Right To Innovate Group
EdTech Specialists is intimately involved in what is going on in Lansing. About 2 years ago, we formed the “Michigan Advocacy Group/MAG.” Mike Murray has been the “point person” for this effort. Mike has met regularly with the Education Chairs in the House and Senate and has been requested to testify to these committees on the topics you have indicated are of interest to your district. He has also set up face-to-face meetings and phone calls with the Chairs of the committees, with the Governor’s Office, and with MDE.
Because of the importance and value that Mike is experiencing in his role of advocating for districts that want to innovate, EdTech Specialists has now created a separate “division” for his advocacy work by forming the “Right to Innovate Group”/RTIG that will be a stand-alone entity within EdTech Specialists.
Mike’s work to date this fiscal year includes:
- Worked to head off caps and restrictions on shared time and homeschool partnerships.
- Testified before House Education Appropriations Committee on February 28, 2017 concerning seat time waivers and shared time.
- Testified before House Education Reform Committee on March 9 concerning the Zone of Innovation.
- Served on the committee to define essential vs. nonessential courses, as well as defining a part-time student. (Five meetings.)
- Served on the committee to revise the membership requirements for seat time waiver students.
- An open invitation to submit sample legislation to assist innovative districts.
- 16 Lansing trips connected to MAG.
- Frequent, regular legislator contacts.
The following opportunities (that will be effective July 1, 2017 for RTIG members only) are included with this membership:
- Face-to-face meetings with key decision makers in Lansing where participants each have the opportunity to share their viewpoints, perspectives, and goals.
- Legislative site visits.
- Group calls to discuss issues as needed.
- One-on-one calls with each member to discuss issues of concern to individual district.
- Field questions relating to Pupil Accounting and State Statutes.
- Monthly updates.
- Participation in f2f meetings with key decision makers.
- Input into the Zone of Innovation proposal.
The annual membership cost is $4000.00. Michigan CoOp members will pay $3000.00.
The relationships that Mike is making in Lansing are ensuring and shaping flexibility and funding for the state’s “movers and shakers.” Maintaining these key relationships results in obtaining access at crucial times. This type of relationship is built upon establishing a reputation with these key legislators, which takes years to establish.
Along with his connections to the decision makers and leaders within the legislature, Governor’s Office, and MDE, Mike volunteers regularly for committees within MDE and elsewhere to ensure that the voice of the innovative districts is represented. As a former Superintendent, Mike clearly understands the need to represent the voices that are often not heard due to the organizational voices of the status quo.
Mike also coordinates phone calls with the leadership of M-A-N-S, the Michigan Catholic Conference, MAPSA, MASA, MAISA, and others. Although we do not necessarily all have the same goals and concerns, we realize that our collective voices in harmony will sing a louder song than if we approach these concerns and efforts one-by-one.
Advocating for Innovative Districts requires intimate knowledge of the School Code, the School Aid Act, new bills being introduced, the Pupil Accounting Manual, the Pupil Auditing Manual and the Administrative Rules. It also requires keeping up with House and Senate committee meeting agendas while maintaining contacts and relationships with the Governor’s office, MDE, Senators, and Representative and their aides.
Mike will be happy to contact you personally via an email to set up a time for a follow-up phone call. You can email him at Murray@EdTechSpecialists.com.