Education | Michigan Radio


Traverse City Area Public Schools’ passed an anti-racism resolution late Monday night after hearing hours of public comment over how strong a stance the district should take.

Talks of creating a resolution began after an incident in April when several Traverse City students participated in a Snapchat group purporting to be a "Slave Trade" where students bid on and sold some minority students.

Paullette Healy isn't sure yet where her 13-year-old son, Lucas, will go to school this fall.

She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and says New York City school buildings are in "disarray," with overcrowded classrooms and windows that barely open. She worries about classroom ventilation and social distancing.

Muskegon Heights High School (file photo)
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The state has officially released the Muskegon Heights school district from receivership, marking the end of oversight for all school districts and communities in the state.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Tuesday afternoon in the library at East Kentwood High School, Governor Gretchen Whitmer sat at a table surrounded by students and signed a statewide education budget bill 27 years in the making.

When the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones announced last week that she was headed to Howard University, her decision ignited a conversation on the opportunity for Black academics to flip the script on taking their talents to predominantly white institutions.

Hannah-Jones, who created the 1619 Project at the New York Times, was originally offered a position at her alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Eric Hemenway

Last month the U.S. Department of Interior announced an investigation into the hundreds of now-closed residential boarding schools across the United States. For more than a century, the federal government forcibly enrolled Native American children in these schools, meant to assimilate them into white culture.

gretchen whitmer sitting at table

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill into law on Wednesday that appropriates $4.4 billion of federal COVID-19 relief funds for Michigan schools.

This supplemental aid comes from the federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief, or ESSER. $841 million comes from ESSER II funding allocated in December 2020 and the other $3.3 billion comes from ESSER III funding from the American Rescue Plan.

ann arbor public schools district office building
Caroline Llanes / Michigan Radio

Ann Arbor Public Schools and the Michigan Department of Education are defendants in a lawsuit filed in federal court on June 30. The lawsuit, brought by parents of special education students in AAPS, alleges inadequate special education services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

a little girl wearing a pink shirt in front of a chainlink fence
Courtesy Jimmy Hoffmeyer

The school district where a staff member cut the curly hair of a biracial 7-year-old student this spring said Friday that an “independent, third-party investigation” found “no evidence the incident was motivated by racial bias.”

Jurnee Hoffmeyer arrived home from Ganiard Elementary in Mount Pleasant with hair missing just before spring break, her father, Jimmy, said in April.

paramedics standing outside ambulance doors
Mat Napo / Unsplash

There is a major shortage of emergency medical service workers across the state. But paramedic education programs require extensive certification and can be costly to start up. For that reason, they aren’t often offered in rural communities.

North Central Michigan College is now opening satellite programs in Gaylord and Alpena for students who currently don’t have access.

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GOP Lawmakers in the state legislature sparked conversations about critical race theory across the state after proposing a bill banning teaching it in K-12 schools. Michigan is just one of a number of states looking at similar legislation.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s K-12 schools can expect a big spending boost as they prepare to welcome students back to classrooms.

Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

The Legislature is back in Lansing this week with the primary goal of wrapping up the state budget. That includes a spending plan for schools.

Lawmakers are working with an additional $4.4 billion dollars in federal COVID-19 recovery funds.

"This money can help schools recruit teachers, get classrooms ready, and deal with learning loss over the 16-month-long COVID crisis, but only if the Legislature votes to appropriate the money,” says Donald Wotruba, the executive director of the Michigan Association of School Boards.

Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, K-12 education receives a historical boost, and Detroit filmmaker dream hampton talks art and social justice. Then, using drones to prevent Lake Michigan drownings. And hear how camping can become an experience in fine dining.

Children in the hallway of a school

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan House overwhelmingly approved a $65 billion state spending plan and the release of billions in federal COVID-19 relief aid for K-12 schools, seeking to pressure the Senate to get on board so it could be signed into law soon.

There is an agreement between the Republican-led House and Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer, but not with the GOP-controlled Senate. The plan that was passed late Thursday would, as the governor recently proposed, eliminate a funding gap among school districts — a milestone 27 years after Michigan overhauled the financing of public education.

A sign of the University of Michigan Central Campus
Anna Schlutt / Michigan Radio

The University of Michigan will be extending its Go Blue Guarantee to in-state students on its Flint and Dearborn campuses beginning fall semester. It guarantees free tuition to Michigan residents from families with less than $65,000 in income and less than $55,000 in assets.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

University of Michigan students rallied at all three campuses Wednesday to call for more funding for U of M campuses in Flint and Dearborn.

A group of students and faculty want $100 million in additional money for the satellite campuses over the next five years.

“If they really wanted to value diversity, equity and inclusion, they would make sure that this is in this budget,” says Levi Todd, the U of M Flint student body president

Children in a classroom
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has called for a dramatic expansion of the Great Start Readiness preschool program. She rolled out a proposal Tuesday to use $405 million in state and federal funds to make the program available to every eligible four-year-old in Michigan.

wmu sign
Flickr user Michigan Municipal League / Flickr

Western Michigan University has received a $550 million donation from anonymous alumni. It’s thought to be the largest single gift ever given to a public university in the U.S.

Western President Edward Montgomery says the donation, known as the Empowering Futures Gift, will be delivered to the WMU Foundation over the next 10 years.

Headshot of high school students, Jane and Nawaff.
Courtesy Photos

There’s never been a last day of school quite like this one. Students and teachers throughout Michigan are nearing the finish line, with many keen to put the 2020-2021 pandemic school year behind them. Stateside caught up with two high schoolers about how the COVID-19 public health crisis has shaped their education and shifted their perspectives this year. We’ll be using just their first names to protect their privacy as minors.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she wants to use federal COVID relief funds and a surprise increase in state tax revenue to invest more in public education in Michigan.

Whitmer proposes $1.7 billion in one-time funding and over $900 million for ongoing investment. 

michigan state university sign in front of a blue sky

A Michigan State University academic governance group is recommending requiring anyone on campus this fall to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Michigan State University Council voted 87 to 11 during a special meeting Tuesday to recommend mandatory vaccinations for all students, faculty, and staff participating in on-campus activities. The resolution exempts certain individuals, like people with religious objections or those medically unable to get a vaccine.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

People in Grand Blanc are divided over a local school board member’s alleged links to the baseless online conspiracy theory known as QAnon.

“No more our school,” a group of about 50 sign waving protesters chanted as they walked outside Grand Blanc High School on Monday. A roughly equal number of counter-protesters waved their own signs in support of Amy Facchinello.

Facchinello was elected to the Grand Blanc Community Schools Board of Education last year. She started a six year term in January.

University of Michigan Stadium
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

The Michigan House of Representatives has proposed a change to the way the state allocates funding to public universities. The proposed plan would tie state funding to the number of full-time Michigan residents enrolled in a university.

Some state schools, like Central Michigan University and Eastern Michigan University, would get more in yearly funding. But two major research universities, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University, would lose millions of dollars.

a picture of a brick building on Albion College's campus
Albion College

Albion College is requiring all students, faculty, and staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to return to campus for the planned fully in-person fall semester. Albion is the first college in Michigan to require that everyone on campus get the shot.

Medical and religious exemptions will be granted, and students, faculty, and staff will have until August 1 to submit proof of vaccination.

The University of Michigan football stadium
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, the Ford F-150 Lightning marks the company's first foray into the electric truck market. What should consumers expect? Plus, a new exhibition tracks the killing of Black Detroiters by police during the height of the civil rights movement in the 1960s and 1970s. And, how a Michigan GOP plan to change higher education funding would impact state colleges and universities. 

U of M Bentley Historical Library

The late Doctor Robert Anderson committed sexual misconduct on “countless occasions” during his nearly four decades at the University of Michigan.

That’s the conclusion of an independent investigation conducted by the firm WilmerHale, and released on Tuesday.

A sign of the University of Michigan Central Campus
Anna Schlutt / Michigan Radio

The University of Michigan is planning for a mostly in-person fall semester after the COVID-19 pandemic forced many operations to go remote. 

Part of that process is getting faculty and staff who have been working remotely back on campus for in-person work. President Mark Schlissel announced today that the school is beginning a gradual phasing-in of on-site work.

young woman holding a cell phone
freestocks / Unsplash

Updated Thursday May 6, 2021, at 3:31 p.m.  

Traverse City students who participated in a racist social media group chat won’t be criminally charged.

In late April, local authorities began investigating a Snapchat group titled “slave trade.” That’s where some high school students in Traverse City pretended to place bids on people of color, including their classmates. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Eli Broad, a Michigan State University alumnus who became a billionaire philanthropist and contemporary art collector, has died. He was 87.

Suzi Emmerling, a spokeswoman for the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, confirmed his death to The Associated Press. She said Broad died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after a long illness.