Michigan's high school graduation rate rises to 79% The rate of students graduating from high school on time in Michigan is at its highest level since 2006.
The state Center for Educational Performance and Information released graduation rate data today for the 2013-14 school year that shows the rate was 78.58%, up 1.6 percentage points from 2012-13. In 2009-10, the state's rate was 76%. Meanwhile, the state's dropout rate declined, from 10.54% to 9.6%. "Schools have just rallied around trying to make sure that all students can be successful and I think that's paying off," said Wendy Zdeb-Roper, executive director of the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals.
That's despite having some of the toughest graduation requirements in the nation — mandates that mean students must take a heavy dose of math and science to get a diploma. Despite the improvement, Michigan still falls below the national average, which was 81% for the 2012-13 school year — the latest year for which U.S. data is available. $13.9-billion school budget could add $70-$140 per pupil. LANSING – The state budget includes $50 million in unappropriated funds that could be used to help deal with the struggling Detroit Public Schools.
A conference committee of the Legislature approved the school aid fund of $13.9 billion Tuesday morning that included a foundation allowance increase of $70 to $140 per pupil. The foundation allowance ranges from $7,391 per pupil for most of the districts in the state to $15,556 per student in the Bois Blanc Pines school district, a tiny one-room school house on an Island in northern Lake Huron. The only thing left hanging is the $50 million in funding that is "parked on the side" and could be used to help DPS deal with a $170-million deficit, said Sen. Goeff Hansen, R-Hart. "At the end of the day, we're going to have to figure it out, whether the state intervenes," said Hansen. Gov. State Rep. "The governor has a plan, but there is not a direct correlation to that plan and this spending.
But, he said, "there's still a ways to go. " Detroit schools crisis: Time to act 'is now,' governor says. "The Detroit schools are in need of a transformational change," he told lawmakers.
"... Not all Detroit students are gaining the education they deserve. " The Republican governor says he wants the current $1,100 per student being spent to service debt to be shifted to give classroom teachers the resources they need. Detroit Public Schools teachers say negative working conditions -- including overcrowding and insufficient maintenance -- that were brought about by starved city and state budgets are hurting students' education. Many teachers have conducted protest sick-outs and more are expected Wednesday. A union official said 30 schools may be affected. The beleaguered school system has said it will need significant dollars from the Legislature to address its massive debts. The Detroit system is burdened with an estimated $515 million of debt and is facing insolvency as early as April, according to the school district's emergency manager, Darnell Earley. Feds: 12 Detroit principals stole $1M in kickback scheme.
In its latest crackdown on school corruption in Detroit, the federal government today dropped a legal bomb on 12 current and former principals, one administrator and a vendor — all of them charged with running a nearly $1-million bribery and kickback scheme involving school supplies that were rarely ever delivered.
At the heart of the alleged scheme is businessman Norman Shy, 74, of Franklin, who is accused of paying $908,500 in kickbacks and bribes to at least 12 Detroit Public Schools principals who used him as a school supply vendor in exchange for money — some for as little as $4,000, another for $324,000. He secretly did this for 13 years, scamming school after school to the tune of $2.7 million with the help of principals who benefited along the way, prosecutors allege. Detroit schools can't pay staff after April 8, lawmakers told.
Detroit Public Schools can only afford to pay its employees for the work they do through April 8 and needs $50 million in immediate aid, the district's transition manager said today.
Steven Rhodes and new Superintendent Alycia Meriweather testified before a state House Appropriations Committee hearing on proposed legislation that would restructure the debt-ridden district. Lawmakers have been talking for several weeks but remain unable to agree on a plan. Speaking to reporters after the hearing, Rhodes reiterated that bankruptcy isn't a good option because the vast majority of the district's debts are secured or guaranteed by the state. Officials have warned for months that DPS, with its $515 million in operating debt, was in danger of running out of cash this spring.
"We can pay employees for the work they do through April 8, but not after that. ... Of rats and debts.