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News From the Capitol, Aug 18, 2023
August 18, 2023 by MASB Government Relations
  • Go Behind the Scenes at the Capitol in September
  • Governor Planning “What’s Next Address” 
  • Free Lunch and Breakfast for All Students Now Available
  • Legislature Returns Next Month

 

Go Behind the Scenes at the Capitol in September

MASB will hold its next Behind the Scenes at the Capitol event on Wednesday, September 13, 2023 in the North State Room of Heritage Hall in the State Capitol Building from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. This event is a great opportunity to come to Lansing and hear from legislators and issue experts on topics currently before the Legislature. It also allows for networking between districts to learn from one another. 

Our agenda will include a panel of legislators for discussion, an update on the recent changes regarding prohibited subjects of bargaining, and a discussion on the new free meals for all students program that was included in the budget this year.

We hope you will join us and take advantage of the opportunity to speak face-to-face about issues affecting your districts with fellow board members from around the state as well as your legislators and their staff.

Register today! 

Governor Planning “What’s Next Address” 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced earlier this month that she will deliver an address outlining her legislative priorities for the fall at 11:00 am on August 30, 2023. The address will be available for viewing on the Governor’s Facebook page or YouTube Channel. Other available coverage has not yet been announced.

We don’t expect many topics to directly relate to education; the address will probably focus on economic development and environmental issues. As we find out more, we’ll be sure to share. This will be the first time a Governor has done a formal public address to lay out their priorities outside of the State of the State.

Free Lunch and Breakfast for All Students Now Available

The School Aid Budget included $160 million to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students regardless of income status. This was a legislative priority for our members, and we were excited to see Michigan join the handful of other states that extend free meals. 

To help districts facilitate running this program, the Michigan Department of Education has created a website for Michigan School Meals. It includes frequently asked questions and links for districts and parents. To qualify, districts must make efforts to have families fill out the free and reduced lunch forms. These forms are used to determine at-risk funding for districts but can also qualify families for additional financial assistance.

Recently, Bridge Magazine wrote a detailed article about the program, which you may find helpful as well. This will also be a discussion topic at our upcoming Behind the Scenes at the Capitol (see article above to register).

Legislature Returns Next Month

As the legislative summer break comes to an end, the MASB Government Relations Committee and Government Relations Staff are gearing up for the fall. The Senate and House will return to session right after Labor Day.

The first half of the year saw an incredibly busy legislative session. The House and Senate passed a large number of bills, many of which affect education in Michigan. We have compiled a list of bills that have been signed into law so far this year that will affect your districts. 

We have also worked on other issues that are still pending for this session. You can find a complete list on our website, which includes things like repealing the ban on starting school before Labor Day and the requirements to be a substitute teacher. We are also expecting conversations around teacher and administrator evaluations and loosening restrictions around returning to work after retirement.

Our regular weekly emails will begin again with the return of session in September. As always, if you have questions or need more information, please contact us

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