Michigan Receives Grant to Boost Educator Role in ESSA Implementation

Contact: Martin Ackley, Director of Public and Governmental Affairs 517-241-4395
Agency: Education

May 11, 2017

LANSING – Twenty Michigan teachers will be selected to serve on a key leadership panel to help implement the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan, under a grant from a national education organization, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) announced today.

Michigan is one of 18 states receiving a total of $95,000 in grant funding from the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) to foster national engagement with educators around ESSA – the new federal law that replaced the previous No Child Left Behind Act. Every state is to develop a plan that it will use to improve educational outcomes for children and hold schools accountable and transparent for that success.

“I’m pleased to announce that Michigan is receiving a $10,000 grant that will be used to establish the Michigan Teacher Leadership Advisory Council,” State Superintendent Brian Whiston said. “This panel of educators will have a crucial role in the implementation of Michigan’s ESSA plan and our goal to make Michigan a Top 10 education state within 10 years.”

The state’s grant will establish a Michigan Teacher Leadership Advisory Council comprised of 20 teachers – two from each of Michigan’s 10 Prosperity Regions across the state. They will be selected in an application process open to all Michigan teachers, with a competitive preference to those with experience or interest in teacher leadership positions.

Members of the panel will participate in virtual meetings with MDE staff and partners to provide feedback on various new programs, policies, and supports related to Michigan’s ESSA plan, submitted to the U.S. Department of Education (USED) on April 17.

They also will help

  • spur interest among teachers in their regions who are interested in contributing to a Michigan Teacher Leader Network designed to ensure teachers have a voice in relevant and emerging education policy issues; 
  • amplify and advertise opportunities for teachers and teacher leaders to participate in surveys, feedback opportunities, focus groups, and other activities convened by the MDE; and
  • act as ambassadors of the #proudMIeducator campaign.

Michigan Teacher Leadership Advisory Council activities will be held outside of school hours to minimize disruption to teaching and learning. Members will be paid a $500 honorarium for the 2017-18 school year.

Teachers may apply at www.michigan.gov/proudmieducator through Friday, June 16 at 5 p.m. Members will be announced in July. 

The other grant recipient states are Alaska, Arkansas, California, Indiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, U.S. Virgin Islands, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The states were chosen by a group of teacher leaders who reviewed the proposals through a blind selection process.

These states will take different approaches based on their individual needs.

“Educator input is essential in any policy decision impacting the classroom,” said Chris Minnich, Executive Director of CCSSO. “State chiefs know that educators are working hard every day to deliver a high-quality education to kids and that teachers have invaluable perspective on putting policy into practice.”

Each of the 18 states received a grant of between $2,500 and $10,000 that can be spent over the next 12 months.

The Michigan ESSA plan is the product of nearly a year of work, engaging thousands of stakeholders through work groups, community meetings, focus groups, online surveys, webinars, and general input from the public. It was developed through the inclusion and consultation with the Governor; State Board of Education; state legislature; and representatives from local school districts, schools, intermediate school districts, Michigan’s 12 federally-recognized tribal education departments, civil rights groups, education organizations, teachers, parents, students, business leaders, community members, and foundations.

The plan now is being reviewed by USED staff, as well as a structured peer review process for specific sections of the plan. ESSA law provides the U.S. Secretary of Education 120 days to review and approve state plans.

To read Michigan’s ESSA Plan, and an Overview of the plan, go to www.michigan.gov/ESSA.