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In The Red: Drivers of Local Government Debt in Michigan

Despite this focus on the worst offenders, the list of Michigan cities experiencing financial difficulties is not limited to the struggling former industrial centers. Even growing, affluent communities like Ann Arbor and Bloomfield Hills (the wealthiest city in Michigan) cannot escape the forces driving local government debt.

Updating the Renewable Energy Standard

Public Act 295 was enacted in 2008 as Michigan’s first step towards a renewable energy standard. This act required cooperatives and municipal electric utilities to generate 10% of their retail electricity sales from renewable sources by 2015. Unfortunately, Michigan was in the last group of states to adopt such a standard and the renewable energy target itself was one of the lowest nationwide. Several other states such as Illinois, Ohio, and Minnesota have already increased their renewable energy targets beyond their original standard and have passed new legislation in recent years. With the failure of Proposal 3 in 2012, commonly known as 25% by 2025, Michigan currently does not have a plan in place to take renewable energy to the next level beyond 2015.

Is Year Round Schooling the Answer for Underperforming Schools?

The Michigan House of Representatives recently killed House Bill 4982, sponsored by Representative Andy Schor (D, Lansing) but placed language from the bill into House Bill 4295, sponsored by Representative Joe Haveman (R, Holland), which means funds may be appropriated for the infrastructural changes needed to open some schools year round in Michigan. The amendment would not increase the amount of days or hours students and teachers spend in class, it would simply reorganize the school calendar to break up the traditional three month summer vacation.

Medical Amnesty: A Closer Look

Has underage drinking on college campuses gotten to a point of no return? Some may say this question has validity, due to the implementation of new practices regarding drinking and drug consumption in a collegiate environment. “Call 911 Good Samaritan Policies”, or more concisely known as “Medical Amnesty” policies have been enacted all over the country in an attempt to decrease the life-threatening effects of drug and alcohol usage.

Student Achievement and Emergency Managers

Michigan has seen an increase in the state control of school systems. While distinctly trying to remedy issues within the management of school districts, it remains to be seen what impact, if any, these drastic interventions have on student achievement. The overall effect of these takeovers on student achievement remains unexamined. This article aims to gauge the overall effect of these interventions using emergency managers thus far in the State of Michigan.

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