Michigan Parents Honor Senator Pavlov with Golden Apple Award for Work on Education Reform

LANSING, Mich.—“A” grades are not only earned in the classroom. In the case of State Sen. Phil Pavlov (R-St. Clair Township) an “A” grade was earned this session at the State Capitol in the subject of education reform.

Today, parent members of the Michigan Chapter of Public School Options.org presented Sen. Pavlov with the group’s Golden Apple Award for “legislative courage in fighting to provide Michigan students with the opportunity for a great education.”

“Education reform is always something politicians talk about at election time,” said Brian Kevelin, a member of the board for the Michigan Chapter from Warren. “When it comes to Senator Pavlov, his commitment to education reform and supporting parents wasn’t talk. He backed up his words with actions, votes and leadership, and, as parents, we are grateful.”

In recognizing the work of Sen. Pavlov, who chairs the Senate Education Committee, Michigan parent leaders of Public School Options.org cited efforts to:

        •    Increase funding to local schools through best practice incentives;

        •    Empower parents with more choices;

        •    Reform state spending on education; and,

        •    Ensure effective teachers are in the classroom through ground-breaking tenure reform legislation.

“I’m honored to receive this award for something I believe in so passionately,” Sen. Pavlov said. “Reform is never finished, and I’ll keep fighting for better educational opportunities for each Michigan student.”

The Michigan Chapter of Public School Options.org is an organization founded by parents who are dedicated to supporting and defending public school options in Michigan.  www.publicschooloptions.org/michigan

Bills to modernize Michigan’s Civilian Conservation Corps pass the Senate

LANSING, Mich.—The Michigan Senate voted out bipartisan legislation Wednesday to revive and modernize Michigan’s Civilian Conservation Corps (MCCC).

Senate Bills 1261 – 1265, spearheaded by Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, would place new emphasis on public-private partnerships and the involvement of young people in the historic national program.

“Michigan has such incredible natural resources,” said Pavlov, sponsor of SB 1263. “Harnessing our resources for economic and recreational use while keeping our youth, our most important resource, here is key to Michigan’s reinvention.”

The package would reshape the MCCC to be operated in partnership by universities, private companies, and nonprofit organizations while maintaining its traditional roots of field-based training, conservation and restoration work. It would expand the scope of participants to Michigan youth aged 17-27 and broaden the span of work training programs available to participants.

The goals of the new MCCC program are retention of Michigan’s youth, stewardship of the state’s natural resources, enhanced education, and employment opportunities and improved labor resources for state agencies and other conservation organizations.

The legislation will also encourage the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and nonprofit MCCC program to work on projects that increase public access to land and lead to economic development.

Stakeholders were quick to praise the changes. The package is supported by the DNR, Michigan Recreation and Park Association (MRPA), Michigan United Conservation Clubs, Michigan Association of Conservation Districts, and others, including a number of the state’s public universities.

“Quality parks increase surrounding property values, provide affordable places for physical activity, enhance quality of life and create vibrant communities where residents want to live, work and play,” said MRPA Chief Operating Officer Ann Conklin. “The Michigan Recreation and Park Association supports the Civilian Conservation Corps, and we are grateful for the Senate’s swift action that will lead to a valuable employment opportunity for young people in our state.”

Other bill sponsors are Sens. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba; Mike Green, R-Mayville; Goeff Hansen, R-Hart; and Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor.

The bills were each passed overwhelmingly by a vote of 36-1.

The MCCC package now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Community News Bulletin: Pavlov announces October office hours

LANSING, Mich.—State Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, has scheduled open office hours in the 25th Senate District in October to hear constituents’ comments and concerns about state government.

Pavlov will be available at the following dates, times and locations:

Thursday, Oct. 11
3:30 to 5 p.m.
Conference Room, Blue Water Area Chamber of Commerce
512 McMorran Blvd.
Port Huron, MI 48060

Monday, Oct. 15
5 to 6:30 p.m.
Council Room, Yale City Hall
111 W. Mechanic St.
Yale, MI 48097

Tuesday, Oct. 16
4:30 to 6 p.m.
Chamber Room, Imlay City Municipal Offices
150 North Main St.
Imlay City, MI 48444

Monday, Oct. 22
7:30 to 9:30 a.m.
Sue’s Coffee House
201 N. Riverside Ave.
St. Clair, MI 48079

Friday, Oct. 26
7:30 to 9:30 a.m.
Ken’s Country Kitchen
69232 N. Main St.
Richmond, MI 48062

Monday, Oct. 29
7:30 to 9 a.m.
Burtchville Township Hall
4000 Burtch Road
Burtchville, MI 48059

All are welcome to hear a legislative update and discuss topics of interest. Office hours are for one-on-one discussions with the senator. Those unable to attend can contact Sen. Pavlov by email at senppavlov@senate.michigan.gov or by calling his office toll-free at (866) 305-2125. Make sure to check Pavlov’s website at www.SenatorPhilPavlov.com for the most up-to-date information.

AT&T Supports College Access

By the Community Foundation of St. Clair County.

Two local programs will receive grant funding thanks to a partnership between AT&T and the Community Foundation of St. Clair County. Homework, Food & Fun which is offered through the YMCA of the Blue Water Area, and The Talented Tenth which is offered through S.O.N.S. Outreach will both receive grants totaling $24,000.

Both programs are part of KnowHow2Go, a county-wide collaboration working to increase the number of graduates who continue their education beyond high school.

“KnowHow2Go is a collaborative effort to support education success and focuses on creating a college-going culture in our community, in our schools, and with our families,” states Lynn Alexander, vice president of the Community Foundation of St. Clair County. “Since KnowHow2Go was launched in 2008, there has been an 8% increase in college-enrollment county-wide. It’s through support from companies like AT&T that we will continue to see very positive results.”

Senator Phil Pavlov, chairman of the Senate Education Committee, participates in the KnowHow2Go initiative and saw the fit between the group’s mission and the educational goals of AT&T.

“KnowHow2Go is getting it right every day for the students of our community,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “We have worked hard in the legislature to give our local schools, parents and students the tools and choices necessary to achieve greatness. With partners like AT&T, and the Community Foundation of St. Clair County, we will continue to bolster an environment of success for all our young people.”

The Homework, Food & Fun program is designed to promote success not only in the classroom through tutoring and homework assistance, but also builds college awareness, provides a nutritious meal, and engages kids in a wide range of positive values based recreation activities. The program is free to students attending middle school in St. Clair and Sanilac counties, and there is transportation assistance available.

The Talented Tenth program provides tutoring, ACT test preparation, college and career exploration, and campus tours to at-risk middle and high school students.

“Nationally and across Michigan, AT&T has made a priority of supporting students as they work toward high school graduation,” said Jim Murray, president of AT&T Michigan. “As an employer, we see the effects on our economy and state when students aren’t able to earn that all-important high school diploma. Partnering with the St. Clair Community Foundation in its educational efforts is a great opportunity for AT&T, and we are anxious to see the results pay off for Michigan students.”

In addition to the programs that received funding through the Community Foundation from AT&T, KnowHow2Go hosts many events throughout the year. In the past 4 years, these events, such as College Survival Kits, Ask an Expert Series and Free Practice ACT Test Sessions have had over 14,000 participants. St. Clair County also has three full-time college advisors, who work directly with students, in partnership with school counselors, to help students successfully enroll in college.

“This county should be proud of what they have accomplished,” emphasized Alexander. “Other communities throughout the state look to us as leaders when it comes to working together to make a big impact.”

More information can be found at www.stclairfoundation.org or www.sccresa.org.

The Community Foundation is the largest grant-making foundation in Michigan’s Thumb Region. It manages over 150 endowment funds totaling over $30,000,000 in assets. The Foundation also owns the Blue Water River Walk, Studio 1219 and a home for homeless teens.