The saying goes “April showers bring May flowers” and the same is true in policy. The policy debates and advocacy we engage in today will reap the benefits for Michigan students in the future. Now let’s review what those debates and advocacy are.
Investments in the Legislatures’ Budgets
This month, the Michigan House and Senate will releasee their budgets for FY24. Do not be surprised to see that the total investments are smaller than the Governor’s original proposal. After passing monumental legislation expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit and eliminating the pension tax, there are fewer funds than there were originally to invest in other priorities. This means the legislature’s proposed budgets will likely be smaller than the Governor’s original proposal due to the changes that occurred in between.
We look forward to diving into the proposals to identify investments that support students and determine how we can support the legislature in making any necessary thoughtful improvements.
Partnerships between K-12 and Higher Education
The 2020s have been a critical era for rethinking the way we approach education and part of that realignment should be streamlining the education pipeline for students and families. The different segments of education historically have separate budgets, governing systems, and are treated, invested in, and prioritized differently. This has led to unintentional gaps and tensions between the systems in terms of the student experience and policy debate.
A new era where education stakeholders come together to support each other’s priorities as equal priorities, caring as much about each other’s as they do their own, will generate improved experiences and outcomes for given students and families. Read our latest blog “A Truly Student-Centered Approach to Education Policy” to continue this conversation.
In April we are making the investments in our time, energy, and finances to support our students. To do this, make sure you:
- Review the House and Senate budgets. Celebrate the key wins and identify areas for opportunity and continued conversation.
- Uplift these wins and opportunities in a social media post, fact sheet, or coalition letter!
- Use these documents to highlight your priorities in meetings with legislators.
- Compare the Governor, House and Senate budgets for areas of overlap and divergence.
- Use this to understand where there may be greater debate as the budget gets finalized in the coming months.
- Uplift these similarities and differences in your strategy sessions.
- Schedule meetings with key legislators and uplift both the high points and potential improvements that are key to your policy goals this year.
- Be sure to follow up with legislators and include any key information that will continue to support your goals.
- Get ready for the release of the final budget in late spring!
As we prepare for a new fiscal year, the TICAS Michigan team wants to be sure to keep you informed on what’s on the horizon related to higher education and financial aid policy. If there is any item listed above that you’d like to learn more about or be more closely involved in, please reach out to our team by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by scheduling a meeting here.
You can also help us build our future list of priorities by sharing the application for the new TICAS Michigan Student Advocacy fellowship with a current college student in your community. The Student Advocacy Fellowship is an opportunity for students in Michigan to learn and engage in impacting policy change in higher education in a year-long program. The application can be found here!
Please send any resources, events, or other materials that you would like us to share in our newsletters to Manon Steel at email@example.com.
Community Partner Highlights
College Enrollment is the Key to Michigan’s Future Economy, Robert LeFevre, President, Michigan Independent Colleges & Universities – This op-ed outlines the Michigan Achievement Scholarship’s potential to incentivize thousands of the high school graduating class of 2023 to enroll in higher education and in turn create the skilled workforce Michigan needs for a sustainable economy. “80 percent of Michigan’s high school graduates will qualify and the program makes college tuition-free for more than 65 percent of students.”
MEA Voice Magazine, Michigan Education Association – The April issue of the monthly magazine focuses on defending public education. It includes a letter to members, an essay on the experience of a school district managing an extreme school board, and updates on MEAS elections among other articles.
2024 Budget Priority: Support Students and Target Funding to High-Poverty Schools, Michigan League for Public Policy – This fact sheet encourages the state to target funding in K-12 education to the schools and communities that need it most. Funding has improved in recent years, but it still fails to address the needs of Michigan’s students. Also outlined in this fact sheet are well-targeted proposals for investment.
TICAS Michigan Resources
Contribute to our next community blog! Thank you to everyone who contributed to our last community blog on how to best connect students with resources for their success. We learned that the community recommends leveraging trustworthy adults, well-targeted contact, and meeting students where they are to best connect students to necessary resources. You can read the blog here!
Inspired by our ongoing conversations with our partners about policy and the policy process, this time we will be discussing: “How can we better include community in the policymaking process?” You can submit your responses by June 2 here.
Partner Events and Resources
To combat summer melt, the Detroit Regional Chamber will be connecting students in the Detroit Metro area with high school counselors, where they build a strong, trusting relationship with Summer STEP coaches to make meaningful decisions regarding college selection. The coaches will also help participating students’ complete paperwork, including but not limited to FAFSA and financial aid, housing, and enrollment forms. Students will also set up an action plan to help plan for and address their basic needs in college. This opportunity will be available to students from April 3 until August 18. For more information, please reach out to Ashley Terry, Ed.D. (Detroit contact) at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ezella McPherson, Ph.D. (Tri-County contact) at email@example.com. Students can sign up for this resource here.
- April Conferences and Events
- College & Career Access Center of Jackson Virtual County Workshop, Wednesday, April 19, 6:00 – 7:00
- Barry County Business & Community Expo – Saturday, April 22, 10:00 – 1:00
- Mason County Promise Student Success Committee – Monday, April 24, 10:00
- Bridge Lunch Break to Discuss Preparing for Careers in Michigan featuring MCCA President Brandy Johnson – Wednesday, April 26, 12:00 – 1:00
- Eastside Community Network Grill & Chill Cooking Program, Wednesday, April 26, 4:00 – 5:00
- Michigan’s Children 2023 Inaugural Michele Corey Child Advocacy Summit – Thursday, April 27
- Michigan Association of School Boards 2023 Spring Institute – Friday, April 28 – Saturday, April 29, 8:00 – 3:30
- Increasing number of students headed out of Michigan for college (The Detroit Free Press)
- New Albion college president coming from Ohio private school (MLive)
- $15 million available for nonprofits aimed at eliminating poverty (Crain’s Detroit)
- State income tax rate reduced as treasury closes books on last fiscal year (Michigan Radio)
- Enrollment at community colleges is stabilizing. The growing presence of high school students is why. (Chronicle of Higher Education)
- 20 Michigan high schools to teach African American AP course this fall (Bridge MI)
- Michigan grad workers strike (Inside Higher Ed)
- Look Out For
- 2023 Michigan Association of Superintendents & Administrators School Safety Summit – Tuesday, May 2, 8:30 – 3:30
- Mondays with MASP: Role Models & Mentors, Monday May 8, 10:30 – 11:30
- Tulip Time Fireworks in Partnership with LAUP, Saturday, May 13
- Michigan Association for Secondary School Principals EdCon 2023, Monday, June 26
New Partners, Welcome!
Partnership is a great opportunity not only for the purpose of collaboration and alignment of shared interest, but it also allows our TICAS Michigan team to learn how we can best advocate for the needs of Michigan students and families in policy by learning from community partners.
Please join us in uplifting community partner organizations impacting students on their postsecondary journeys across the state.
If you are interested in sharing with us how we could best support your community and partners alike in policy, please use and share the form below on “How to Get Involved”. This form is not a commitment form but rather an opportunity for us to learn more about the needs in supporting Michigan communities in higher education policy and resources needed.