MACAE’s mission is to provide a cohesive framework for community education through collaboration and guidance at the local, state and federal level. In order to achieve that mission, MACAE advocates for the following education platforms:

Early Care and Education

Research confirms that the most formative years of brain development occurs in a child’s first three to five years. Children who participate in high quality early childhood programs are more likely to succeed in school and be contributing members of society later in life. The best investment we can make is to ensure every child in Michigan gets off to a healthy, safe and enriching start.

Legislative Priorities:

  • Maintain Early Childhood Programs, such as the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) at its current funding level.
  • Provide accessible, affordable, high-quality, licensed early childhood preschool programs for all 3-5 year olds in Michigan.
  • Fund early intervention services for 0-3 year olds in their natural environment (their homes) where Parent Educators (nurses, social workers, home teachers) are able to “infuse” information to parents and improve outcomes.
  • Fund research based professional development that is required for all early care and education providers in licensed care, to universally improve the quality and practices across Michigan for all of our children.

Alternative Education

Michigan’s alternative education programs are capable, effective and efficient. We provide a needed service to the most difficult to serve to ensure that they are not left behind. We recognize the need for high academic achievement. However, we continue to advocate for flexibility in the access and delivery for students who need alternative ways to achieve and succeed. Alternative Education programs provide this opportunity for thousands of students across the state, ensuring that the rigor of our curriculum is achieved with student engagement, determination, and preparation for their next steps in learning and career pathways.

Legislative Priorities:

  • Maintain, expand and support Alternative Education programs and options for students throughout the state.
  • Allow additional standard assessment tools to demonstrate academic growth for reporting Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).
  • Look at longitudinal data to account for student progress; instead of just the measures recorded at the last school attended.
  • Meet Michigan High School Requirements by networking with local districts, local resources and state-approved programs, utilizing alternative education pathways.

Adult Education

An estimated 1.7 million Michigan adults fall below a ninth grade level for reading and math, disqualifying them from access to post-secondary education and job training. For these adults to be self-supporting, they must first have access to community-based adult education, literacy and ESL programs. Over the past 20 years, Michigan has continued to cut funding for programs that serve this population, while the need has skyrocketed due to fewer low-skilled, high paying manufacturing jobs and the increasing demand for a highly skilled workforce.

Legislative Priorities:

  • Continue funding for K-12 Adult Education programs under Section 107 of the K-12 School Aid Bill. These funds should continue to be explicitly designated for community-based K-12 programs that serve adult learners who fall below ninth-grade reading level.
  • Direct federal adult education funding toward those adults who struggle the most. While MACAE fully supports lifelong opportunities for all, if adult learners who struggle the most do not have access to community-based adult education in order to qualify for post-secondary programs, they will continue to weigh down the State budget through social services and incarceration for generations to come.
  • To encourage more collaboration between community-based K-12 adult education, literacy and ESL programs with post-secondary education and job training programs, provide incentive grants that enable local communities to design innovative partnerships that best suit the needs of the community and local economy.
  • Caps limiting the number of FTEs per district that adult education programs had back in the 1990s have not been adjusted for nearly 20 years, while Michigan’s economy and needs have changed dramatically. The caps need to be adjusted to reflect today’s reality.
  • Align adult education exit guidelines with post-secondary and job training entry-level
    guidelines and adopt common assessment tools so that adult learners can more easily transition from one level to the next.

Enrichment, Recreation, and Before/After School Programs

Strong, viable communities offer local residents an opportunity to pursue lifelong learning, recreation, health and exercise in a safe, clean, accessible environment. Community schools that make facilities available for enrichment, recreation and before/after school programs provide a tremendous service and taxpayer value to area residents.

Legislative Priority:

  • Support “Full-Service Community Schools,” which includes incentives for all school districts to offer year-round community education programming.