Rise & Shine

Rise & Shine: Questioning a charter grant in Lansing and demanding raises in Detroit

Good morning!

I’ve covered more than a few intense Detroit school board meetings over the years. I’ve seen emotion. I’ve seen anger. I’ve seen frustration. All of that was on display Tuesday when hundreds of Detroit teachers showed up for the school board’s budget hearing and monthly meeting.

They came largely to demand pay increases that will put their salaries in line with what their peers in surrounding school districts make. But over the course of nearly two hours — during the public comment period of the meeting — they raised many more issues. Among them: Poor building conditions. Curriculum. The student code of conduct.

Even some kids got involved. One young girl, for instance, stepped up to the microphone and shared a complaint about the temperature in her classroom that I can identify with because I work in an office that feels like a freezer most days.

“I’m talking about how cold it is in our classrooms,” she said in her little voice. “Every day we go in there, it’s cold.”

You can find out more about the meeting in my story. One thing I didn't mention was the sweetest moment of the meeting, during the singing of the national anthem when the student singer forgot some of the words. The audience immediately began singing along with her, seemingly giving her the confidence to push on. And they kept singing as a young man sang "Lift Every Voice and Sing." When they were done, board member Corletta Vaughn brought the two back to the front of the stage and asked the audience to give them an ovation. 

Meanwhile, Koby has a story about a different kind of message being sent at the state level by several members of the Michigan school board. Several Democrats — during a meeting this week — voted against a $47 million federal grant over concerns that in the past, too much of the money went toward charter schools that never opened. It was a symbolic vote, as Koby explains in his story.

As always, keep scrolling down to read more education news. And have a great Thursday.

— Lori Higgins, senior reporter


Rise & Shine is Chalkbeat’s morning digest of education news. Subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox.


ENDURING BENEFITS The latest in a decades-long research project into a preschool program in this Michigan city finds that the children and siblings of those who were in the program have also benefitted. Chalkeat 

RISING UP Hundreds of Detroit school district teachers packed an auditorium to send a message to members of the district’s school board. Chalkbeat Detroit News WXYZ WDIV Fox2

CALENDAR CHANGE The Detroit school district has backed away from an academic calendar for next year that had led to a backlash from teachers. Chalkbeat

PARENT PRIORITIES Results of a new poll from an education research and advocacy organization finds that Michigan parents say education is a top priority of the state. Education Trust-Midwest

MARYGROVE SCHOOL The new school that will open on the campus of Marygrove College has a name, approved Tuesday by the Detroit school board. It will be called The School @ Marygrove. Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said Tuesday that about 100 students have already been accepted and enrolled into the new school. DPSCD

RICE PRIORITIZES Michigan’s new state superintendent talks about the most pressing education issues facing the state in this radio interview. Michigan Radio

BUDGET REJECTION A budget bill passed by the Michigan Senate Wednesday rejects the education proposal of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. MLive

SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH A West Michigan school district gets a new leader. MLive

WORKING TOGETHER Schools and researchers need to collaborate more to help Detroit students, say a team of researchers. Bridge Magazine

HIGHER ED OPTIONS A Michigan university is partnering with a local school district, thanks to a $15.5 million grant that will help provide more higher education options to students. Michigan Radio

CHARTER BACKER HONORED A former Michigan lawmaker who chaired the Senate education committee has gotten a big national honor from a charter school advocacy group. MAPSA

TEACHER VIDEO May is the official month to honor teachers, and this video from the Michigan department of education highlights an advisory group made up of regional teachers of the year honorees. MDE

SUPPORTING WHITMER PLAN A Michigan middle school principal makes the case for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s education spending plan. Bridge Magazine

MERGER ANGST Parents and teachers in a suburban Detroit school district are raising concerns about high school mergers. Hometown Life