March 27, 2015, budget

Capital News Service Budget – March 27, 2015
To: CNS Editors
From: Perry Parks & Sheila Schimpf
http://news.jrn.msu.edu/capitalnewsservice/. For technical problems, contact CNS tech manager Tanya Voloshina (248-943-8979) voloshin@msu.edu. You can email us at cnsmsu@gmail.com. CNS ALUM HONORED: CNS alum Derek Wallbank will be honored in May when he receives the MSU College of Communication Arts & Sciences’ 2015 Rising Star Alumni Award. Wallbank, a spring 2006 CNS correspondent, covers Congress for Bloomberg in Washington.

Gerrymandering in Michigan, explained

By COLLIN KRIZMANICH
Capital News Service
LANSING — By all accounts, 2014 was a good election year for Republicans in Michigan. They increased their majority in the Michigan House of Representatives by three seats, now holding 63 to Democrats’ 47. Out of the 14 congressional races, Republicans won nine. You may assume Republicans across the state received substantially more votes than Democrats. However, that assumption would be wrong.

Schools, communities improve students’ health

By ELIZABETH FERGUSON
Capital News Service
LANSING — Newberry Elementary School in Luce County doesn’t have a school nurse, but it has a school health team that gets tips from hospital experts on how to teach nutrition and respond to flu season. This coordinated school health team maximizes limited resources by bringing together health and physical education teachers with experts in the community, said Principal Stacy Price. “Who we call on depends on what direction we are going,” Price said. For example, a hospital dietitian attends meetings when school nutrition is being discussed. About half of Michigan’s school districts rely on coordinated health teams to meet unique needs in their areas.

Bill would expel students who threaten teachers

By JOSH THALL
Capital News Service
LANSING — Public school students above the fifth grade who threaten the lives of school employees or volunteers could be permanently expelled under a bill introduced by Sen. Dave Hildenbrand, a Lowell Republican. Hildenbrand said he introduced the bill as a response to a phone call he received from a teacher in his Grand Rapids district. He said she told him a student had threatened her, and every day when that student was in class, she felt unsafe. The teacher reported the problem to school officials, Hildenbrand said, but nothing substantial was done. Grand Rapids schools officials did not respond to requests for comment.

Common Core challenges teachers — old and new

By BROOKE KANSIER
Capital News Service
LANSING — Common Core standards are not only changing education for K-12 teachers, but for university students who want to become educators. The new standards – coupled with a tougher entrance exam – are making it harder for college students to get into teacher training programs. Meanwhile, current teachers have to adjust their lessons to Common Core standards, which were adopted by the state Board of Education in 2010. “This has been our concern for a while — how prepared are our schools, districts and teachers to align with the Common Core?” said Steve Cook, president of the Michigan Education Association, the state’s largest teacher’s union. For college students aspiring to be teachers, one of the most difficult parts of the process might be just getting into a program. In 2013, the Michigan Department of Education created a new entrance exam that students are required to pass before being accepted into a teaching program.