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Meets-Archives 06-07<

Fiscal Accountability and School Consolidation

February 26, 2007
12:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m. 
Kellogg Center, MSU

"It is widely accepted that education is the key to economic prosperity" (MSBO, 1/31/07)  yet Michigan's school districts are facing the prospect of significant budget reductions and new demands for fiscal accountability.  As both public and private sector organizations struggle to maintain programs and services in these challenging economic times, state expenditures for K-12 education once again seem to be at the center of the policy debate.  Various proposals are currently being advanced to restructure school districts in an attempt to reduce overall operating expenditures. This session will explore several issues involving fiscal accountability and proposals to restructure the state's educational delivery system. We will explore as many aspects of "consolidation" as possible, including program and school district consolidation.


Resource Person:

[] Thomas White  (EPFP 1989-90)
Executive Director
Michigan School Business Officials
1001 Centennial Way, Suite 200
Lansing, MI 48917
twhite [at]

Tom White is the Executive Director of the Michigan School Business Officials (MSBO). MSBO is a professional organization for school managers who work in the non-curricular aspects of a school district, primarily in the areas of finance, accounting, payroll, purchasing, facilities, technology, transportation and food services. Before coming to MSBO Tom worked for 9 years as the Director of Government Relations for the Michigan Association of School Boards. Prior to that he spent 9 years as a labor negotiator, negotiating more than 100 contracts with school employee groups over his career. He has also taught at a community college and worked in the field of medical economics. Tom is currently on several boards: he is vice-president of the Clinton County Regional Education Services Agency and president of the Michigan Institute for Educational Management Board of Directors. He is also a member of the following: the Michigan Liquid Asset Fund (an investment pool in excess of $1 billion), the School Employers Trust Property Casualty Fund, the Education Alliance of Michigan, and the Michigan Schools Energy Cooperative.  Tom has a M.A. degree from Michigan State University in Labor and Industrial Relations and a B.A. degree in social science. He completed two years of post graduate work in business at the University of Oregon.

"Technology Innovation & Economies of Scale."


Jamey Fitzpatrick (EPFP 1990-91)
President & CEO
Michigan Virtual University
3101 Technology Blvd., Suite G
Lansing, MI 48910
jfitz [at]

Jamey Fitzpatrick has served as a catalyst for change and a champion of innovation in public education.  As both an education and technology policy advocate, Mr. Fitzpatrick provides executive leadership for Michigan Virtual University, a private nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.  Since joining MVU in 1998, Jamey has led two major statewide initiatives.
He led the initial design and development of the Michigan Virtual High School (MVHS) project, one of the largest virtual high schools in the United States.  Since 2000, over 26,000 students have enrolled in online high school courses through MVHS.  Another 150,000 students have taken advantage of one or more of the MVHS online test preparation tools. He has also planned, organized and led the implementation of the largest teacher-based deployment of technology in the U.S. known as the Teacher Technology Initiative (TTI), this $106 million program equipped nearly 90,000 Michigan K-12 educators with a personal computer, software, remote Internet access and Web-based professional development.  Jamey served as the Director of Educational Technology for the Michigan Department of Education, where he was the lead architect of the state’s 1998 technology plan.  Jamey also worked for Saginaw Intermediate School District as a REMC Director and in the private sector for Pitney Bowes Corporation.  Mr. Fitzpatrick serves on the Board of Trustees for Olivet College in Olivet, Michigan, and as Vice President of the Michigan 4-H Foundation Board.  In addition, in 2006, Jamey received the International Society for Technology in Education “Making It Happen” Award which recognizes leaders at the national level for their commitment to educational technology innovation.


Eric A. Scorsone, Ph.D.
Extension Specialist
State and Local Government Program
Department of Agricultural Economics
213-D Agriculture Hall
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI
(517) 353-9460
scorsone [at]

Dr. Eric Scorsone is an Extension Specialist and faculty member for State & Local Government located in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Michigan State University.  Prior to coming to Michigan, Dr. Scorsone served as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Director of Kentucky Rural Health Works at the University of Kentucky, Economist for the Colorado Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budget and as Senior Economist for the City of Aurora, Colorado.  He received his Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Colorado State University in Local Public Finance and an M.S. in Agricultural Economics from Michigan State University.  For his undergraduate training, he received a B.B.A. from Loyola University of Chicago.  Dr. Scorsone’s extension and outreach education work focuses on assisting communities in the areas of state and local public finance, local government service delivery, intergovernmental agreements and strategic planning.  Dr. Scorsone provides formal training to county, city and township officials in the areas of intergovernmental cooperation, public finance & budgeting and general government.  Dr. Scorsone has also worked on international development projects in Macedonia, Indonesia and Thailand.

Resource Materials:

January 31, 2007, MSBO recent survey reveals one of five districts could be in deficit if Legislature implements proration

"A Macro View: Home Rule, State Affairs and School Consolidation" PowerPoint presentation by Eric A. Scorsone, Ph.D.

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School Funding & Michigan's Fiscal Deficit

February 5, 2007
12:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m. 
Kellogg Center, MSU

During this seminar we will review the structure of the Michigan tax system, examine some of the reasons behind the state's current fiscal deficit, and explore the major challenges facing state leaders, especially the funding of public schools.  Over the next several months Michigan's elected leaders must replace the Single Business Tax that expires on December 31, 2007.  Replacement tax proposals are being advocated by various public and private sector groups and the debate over which formula will stimulate business and economic growth in Michigan has begun.  This seminar will provide a context for the Fellows to consider the components of these tax proposals and their potential impact on school funding in Michigan.


Resource Person:

David Arsen, Ph.D.
Professor of Educational Administration
College of Education
408 Erickson Hall
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
(517) 432-2276
arsen [at]

Dr. David Arsen is a professor of Educational Administration in the College of Education at Michigan State University (MSU). A Michigan native, he received his B.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan, and went on to earn his Ph.D. in Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. Throughout his career, Dr. Arsen has devoted his teaching and research to applied public policy analysis, with specialization in public finance and state and local economic development.  He taught at Barnard College, Columbia University before returning to Michigan to take a position in MSU's James Madison College where he led the development of the Political Economy Program.  Dr. Arsen joined MSU's College of Education in 2001 where his current research focuses on educational finance, school choice and education policy.


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The Reauthorization of the NCLB Legislation

January 22, 2007
12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Kellogg Center, MSU

In a previous EPFP seminar the Fellows began discussing the proposed reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation and the policy implications of this highly anticipated national education reform initiative.  This seminar will examine the impact of the current NCLB Act from multiple perspectives and explore how existing problems and concerns may be addressed through the policy making process. Reauthorization of the NCLB legislation is anticipated in 2007.


Part A:  The Tortured Path of Data Through Policy and Politics

Resource Person:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Part B:  Strategies for Informing Policy Makers

Resource Person:

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Resource Materials:

"Ten Big Effects of the No Child Left Behind Act on Public Schools" by Jack Jennings and Diane Stark Rentner, Phi Delta Kappan, October 2006.

"NCLB and the Competitiveness Agenda: Happy Collaboration or a Collision Course?"  by Frederick M. Hess and Andrew J. Rotherman, Phi Delta Kappan, January 2007.

"The Tortured Path of Data Through Policy and Politics" PowerPoint presentation by Magaret Ropp, Ph.D.

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The Power of Polling

January 08, 2007
12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Kellogg Center, MSU

This session will examine how public policy is shaped by opinion polling, how organizations sample public opinion, and how business and political leaders use this information in the policy debate. Part of the discussion will focus on exit polling and explore how elections can be "called" prior to the polls closing.


Mr. Ed Sarpolus
Vice President
4710 W. Saginaw
Lansing, MI
(517) 886-0860

Ed Sarpolus has played a major role in making EPIC/MRA the most quoted source of survey research in Michigan, as well as a regularly quoted source by national media outlets and publications, particularly on issues of international trade. Major clients include the Detroit Free Press with more than 600,000 daily readers, the Lansing State Journal, Oakland Press, the Flint Journal, as well as most television news outlets in Michigan, including WXYZ- ABC TV-7 in Detroit, ABC TV-12 in Flint, WOOD TV-8 in Grand Rapids, TV-5 in Saginaw, WLNS TV-6 in Lansing and WILX TV-10, also in Lansing. Election day exit polling conducted by EPIC/MRA is not only covered by print media clients, but television coverage of election day survey results covers more than three quarters of Michigan's viewing audience.

Other EPIC/MRA research on major topics of public interest, as well as election polling results, are regularly covered not only by Michigan media outlets, but also by national outlets. Sarpolus has appeared as a commentator on PBS, CNN World News, Inside Politics-CNN, MSNBC, Nightline, ABC and NBC News. Sarpolus has also been regularly interviewed by Michigan radio stations and NPR, quoted in most major national publications including Time, U.S. News and World Report, Business Week, the Washington Post, New York Times, Boston Globe and the National Journal. EPIC/MRA research results and commentary by Sarpolus has also been a regular contributor to the Polling Report, The Hotline, and Congress Daily. Finally, because of his extensive experience on trade issues, Sarpolus has been a featured speaker for groups such as the Council on Foreign Relations and Consumers for World Trade.


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Reflections on the 2006 Midterm Elections

December 11, 2006
12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Kellogg Center, MSU

Michigan Congressman Joe Schwarz will share his reflections on the 2006 Midterm Elections  He will also share his observations and insights on a range of topics including the War in Iraq and health care reform.

Resource Person:

Honorable Joe Schwarz, M.D.
U.S. Congressman
7th District of Michigan
128 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515


Since graduating from Battle Creek Central High School in 1955, U.S. Rep. Joe Schwarz has served his nation, his state, and his community.  Born on November 15, 1937, Joe Schwarz attended the University of Michigan and graduated in 1959 with a Bachelor of Arts in history.  He received his medical degree from Wayne State University in 1964, soon after volunteering for service in the U.S. Navy to fight communist infiltration in Southeast Asia.  He served two tours of duty, the first in Vietnam, and the second as assistant naval attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Djakarta, Indonesia, reporting to the Defense Intelligence Agency.  He retired from the Navy with the rank of lieutenant commander (O-4).  After leaving the Navy, Dr. Schwarz remained in Southeast Asia until 1970 as an operative of the Central Intelligence Agency.

After his return from Southeast Asia, Dr. Schwarz became a fixture in Battle Creek.  A practicing otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat specialist), he has been treating patients for 30 years.  Today, he still sees a small number of patients, schedule permitting, at the Family Health Center of Battle Creek, a federally qualified health center.  In 1979, Dr. Schwarz began an eight-year tenure on the Battle Creek City Commission- the last two years as mayor.  He presided over the expansion of the Fort Custer Industrial Park and successfully fought efforts to close down the Battle Creek Air National Guard Base and what is now called the Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center.

In 1986, Dr. Schwarz won a hotly contested race for the Michigan state senate.  He joined the chamber’s leadership in 1993 as president pro tempore.  He held that office for the next 10 years until term limits compelled his departure from the legislature at the end of 2002.  As the state senate’s only physician, and as a member of the Health Policy Committee, Dr. Schwarz was the chamber’s resident expert on health-care issues.  As chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education, Dr. Schwarz was, and remains, a forceful advocate for keeping the avenues of scientific and medical research open to students and scientists.  While serving as chairman of the subcommittee, Dr. Schwarz made sure our public colleges and universities received adequate state funding, helping keep education accessible to Michigan residents.  To this day, Dr. Schwarz has continued to demonstrate his passion for education.  He sits on numerous advisory committees at Wayne State and Michigan; he is president-elect of the U-M Alumni Association and serves as a trustee of Olivet College.

The seventh district is home to numerous public and private institutions of higher education, including Jackson Community College in Jackson, Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek, Spring Arbor University in Spring Arbor, Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Adrian College, and Siena Heights University in Adrian, Olivet College in Olivet and Albion College in Albion.  The seventh district is bordered on three sides by major state universities­Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo (west), the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (east) and Michigan State University (northeast), many of whose employees reside in the seventh District.  Extending into the western edges of Lansing and its suburbs, the district also is the place of residence for many employees of the State of Michigan.  Agriculture and military service are also prominent aspects of life in the seventh district.  The southern-tier counties of Branch, Lenawee, and Hillsdale are rich in agriculture, although there is a heavy agriculture presence in every county.  Battle Creek houses three military facilities­the Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center, the Michigan National Guard’s Fort Custer Training Center and the Battle Creek Michigan Air National Guard Base.

In early 2004, Dr. Schwarz entered the race to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Nick Smith.  The seventh congressional district, one of Michigan’s largest, includes all of Branch, Lenawee, Hillsdale, Jackson, and Eaton counties, almost all of Calhoun County, and western Washtenaw County.  The district encompasses population centers of suburban Ann Arbor, the cities of Jackson and Battle Creek, as well as part of the city of Lansing and the greater Lansing area.  Dr. Schwarz won the Nov. 2, 2004, general election for Congress with over 58 percent of the vote.  Sworn in on January 4, 2005, Dr. Schwarz now serves on the House Armed Services, Agriculture, and Science Committees. Dr. Schwarz keeps his focus on the issues that matter most to his constituents: creating jobs, improving our health-care and education systems, strengthening national defense, fighting crime and protecting the environment.  As a congressman, physician, and former state legislator, he has the drive, dedication, and experience to get results for the citizens of the seventh district.

Resource Materials:

Washington Post Article, September 17, 2006
Don't Lose Like Me by Joe Schwarz

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