Items of potential interest to government documents librarians or government information managers in Michigan. For more information contact Jon Harrison at email@example.com.
The recent passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act marked a return to local control of public education. At least, that’s what conventional wisdom has told us. But it seems many Republican governors and legislators have their own definitions of “local” that do not include struggling poor minority districts and cities. The Washington Post’s Lindsey Layton recently took a look at a growing effort by Republican-controlled states to move control to the state level.
In justifying state takeovers, the local school boards and the elected political leaders of the targeted systems get blamed for the poor financial condition and the weak educational program of their districts. State action is necessary because local officials are unable or unwilling to make the hard decisions needed to fix the serious problems affecting their students. Little recognition is given to the impact of a district’s shrinking tax base, the economic struggles of the communities served, or the declining funding provided by the state itself as key causes for the problems needing solutions.
Proponents of state takeovers may have a larger agenda behind their concern for local school operations, as Philip Lanoue, 2015’s National Superintendent of the Year, believes. “These takeovers are entangled with money and power and control,” Lanoue says, probably thinking of Governor Nathan Deal, who wants to change Georgia’s constitution to enable state takeovers. Breaking the power of unions, making it easier to privatize public education by expanding charter schools, and deflecting attention from inadequate funding of local schools are key reasons Republicans want an end to local control.
And behind that agenda, one can perceive a marked insensitivity to race and class differences. Rev. Kenneth Simon, a Baptist pastor involved with the Youngstown schools that are among Gov. Kasich’s targets for a state takeover, described the threat he sees to his community: “They’re taking away the right of our own school board that we elected to govern. The school board has no power. The community has no say. I don’t know how African Americans could sit and let them roll the clock back like this.”—
For the full article, see Martin Levine, "Are Statehouses the New Local School Boards?", Nonprofit Quarterly, February 5, 2016.
An application for a new casino never moves quickly, but one tribe's plans to build an $180 million casino development in a Muskegon suburb keep moving steadily.
The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians will be the "Little Engine that could," according to Tribal Ogema Larry Romanelli. The tribe's application is moving faster than expected through a federal bureaucratic process, and he credits the project's local support.
The Manistee-based Little River Band of Ottawa Indians a year ago filed an application with the Bureau of Indian Affairs to take 60 acres into trust for a $180 million casino development. Tribal officials said Thursday the bureau had released a report defining the scope of an Environmental Impact Study that could define the course that the project takes in the future.
"What it tells me is that there's not a lot of opposition," Tribal Ogema Larry Romanelli said. "I really believe that the support the community gives this project is helping it move along at a faster pace."
For the full article, see Stephen Kloosterman, "Progress on casino's approval. 'Could it be 2 years, 7 years? I don't know'", MLive, February 5, 2016.
Also see Scoping Report - Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Trust Acquisition and Casino Project, February 2016.
State Partners with MSU Student Athletes to Help with Flint Recycling and Water Distribution Efforts
New Recycling Site Open Friday from Noon to 4 p.m.
Student athletes from Michigan State University are partnering with Schupan Recycling, Republic Services and the Michigan Community Service Commission (MCSC) to help with recycling and water distribution efforts in Flint on Friday, Feb. 5, including collection of empty water bottles and distribution of recycling bags and bins.
“We are excited to have students from MSU volunteer their time to help the residents of Flint,” said Ginna Holmes, executive director of the MCSC. “The state is thankful to Schupan and Republic for stepping up to help recycle all the water bottles. We’re also looking forward to engaging other volunteers in the future to assist with these recycling efforts.”
Recycling collection and water distribution will take place Friday from Noon to 4 p.m. in the parking lot of the Northwest Shopping Center, 2629 West Pierson Road, Flint, MI 48504 (corner of Clio Road and W. Pierson Road).
Residents are asked to bring their empty water bottles to this location. Schupan Recycling will be collecting the bottles to process for turning into new products.
Residents also will be able to pick up a blue recycling bin from Republic Services.
Source : Michigan Newswire, February 4, 2016
Flint residents who need crisis counseling can call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 or text "TalkWithUs" to 66746. The helpline can provide immediate confidential counseling to anyone who needs assistance. This 24 hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week resource is provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Spanish Speakers may call 800-985-5990 and press "2" or text "Hablanos" to 66746.
Flint Water Translation
Officials in the Department of Civil Rights have translated the various informational documents regarding the Flint water crisis to Arabic, Chinese and Spanish, with more languages to come.
Among the documents is an informational palm card, a water sampling form and letters to various affected parties (like parents and food establishments), with more documents expected to be translated.
The documents are being circulated to various officials in Civil Rights and the Department of Health and Human Services and are available at http://www.michigan.gov/flintwater
Source : Gongwer News Service : Michigan Report, Volume #55, Report 22, February 4, 2016. Full access requires a subscription or a visit to a subscribing library such as the Michigan State University Main Library. For assistance in accessing the database, stop by the MSU Library Reference Desk.
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