Michigan Education

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

NMC faculty and administration reach contract agreement

Nov 21, 2016
Morgan Springer

 

The administration and faculty at Northwestern Michigan College have finally reached a contract agreement. The agreement comes after more than a year and a half of tense negotiations.

Collective bargaining began when the faculty unionized in 2015. Bronwyn Jones, an instructor at NMC and a faculty representative in the negotiation process, says the faculty originally unionized in part because they felt left out of the college's decision-making processes and the faculty's relationship with administration was strained.

NMC says faculty opted out of board agenda

Oct 21, 2016
Northwestern Michigan College

Faculty at Northwestern Michigan College could again report directly to the college board at regular meetings, according to the NMC administration. But the faculty says the offer comes with too many restrictions.

The faculty report agenda item has been a point of contention since 2007. That’s when the college board stopped hearing directly from teachers at its monthly meeting. After that, faculty could speak at board meetings for 3 minutes periods during the public comment section of the agenda.

Morgan Springer

The pressure is on for districts and teachers to have their students reading proficiently. That’s after Michigan’s third grade reading bill passed this month. The bill says that students who don’t read well by third grade might be held back. It would take effect in three years. So for schools that are struggling, that means turning things around fast. There’s a grade school near Traverse City that has been trying to figure out how to do that.

 

Traverse City Area Public Schools

The superintendent for Traverse City Area Public Schools says it is unlikely the district will find a way to save Old Mission Peninsula School. Last year, Paul Soma recommended the district close the elementary school due to low enrollment. But when an anonymous, private donor offered $800,000 in March toward saving the school, TCAPS officials postponed the decision to close it. 

Since then, a community group has been meeting with school officials to come up with a creative way to save the school using the private money.

Kingsley gains students, TCAPS loses them

Oct 5, 2016
Morgan Springer

It was count day in Michigan public schools Wednesday. It's the day where public schools figure out how many students they have and how much money they’ll get from the state. State money is calculated on a per pupil basis.

Preliminary results show that Traverse City Area Public Schools lost 70 students. Last year, TCAPS had 9,594 students. This year there are 9,524.

One school, Old Mission Peninsula School, lost 20 students. Last fall, school officials recommended closing the school due to low enrollment numbers. 

TC teachers get pay increase into 2020

Sep 28, 2016
Morgan Springer

Updated October 5, 2016: The contract agreement was ratified this morning by Traverse City Area Public Schools' board. The teachers union ratified the agreement on Monday.

Traverse City teachers could secure a three-year contract giving them a pay increase into 2020. Officials in Traverse City Area Public Schools have reached a tentative contract agreement with the Traverse City Education Association, the teachers' union.

Michigan college students who graduated in 2014 had $29,450 in student loan debt on average – the ninth highest in the nation, according to a new study from the Michigan League for Public Policy.

Morgan Springer

A plan to create a nonprofit to save the elementary school on Old Mission Peninsula was presented publicly last night. At the joint meeting, board members from Peninsula Township and Traverse City Area Public Schools were asked to work with the soon-to-be-created Old Mission Peninsula Education Foundation to keep the school open. TCAPS had proposed closing it because of low enrollment.

Western Michigan University

College athletics are not moneymakers for most public institutions in Michigan. 

A new report from MLive called ‘The Price to Play’ shows that most universities are losing money on sports. Western Michigan University, for example, spends tens of millions of dollars to keep its athletic department afloat, the report says. 

Paula Gardner, an MLive reporter who worked on the series, says students and taxpayers are footing the bill. She spoke with IPR News Radio's David Cassleman about the price of big-time college athletics: 

 


An administrative law judge will consider accusations that Northwestern Michigan College froze its teachers’ pay as punishment for forming a union.

Judge Travis Calderwood denied a motion by the college to dismiss the case and said a two-day hearing with witnesses will be scheduled for October.

Faculty members and NMC have been bargaining over a first contract for more than a year. Teachers formed a union in March of 2015.

Back to school already? Some districts start this week

Aug 22, 2016
Morgan Springer

Class begins this week for 57 school districts in Michigan, including three districts within the Wexford-Missaukee Intermediate School District. Schools are required to start after Labor Day in Michigan, but these districts applied successfully for a waiver from the Michigan Department of Education.

One district starting early is Manton Consolidated Schools. Their first day is Wednesday, August 24th.

Traverse City Area Public Schools

The group working to save the elementary school on Old Mission Peninsula is ready to go public with its proposal. They began planning after Traverse City Area Public Schools' board held postponed a decision to close the school because of a potential $800,000 donation. TCAPS officials were considering closing the school because they said it was losing the district money each year because there aren’t enough students.

The board will decide tonight if they’re willing to hear the proposal for the first time in a joint meeting with the Peninsula Township board.

Kelly Clark's campaign Facebook Page

There’s a Libertarian in the race for Grand Traverse County’s House seat, Michigan's 104th district.

Kelly Clark is a Traverse City Area Public Schools board member and retired public school teacher.

"The overreach in government right now is at an all time high, and it just keeps expanding," says Clark. "I’m all in favor of minimum government and maximum freedom."

Clark says, to start, there are way too many taxes in Michigan.

Westwoods welcomes Interlochen students as school closes

May 26, 2016
Morgan Springer

Two elementary schools in Traverse City are closing. The board at Traverse City Area Public Schools made that decision a few months ago. Parents were torn up about it, but now the kids are dealing with the reality of having to find a new school. Around 70 students from Interlochen Community School, one of the schools that’s closing, visited Westwoods Elementary School last week to get to know their future school.

 

Michigan's K-12 students are among the weakest academically in the U.S., and they're falling even further behind, according to a report released today by Education Trust-Midwest, a Michigan-based non-partisan research education and advocacy organization.

The report predicts that if things don't change, Michigan will rank 48th nationally in fourth grade reading scores by 2030, far from the state's goal of becoming a top ten state in education by that year. 

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