Michigan has a new teacher retirement plan

Gov. Rick Snyder signed off on a bill that will causes significant changes to the retirement plans for all new teachers and school employees hired after February 1, 2018. The collaborative billed compiled by Michigan’s House and Senate will automatically enroll all new school employees into the program starting next winter. The plans will have school districts pay 4 percent of the employee’s salary into their 401 (k) plan. New employees may also contribute their personal funds and the state would match their addition by 3 percent. University of Michigan-Flint teaching major Alicia Williams believes the changes are for the better.

A Northern Michigan school district promotes diversity in a non-diverse region

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Northern Michigan is not a very diverse region, which is reflected in the extremely small percentage of different ethnicities in Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS). Shown here are the total numbers of students of each ethnicity via Mary Beth Stein, a student services coordinator at TCAPS. Below are the numbers from the 2010 census year. Gina McPherson, a preschool teacher at TCAPS, has a lot of experience with this.

Despite summers off, teachers face financial stresses

Teachers around the nation are notoriously underpaid as well as criticized for their “summers off.” Yet, the question remains, are teachers really taking their summer time as personal time or is it spent working other jobs to maintain financial stability? Nowadays a lot of school districts are offering teachers 12-month payment programs for their salaries rather than 9 1/2 or 10-month payment programs. Yet, the small amount of the salaries are still increasingly alarming around the nation. According to an online source payscale.com, teachers including special education instructors at the K-12 levels are being paid a national median of anywhere from $43,813 to $48,255 annually. Mark Johnson is a theater arts teacher at Stevenson High School in Michigan and has stated that his family makes sure to spread their paychecks across the entirety of the 12-month year. “Since we are salaried, we get paid the same amount for one year no matter what.

Known your currency when studying or traveling abroad

The experience of studying abroad has many benefits for students. According to a survey done by the Institute for International Education of Students, 97 percent of students who were surveyed admitted that studying abroad helped increase maturity and 95 percent said it had a lasting impact on their worldview. Before any student should jump into traveling abroad there are some things you need to prepare for. One of the many things is knowing your locations and keeping track of your money, especially when having to change currency. “Many colleges and universities in the U.S. make it so that students do not have to worry about money on a daily basis during their undergraduate career,” says Jarlath McGuckin, an enrollment manager for Council on International Educational Exchange.

Suburban Detroit alternative school strives to break stereotypes

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — A suburban Detroit alternative school is pushing boundaries and blowing the doors off of traditional ideas regarding alternative education, according to its principal, Taylor Chapman. The Avondale Academy has been considered the black sheep of the district, known as the “dumping ground” for Auburn Hills’ main public high school, Avondale High School. Over the years, Chapman and other staff members have worked hard to polish and refine the institution, making it a desirable learning environment for students and families alike. Recently, the Academy has implemented many changes in hopes of better serving their student population.

Student gets business started while still in college

It is 9:30 a.m. at Michigan State University, MSU junior entrepreneurship and innovation student Alexander Marx begins another unpredictable day of production for his co-founded company Land Grant Goods. The student-run company began as a club in 2014 until Marx took it under his wing in January 2017 as a student company affiliated in partnership with MSU. As Marx begins his day which includes the inventory of the day’s products — tea bags ready for sale — he journeys to the student organic farm where he finds his small team already hard at work, blending lemon grass, packaging products and finishing off tea products with the Land Grant stamp of approval. Marx’s company’s goal is to create quality products for East Lansing consumers in hopes of one day earning enough funds to invest profits for the company back into environmental initiatives at MSU, which includes partnerships with the Bailey Greenhouse and Urban Farm, Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment and MSU Culinary Services. But for now, the small company makes enough to cover labor and general business cost.

Who is to blame for Detroit Public Schools problems?

DETROIT — A large concern for Detroit Public Schools has been a topic of discussion for many years now. Many people do not understand what have been the causes for such a downfall and accuse the wrong people. Emery Petchauer associate professor at Michigan State University with expertise on the aesthetic practices of urban arts clears up any confusion on what started the downfall of DPS. “The biggest point I’d like to make is that DPS has only been controlled by its elected school board for three years since 1999. The state take-over via emergency manager laws that has caused much of the chaos we see in DPS.

Q & A: I’m a recent graduate. To spend or to invest?

The transition from college to the working world has always been seen as a huge step. It’s no more fully depending on your parents, but rather living on your own. Many grads wonder what’s next, to get a job, go back to school, or travel. But while students are trying to figure out what’s their next move, they are stuck owing for their education. In 2016 grads averaged just about $38,000 (in college debt) which has increased from previous years.