teachers say the funding boost won’t soothe the crunch they’ve been feeling for years.

 


gun free zone sign
flickr/Mike Goad

As state lawmakers debate new school safety measures, Michigan’s largest teachers union says most of its members don’t want to be armed in school. 

 


Brian Whiston
YouTube/Michigan Dept. of Education

A colleagues of the late Michigan State Superintendent Brian Whiston is remembering him as a man of courage and conviction. 

 


sign outside office
Kevin Lavery / WKAR-MSU

The concept of “going to school” usually involves hundreds of students congregating under the same roof, studying just feet away from each other. These days, a growing number of students are trying an alternative: virtual classes.  Online education has found fertile political soil in Michigan. However, new research suggests virtual schools run virtually unchecked, while delivering poor results.

This weekend's Current State updates you on school walkouts, Adado Park in Lansing, Michigan roads, the next generation of veggie burgers and memorable moments from past Michigan State University commencement speakers. 


students bowing heads
Kevin Lavery / WKAR-MSU

There was another walkout at a mid-Michigan high school Wednesday...but not for the reason you might expect. 

 


boy at computer
flickr/Kristine Full

This week, your children may be among thousands taking the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress, or M-STEP.  It’s the yardstick the state uses to measure a student’s proficiency in math, science, social studies and language arts. 


man and woman with books
Kevin Lavery / WKAR-MSU

The 2018 Kids Count Data Book published by the Michigan League for Public Policy ranks Livingston County as the top county in Michigan for child well-being.  Education is a key factor in a child's quality of life.

 


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