Posted by 25 May 2016
In North Carolina, legislators are advancing a plan to increase teacher pay. Is it a good idea to increase teacher pay across-the-board? Or should teacher pay be tied to performance?
Posted by 12 May 2016
The state of Michigan has accumulated huge unfunded liabilities in the government employee retirement systems it runs due to failing to deposit the required amounts into pension funds. The system for public school employees is the largest and currently has a $26.5 billion unfunded liability. Taxpayers are on the hook for this debt to the tune of more than $2,600 for every man, woman, and child in the state.
So it is significant that for the sixth year in a row state officials once again failed to adequately fund the system. According to an article in Michigan Capitol Confidential, the state’s own actuaries calculated that it should deposit $2.18 billion into the school employee system this year. The deposit covers the additional pension benefits accrued by individual employees for the year, plus some extra to cover catching up on past underfunding.http://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/22411
However, the state only contributed $1.97 billion, shorting its “Annual Required Contribution” by $210 million.
Legislation has been introduced to contain the growing burden by no longer enrolling new school employees into the defined benefit pension system. Under the bills, new hires would instead get defined contribution, 401(k)-type benefits (see House Bill 5218 and Senate Bill 102).
Posted by 11 May 2016
Some faculty at Wisconsin universities are upset that Ray Cross, president of the University of Wisconsin Systems, said that tenure was “not a guarantor of ‘a job for life.’” Do you think that tenure for college professors is necessary? Or should professors be treated more like employees in other professions?
Posted by 04 May 2016
Virginia Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine have joined other Democratic senators in asking the federal government to enforce policies affecting gay and transgendered college students. This is partially in response to North Carolina’s law that mandates transgendered students use bathrooms according to their biological sex. Does the federal government have a place in policing school policies on bathroom use?
Posted by 27 April 2016
The state Senate Education Committee has reported-out Senate Bill 826 to replace the “Common Core” curriculum in Michigan public schools with a model based on the one used by Massachusetts before Common Core was adopted there. Supporters say the Massachusetts curriculum is unique for having empirical evidence of effectiveness.
Common Core has been highly controversial in Michigan and elsewhere. It was adopted here by the state Board of Education, a move that was later grudgingly approved by the Legislature, which added conditions that the state’s statewide testing regime not be based on the model.
The legislation could be taken up by the full Senate at any time, at the discretion of the Senate Majority Leader.