school lockers
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Education advocates in Michigan are watching a case before the U.S. Supreme Court that could impact a parent’s ability to send their child to the school of their choice.

The case from Montana involves a scholarship program that allowed parents to access donated funds for private school tuition. The legislature gave the donors tax breaks to encourage their participation. But later, Montana passed a law barring the money for use at religious schools. Parents sued, and the state high court ultimately struck down the entire scholarship program.

Michigan agencies offer Great Lakes education initiative

Jan 27, 2020
Empty classroom photo
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A new state program is designed to teach Michigan children about the Great Lakes, their watersheds and how people affect water resources. The initiative is called "From Students to Stewards" and is led by several state agencies. Organizers say it's intended to teach students from kindergarten through grade 12 about water resources and policies.

They've developed resources for participating schools, which can apply for grants of up to $10,000 to try out the toolkit and suggest improvements. A total of $50,000 is available. The application deadline is March 9.

School News Network: Grand Rapids Promise Zone

Jan 22, 2020
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The soaring cost of college has been a big barrier to post-high school education for a generation of students. Grand Rapids school and civic officials lowered that barrier in a big way with the Grand Rapids Promise, providing full scholarships to Grand Rapids Community College for graduates of the 22 public and private high schools in the city of Grand Rapids.

On a historic day for the city of Grand Rapids and its schools, Pedro Gutierrez and Hedy Cardenas suddenly felt more confident about their futures.

Dr. Philomena V. Mantella portrait

In a recent Forbes Magazine report, Grand Valley State University was named along with Notre Dame and University of Minnesota as schools offering Encore Career programs.

“Encore Careers are really an opportunity to see your career shift over time and, you know, can be done at many different times of life.”

That’s Dr. Philomena Mantella, President of Grand Valley State University.

Grand Rapids Community College photo

In what education officials are calling a “game changer,” Grand Rapids Community College announced Monday that students who live and attend a high school within the city limits will receive free tuition. As part of an effort to ensure that every high schooler in the city has the chance to attend college, education officials on Monday launched the Grand Rapids Promise Zone Scholarship, which provides students the opportunity to attend Grand Rapids Community College and earn an Associate Degree or get certification training…free of charge.


The Michigan Lottery has raised more than $1 billion for public schools for the first time. The lottery announced Wednesday it contributed more than $1.07 billion to the school aid fund in the last fiscal year, a $129 million boost over the prior year. It was the largest one-year increase in the lottery’s 47-year history and the fifth straight record-setting year. Since the 2013-14 fiscal year, the lottery’s contribution to the $13.5 billion school aid fund is up $327 million, a 44% increase. 

Mona Shores H.S. choir "Americas Tallest Singing Christmas Tree" photo
Patrick Center / WGVU

It's Christmas Eve. We ring in the holiday with the Mona Shores High School Choir and Orchestra's celebration of the 35th season of America's Tallest Singing Christmas Tree ffrom the Frauenthal Center in downtown Muskegon.  

Philanthropy photo

Employees and members of Fit Body Boot Camps raised money for its annual event, The Big Give. They gathered inside the Knapp Corner Meijer in Grand Rapids purchasing gifts and necessities benefiting children and families in need living in 10 area school districts.

School News Network: Sparta Interior Design

Dec 11, 2019
Sparta Design Class photo
School News Network

Students in Sparta are designing and creating 3D printed items, thanks to a donation from a local foundation and innovative teaching.

Seventh grader Annabelle doesn’t plan to become a design engineer, but finds the new design class at Sparta Middle School useful for her intended career in interior design. “I love moving furniture around and figuring out what should go where,” she said.

The class - made possible by Sparta Education Foundation’s purchase of a 3D printer -- isn’t just for fun; it is teaching real life skills.

School News Network: Comstock Park Percussion

Nov 25, 2019
Bill Vits, principal percussionist with the Grand Rapids Symphony photo
School News Network

Comstock Park third graders had the chance to hear how 40 percussion instruments can come together in harmony. The musical zoo was courtesy of the Grand Rapids Symphony.

About 140 third graders from Comstock Park’s Pine Island Elementary School visited Celebration Cinema North recently to watch a live performance by Bill Vits, principal percussionist with the Grand Rapids Symphony.