“Diverse, but not equitable.” Parents Expose East Lansing School District’s Equity Issues 

The East Lansing Public School Board met on Oct. 9 for their first school board meeting of the month. Board members listened to the progress and plan for the professional development days on five Fridays during the 2023-24 school year – and addressed critics about the efficacy of these initiatives in promoting more equity in the school district.   

Assistant Superintendent Glenn Mitcham of East Lansing Public Schools gave a presentation on the professional development days and the goals and plans that the district has set forth for the development days for the 2023-24 school year. The mission statement and goals that have been set forth for the ELPS for the 2023-24 school year include sessions for teachers at the elementary and secondary schools about nurturing each child, educating all students, and building world citizens.  

The sessions include forty-nine 2.5-hour sessions that teachers can choose from throughout the five professional development days this year. During the professional development days, the elementary school teachers will be primarily focused on building the SEL and PBIS alignment, while the secondary school teachers are focused on building work groups.   

While some people believe that the professional development days are good for the teachers to participate in and will help students to excel in the classroom, others believe that they won’t help with the equity problems that have plagued the school district recently. 

Brandi Branson, a member of the East Lansing Parent Advocacy team and an East Lansing resident with three children attending school in the district believes that the professional development days are not being looked at through an equity lens.

Dissolved districts may find way to get back in business

Capital News Service
LANSING — School districts that were dissolved may have a chance to reestablish themselves under legislation designed to address potential dissolution of more districts. Rep. David Nathan, D-Detroit, who recently introduced the bill, said no mechanism exists for school districts to reestablish themselves. The bill would give intermediate school districts the power to elect a new school board for dissolved districts. Schools in low-income neighborhoods have been facing deficit issues as a result of cuts to education funding and declining enrollment. Ironically, many families moved to these neighborhoods because of their public school systems, Nathan said.

Proposal would toughen regulations for new charter schools

Capital New Service
LANSING – Making public school academies — charters — more accountable is on the minds of some legislators. A bill by Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood, D-Taylor, would prohibit new academies from having management agreements with for-profit organizations. It also would disallow authorizing bodies, such as universities, from creating new academies unless students at all of their existing academies perform at least 20 percent better than students in the nearest traditional school district. Weak laws have allowed a lot of charter schools to pop up and take students away from traditional schools, causing financial stress to public schools that lose state aid, Hopgood said. The charters create an uneven playing field, he said.

Lansing School District Braces for Possible Major Changes

March was a big month for education in Michigan, and April is poised to be even bigger. The Education Achievement Authority (EAA), currently in place at 15 Detroit schools, is a program that allows a state-run committee to take control of struggling schools. Once in place, the EAA can create a new curriculum and hire new faculty. The Michigan House of Representatives recently passed an expansion bill that would give the EAA control of the bottom five percent of schools in terms of achievement standards. The bill includes a limit of 50 schools.