Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Problems with HB 6004, 5923; SB 1358 and 620

The best public schools adapt and grow through policy, training, and support. Rather than focusing on encouraging practices and cultures which embrace this fact our Legislators are rushing towards legislation which has little if any empirical support. Evidence shows that the very structures embraced by HB 6004, HB 5923, SB 1358 and SB 620 do not support student achievement. Strip away the rhetoric and the only thing these bills do is to enable the flow of public funds into charter operator’s pockets - and there is significant statistical evidence that charters do no better than pubic schools, and often their performance is significantly worse. 

The biggest overreach on the floor of the Michigan House is HB 6004. It creates a new bureaucracy with no public accountability. In fact, this bill creates a district which disregards whole sections of the existing school code; how is that good for kids in need of help?

The negative issues linked to HB 6004 are discussed in my prior post. Further analysis of the proposed legislation reveals a list of sections in the Revised School Code that the proposed EAA does NOT have to comply with:

1140 - Access to skilled trades training and apprenticeship programs reps
1147 - Right of a child to enroll in kindergarten
1148 - Admission/transfer of student in foster care
1148a      - Residency of child when parents reside in different districts
1152 - English as the basic language of instruction
1157b      - High school credit in foreign language for American sign language
1165 - Financial education programs
1166 - Mandatory courses in Constitutions and governments
1163 - Gun safety to elementary students
1164b      - Course content in African history
1165 - Financial education programs for financial literacy
1169 - HIV and abstinence curriculum
1171 - Suicide prevention and awareness
1175 - Salary of school employees not to be affected by dismissal of school for listed public holidays
1177 - Immunization statements; vision test; immunization status and vision report
1177a      - Meningococcal meningitis; human papillomavirus; vaccines; information to be provided to parents and guardians
1178 - Administration of medication to pupil; liability; school employee as licensed registered professional nurse
1179 ‑ Use of inhaler permitted; conditions; liability; extra inhaler; notice to classroom teachers
1201 - Business to be conducted at public meetings of a board; validity of board actions; closed sessions; legal meetings; notice of meetings; signing of minutes; vice-president to act in absence of president
1202 ‑ Record of proceedings board accounts, and business; public records; inspection
1204 - Annual Education Report – provide report to SBE
1215 ‑ Accounting for moneys; fund designations
1228 - Contract between school or intermediate district and public school academy to provide services
1231 ‑ Hiring of teachers; teachers' contracts generally
1233  Teaching or counseling by noncertificated teacher; prohibition; exceptions; notice to superintendent of public instruction; waiving student teaching as requirement for vocational certification; competency test; employment as substitute teacher; requirements for service as counselor without valid teaching certificate
1233 ‑ Teaching or counseling by noncertificated teacher; prohibition; exceptions; notice to superintendent of public instruction; waiving student teaching as requirement for vocational certification; competency test; employment as substitute teacher; requirements for service as counselor without valid teaching certificate
1233a       ‑ Employment counseling and placement services; agreement to establish joint or cooperative service; assistance; MCL 338.2006 inapplicable
1233b       ‑ Teaching of certain courses by noncertificated, nonendorsed teacher; requirements; effect of ability to engage certificated, endorsed teacher; waiving student teaching
1235 ‑ Sabbatical leave available for a teacher who has been employed for 7 years
1236 ‑ Employment of substitute teachers and the ability to receive compensation for a long-term position; contracted substitute teachers
1236a      - Contracting with a person or entity to provide substitute teaching
1237 ‑ Employment of person who does not hold a teaching certificate to provide speech and language services
1249a      - Notification to parents/guardians that a teacher has been rated as ineffective on 2 most recent evaluations
1251  A district may employ personnel necessary to provide school psychological service.
1252 ‑ A district may employ personnel to provide nursing services
1272 ‑ A school district may provide personnel and supplies for a meal program for students
1272a, b, c, d - A K-12 school district shall operate a lunch program and breakfast program; food programs and the applicable nutritional standards; free and reduced meals and fees; MDE guidelines
1277 - Each school is required to annually update their school improvement plans
1277a      - School accreditation and the requirements to be accredited
1279a      - If assessment irregularities have occurred, the SPI had protocol to inform the district
1279c      - Assessments are not to be used to measure values or attitudes of the student.
1280 - Accreditation
1280e      - Posting of the accreditation status and the adequate yearly progress of a school on the school district website
1282 - Local school districts shall provide curriculum, special assistance, courses of study and use of the MEAP as an indicator for those requiring special assistance
1284 - Length of the school year to be the minimum required in the State Aid Act. Each local district must certify to their hours of instruction from the previous year
1284b      - Schools must not begin before Labor Day.  The SPI may issue a waiver for a school district to operate year-round
1289 - Female students shall be permitted to compete for all interscholastic athletic activities
1299 - A school shall not deny equal access to conduct a meeting.
1301 - A pregnant student may not be expelled and a local district may provide an alternative educational program for expectant parents
1313 - Student found in possession of a dangerous weapon and the definition of a dangerous weapon.
1318 - Use of performing-enhancing substances and participation in athletics
1321, 1322, 1324 - Transportation for students, requirements and contracting for the transportation of students
1347 - Displaying the United States flag in public school buildings and classrooms
1347a - Public school students will have the opportunity to recite the pledge of allegiance
1401 - Admission of nonresident pupils and the determination and collection of tuition rates
1561 ‑ Compulsory attendance at public school; enrollment dates; exceptions
1565 ‑ Provide an opportunity for students to observe time in silent meditation
1577 ‑ Attendance report of a school district providing student names and parents/guardians
1588 ‑ Complaint against parent for not complying with attendance of student and the process for a warrant; hearing; and determination
1589 ‑ Teachers and administrators must supply and assist the attendance officer with information on attendance record of a student

This is no justification for allowing any district to disregard protections, supports, and accountability, yet this legislation short-circuits programs and protections focused on student achievment, district acountability and transparency. Contact your legislator today, or a generation of 
kids will suffer because of this ill conceived, charter school operator driven agenda. If you need help in drafting a letter, try this site.

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