Every Day Evidence #89 for 2014/15 – Teacher Voice
June 25, 2015
Good Morning Governor Snyder, Senator MacGregor, Representatives, VerHeulen, Lyons, Brinks, Dillion, Yonker, Hooker, and Afendoulis,
Currently our Michigan Legislative body is working on finding $1.2 billion in “road funding” in order to make Michigan a TOP TEN state for roads. The current School Aid Budget included a $26.4 million allocation for 3rd grade reading in order to make Michigan a TOP TEN state for academic achievement.
Questions for Your Consideration:
- The new School Aid Bill resulted in a $50 per pupil increase in the net-operating revenue. This is approximately a .6% net operating revenue increase for Northview. This is unrestricted revenue. Do you believe this covers the inflation rate?
- Yes, we did receive a $48 per pupil increase in “at risk” funding that is restricted. Do you know the criteria for use of the $48 per pupil?
- Are you aware that the overall funding for K-12 is about the same as the level of funding in Governor Granholm’s last year in office? The priorities changed to cover retirement costs established by previous Legislative actions.
- Are you aware that the MPSERS was established by the Legislature not by school districts collective bargaining agreements? Our MI legislators state that paying down this legacy cost will result in more money for K-12 …….. in 2034.
- Are you aware of the size of the budget cuts in Grand Rapids Public Schools, Forest Hills Public Schools, East Grand Rapids Public Schools, and other districts in your legislative boundaries?
- Are your actions strengthening the relevance of public education?
Every Day Evidence – Generous Parents
Today’s EDE comes from our East Oakview math interventionist. The funds for this position are not available next year due to funding levels from the State and Federal governments.
“I did not get a chance to discuss this with other teachers, but the answer to this question is one that I think about/experience almost every day.
In the past 3 years, I have spent a lot of time in many schools and I can confidently say that East Oakview is one of a kind.
When it comes to parent involvement, I have NEVER seen parents so involved in student learning. It was one of the first things I recognized that was clearly special about this school. In my position, I get a peek into each classroom every day. I have the privilege to see parents in the classrooms and out in the hallway working with students. Each time I see this, it makes me feel that our students are so lucky to have such loving and caring parents, but it also makes me wonder why other schools are not like this?
The students at this school are absolutely amazing, to say the least. On my very first day, I waited for Sarah Shook’s class to finish taking off their snow gear and get everything ready for their school day to start. As I was observing the “madness” that comes with 20+ 5 year olds getting ready for school, I felt something hugging my leg. As I looked down, I see a smiling little boy staring up at me. He immediately asked, “Who are you?” I asked him, “I am Ms. Johnson, who are you?” He quickly responds, “Zander. Ms. Johnson, I like you.” After saying this, he lets go of my leg and continues with his morning routine. I have had so many experiences like this one in the short amount of time that I have been here and I have observed students express their admiration for their teachers. This experience is only a glimpse of the love the students at East have for their teachers.
I am still “getting used to” the Northview community. But, as far as I can tell, this is a strong community that truly supports their schools. Definitely something that is very heartwarming.
I feel extremely lucky to be part of the East Oakview staff. EVERYONE has been so welcoming, helpful, supportive, and appreciative for what I do/I’m trying to do. Each day becomes more comfortable and last week I had the opportunity to spend time with a group of teachers outside of school. At the end of the school day on Friday, I was asked to join some teachers at a restaurant. The only way I can phrase the way this made me feel is thinking about being a kid in school and wishing the “cool” kid in your class would invite you to their birthday party and when you least expect it, you get the invite! (Ok, maybe an exaggeration, but it is the best way I can describe the feeling) The teachers here and their relationship with one another as well as the kids, without a doubt, is like nothing I have experienced before.
I cannot express enough how lucky I feel to be at a school like East Oakview.
East Oakview Elementary”
Our roads do need improvement and you plan to allocate $1.2 Billion. Reading at grade level by the end of third grade is important and an “upstream solution.” You allocated $26.4 Million. Your Legislative actions show your priorities. Kent County ISD school districts have done their part. Now it is time for our Legislators to do their part and increase K-12 by a “3% net-operating revenue” in each of the next three years.
Michael F. Paskewicz, Superintendent
Northview Public Schools