In this morning's news...
Governor Snyder on trade mission in Asia
Governor Rick Snyder and a delegation of business and government officials left for Asia over the weekend. On Sunday, the governor and the delegation met with Japanese officials in Tokyo. From Governor Snyder's press release:
Governor Rick Snyder today met with Governor Yukiko Kada of Shiga Prefecture, Japan, to discuss mutual interests in promotion of business investment, tourism and job creation in Michigan and Shiga and protection and preservation of Lake Biwa, the largest freshwater lake in Japan and the Great Lakes, the world’s largest group of freshwater lakes.
The Governor's office say the Michigan-Shiga partnership "is one of the oldest sister state relationships between the United States and Japan."
Snyder will head to Beijing, China on Tuesday and to Shanghai on Thursday. While there, the governor's office says Snyder and the Michigan delegation will "meet with senior government officials, executives of some of China's largest companies and a number of Michigan companies that operate there."
Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton is in China covering the trip. You can read about her trip by following her travelogue.
New state aid formula for Michigan schools
Changes in how state education officials calculate per-pupil aid to public schools could mean an overall decline in state school aid. The Detroit News reports officials have changed how they count attendance numbers:
The number of students counted in classrooms during the fall Count Day next week will be worth 90 percent of state aid, rather than 75 percent as in past years. A winter count in February will be worth 10 percent instead of 25 percent. The change in the state formula was prompted by research that showed as student enrollment continued to decline statewide, the state was paying for students counted in the spring who were no longer there in the fall. Under the new formula, districts with falling enrollment stand to lose money, while those adding students each school year will get more cash from the state.
Overall, the state's public schools could receive $12.6 million less in school aid this year because of the change.
Michigan National Guardsmen head for Afghanistan
1,200 members of the Michigan National Guard leave home today to make their way to Afghanistan's Konduz Province, reports the Detroit Free Press:
Family and friends are saying farewell this evening to members of units of the 125th Infantry. The Headquarters Company gets a send-off at Grand Blanc High School. Wyoming-based Company C gets a send-off at Grand Valley Armory, Bay City-based Company F gets a send-off at Dow Diamond in Midland and Big Rapids-based Company D gets a send-off at the Big Rapids Armory. Detroit-based Company A gets a send-off at the Detroit Light Guard Armory.