Legislative Update – 08/28/2017

Early Literacy (K-3) Additional Instructional Time Grant Opportunity

As a part of the State 2017-18 school aid appropriations (PA 108 of 2017 Sec. 35a), the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is releasing one (1) grant that is intended to increase student achievement in early literacy.

MCL: 380.1280f Third-Grade Reading Law Revised Initial and Extensive Assessment Lists and Update Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has been engaged with a group of stakeholders for the past seven months reviewing the requirements of the “Third-Grade Reading” Law (MCL: 380.1280f). These stakeholders represent many areas of the state and hold positions ranging from classroom teachers to support specialists to faculty at institutes of higher education. This external team has been diligently working with department staff to determine assessments that would support the implementation of the legislation and maintain a level of flexibility for all schools during the 2017-2018 academic year.

Shared Time Instruction in Nonessential Courses for Kindergarten

Following the Governor’s singing of Public Act 108 of 2017, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) received several inquiries regarding changes to Section 166b of the State School Aid Act (MCL 388.1766b), with concern over the effect of the inclusion of kindergarten in the definition of what is considered to be an essential course for students in this grade level.

Student Suspension Data Collection

In January of 2014, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights and the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division jointly issued a “Dear Colleague” letter outlining local education agencies’ obligation to review their discipline policies and practices for unnecessary reliance on exclusionary discipline and asking whether such discipline is administered disproportionately to certain groups, such as racial/ethnic minority students and students with disabilities.

Michigan Educator Evaluation State-Approved Tool List

MCL 380.1249(5) of Michigan’s educator evaluation law prescribes that the department establish and maintain a list of teacher evaluation tools meeting the legislative guidelines of being reliable, valid, and efficacious. The department was charged with the responsibility of removing an evaluation tool from the list. The rules were to include a process for a school district, intermediate school district, or public school academy to submit its own evaluation tool for review for placement of the list