At the start of each legislative session, CISD’s office of Legislation and Education Policy participates in the process of revising and adopting legislative priorities in conjunction with numerous partner organizations. These priority areas provide guidance when deliberating and determining positions on proposed legislation. Several of the key priority areas for the current legislative session include:
Implement School Finance Research Collaborative Recommendations
Each child comes to school with different capacities and challenges depending on his or her level of preparedness. With different needs come different costs. Weighted student funding that accounts for special education needs, at-risk factors, English Language Learner supports, and other factors, must be a priority for how Michigan funds public education.
Invest in Early Childhood
The earlier a child is engaged in quality, developmentally appropriate learning experiences, the greater his or her educational achievement levels will be. This reduces the need for remedial support and establishes a strong foundation for children entering the K-12 education system. Michigan currently does not provide enough funding in order to ensure early learning opportunities for every 4-year-old child. Funding is needed to give universal access to all 4-year-olds.
Increase Mental Health Services and Support
School psychologists, social workers and counselors are critical supports for students and staff in Michigan’s schools. These mental health professionals support teachers and aid students who are struggling emotionally or demonstrating negative behaviors. Additional mental health professionals in schools increases the capacity for schools to educate students and keep everyone safe.
Privatizing Public Education
Public tax dollars should not be used for private education. The voters of Michigan decided on two occasions that public dollars are for public schools. Efforts to overturn the will of the people and undermine that position will be opposed.
Additional legislative platform resources on all of these topics are available from the Michigan Association of School Boards and the Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators.