The Metro Bureau is a consortium of educational institutions dedicated to serving and improving  school management through unique support services, cooperative information exchange and administrative management training.
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January 202o
Happy New Year!
An Introduction and a Vision
I am thrilled to begin 2020 with all of you in my new role as the Executive Director of Metro Bureau.  When we think of “2020” we often think of vision, and specifically having clear vision.  My vision is clear for the Metro Bureau this year, and that is to provide to you the support and leadership skills necessary to improve student learning and embrace the strength provided by diversity.

On a personal level, I am a mom of four, two of whom went through the South Lyon Community School District and two who went through Livonia Public Schools.  They were all blessed with amazing teachers, principals, support staff, and coaches who have helped shape them into the young adults that they are today.  In fact, two of the four are currently middle school teachers.  I love the work of educating young people, developing leaders, reading, walking, golfing (some days!), and of course cheering on my Buckeyes!
Public education is truly my passion.  For the last fifteen years, as a Central Office Administrator, I have been highly successful at developing strong cultures of change while focusing on collaboration and teamwork. During my career in education, I have had a number of varied experiences that have shaped me both professionally and personally. I firmly believe in servant leadership and have followed that model in my professional career; initially as an Elementary Teacher and then as Building Principal, Assistant Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent and finally as Superintendent. These experiences helped to mold the characteristics that I feel are the true pillars of my leadership style:
  • Develop and implement a strategic plan to identify the direction of the organization.
  • Set goals for myself, and the organization, that are meaningful, attainable and measurable.
  • Remember that a climate of collaboration and mutual respect is the backbone to success.       
  • Maintain a focus to serve, teach and learn.   
In addition, I recognize that each of our member school districts, universities, and community colleges possess unique strengths, desires, circumstances and celebrations. My past professional experiences, along with my professional roles, have taught me that you must earn the respect and trust of those you work with in order to take the organization to the next level.  We must stay current in the field of education in order to continue to recognize, and focus on, the multiple challenges that so many of our member districts face. I believe in progressive leadership and fully understand that it takes a team to foster growth and continued success.
As a part of the Metro Bureau team, I will be reaching out to all of you over the next month to set up a time to visit with you.  My hope is to build on current partnerships, learn what your needs are, the needs of your organization and how Metro Bureau may serve our members best.
In closing, may your vision also be clear in 2020, as we build, grow and enhance our future together! Looking forward to seeing you all at MASA.

With Appreciation and Best Wishes
At this time the Metro Bureau team would like to share our sincere appreciation to Mr. Carl Weiss.  He has served Michigan public education for over 40 years, and for the past seven years has served as the Executive Director of the Metro Bureau. Carl will truly be missed, and we wish him all the best in his “true” retirement where he will enjoy sailing, skiing and his growing family!
Metro Bureau Enrollment Trend Report for Macomb, Monroe, Oakland and Wayne County Public School Districts
Many school districts use multiple sources in predicting student enrollment for the upcoming school year. Each winter, the Metro Bureau obtains updated enrollment data from our county ISDs and makes the results available to member districts and on our  website ( The report allows you to look at individual district enrollment in all three counties and also shows enrollment trends over the most recent five year timespan. Some of you use the report to select peer districts and compare your trends over time with your peers. This information will be published for our members soon.  We hope that you find this information useful as you begin to build your budget for the 2020 - 21 school year.

Council of Chief Negotiators

  by Greg Baracy, Associate Executive Director
Brian Sumner, CCN Chair, Garden City Public Schools

Thank You Council of Chief Negotiators
As we begin 2020, I would like to express my sincere appreciation and thanks to the entire CCN group for all of your contributions to our member districts and school community.  The collegial sharing of your broad experiences and professional support toward each other is invaluable. 
The New IRS W-4 form

Recently, a fair amount of chatter has risen within the HR professional ranks regarding the new IRS W-4 form.  Many have said it’s confusing, hard to interpret and another unnecessary change.

If you go to the IRS FAQ’s, here’s what they say as it relates to a few questions:

Why redesign Form W-4?
The new design reduces the form's complexity and increases the transparency and accuracy of the withholding system. While it uses the same underlying information as the old design, it replaces complicated worksheets with more straightforward questions that make accurate withholding easier for employees.

Are all employees required to furnish a new Form W-4?
 No. Employees who have furnished Form W-4 in any year before 2020 are not required to furnish a new form merely because of the redesign. Employers will continue to compute withholding based on the information from the employee's most recently furnished Form W-4.

Are new employees first paid after 2019 required to use the redesigned form?
Yes. All new employees first paid after 2019 must use the redesigned form. Similarly, any other employee who wishes to adjust their withholding must use the redesigned form.
For further information and FAQ’s go to
House Bill 4586

Another issue worth following is House Bill 4586 (Sponsor Rep. Aaron Miller R-Sturgis), Endorsement Nullification.  HB 4586 would amend the Revised School Code to allow a teacher to have an endorsement or grade level certification on his or her teaching certificate nullified if it had not been used for 7 years instead of the current period of 12 years.
Although it’s said to have no fiscal impact on local school districts, any change to current endorsement(s) status could impact teacher hiring and classroom placement practices in many districts depending on local CBA’s. It was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means just before the holidays.  There obviously needs to be more discussion on this one.
The Metro Bureau and CCN promise is to support our member districts with data analysis, seminars, and collegial sharing that can be put into real practice.  To that end, please view the Upcoming Events.
In closing, the strength of our organization is through our membership; so please let us know if you have any suggestions for future seminars.

Council of Academic Leadership

  by Nancy Campbell, Associate Executive Director
Beatrice Benjamin, CAL Chair, Redford Union Schools
  • 7%-11% of African Americans may be retained.
  • Up to 10% of Special Education students may be retained.
  • 12%-20% of students in Partnership Schools may be retained.
  • 2%-4% of students in Traditional Public Schools may be retained.
  • 4%-7% of students in Public School Academies may be retained.
  • 2%-5% of 3rd graders may be retained as a result of Read by Grade 3.
Do these statistics alarm you?  Trouble you?  They do me.  They come from the Education Policy Innovation Collaborative (EPIC) report published last summer.  Yes, there are several ways for parents, teachers, and superintendents to mitigate retention (and MDE has done their part by approving new cut scores).  Most importantly, our teachers are relentless in their quest to see that not even one of their students would fall into the category of being a year behind in reading by grade 3.  To that end, they work with coaches, experts, colleagues, and parents to determine how to meet the needs of their students.  It is their work our CAL group will discuss on Friday, January 24, at the Southfield Board Office at 9:00 a.m.  We are not scheduling a presenter at this meeting because we are hoping you and others from your district will attend and be part of an “All Share” so that we can hear what is happening in each of our member districts to Read by Grade 3.

As if that topic wasn’t enough, we are also going to tackle Summer Learning Opportunities K-12.  Yes, you read that right.  It’s time to prepare your offerings for Summer 2020 right now and we have high hopes that all attendees will discuss successful programs they scheduled in the past, what they are already planning for this summer, what resources they use, etc.  If you glean just one great idea from what you hear at our meeting, it will be worth it!

Some of you may note that these two topics were on the docket for March.  We moved them up for various reasons.  Social Studies (the original January topic) will be our topic in March.

If you have read this far, I will now say HAPPY NEW YEAR and that I am looking forward to a learning-rich experience with you at all of our CAL Meetings this year.  Hope to see you soon!

From Our Business Partners


Financial Pulse for January 2020
Financial Pulse for December 2019

Visit to register for an event or click on the link below to download registration information.

Non Members
Click on the link  below to download registration information.


January 29, 2020
Big Brother is Watching….But Should He Be?
Assessing the Legal Implications Associated with Technology Aimed at  Keeping Schools Safe
featuring Kevin T. Sutton of Lusk Albertson, PLC and  Mark Paliszewski of Recon Management.
  This seminar is being held at the VisTaTech Center in Livonia.

February 11, 2020
Understanding the Fundamentals of the Public Employment Relations Act (PERA) and the Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC)  featuring George Butler, III and David Deromedi of Dickinson Wright and Sidney McBride and Carl Wexel of MERC.  This seminar is being held at the Bank of America Building in Troy.

February 25, 2020
Aetna Resources for Living:  A Cost-Effective Way to Provide Our Employees the Help and Support They Need  featuring Chris Clawson and Jeff Nielson, Aetna.  This seminar is being held at the VisTaTech Center in Livonia

March 9, 2020
Data Collection 2.0 - Let's Make It Easy for You and Take It To The Next Level featuring Featuring Sara Shriver of SLS Consulting and Buzz Brown of Munetrix Municipal Metrics.  This seminar is being held at the VisTaTech Center in Livonia.  We strongly suggest that you bring a laptop computer to this presentation for a real hands-on experience.

If you have a topic that you would like the Metro Bureau to present a seminar on, please contact:
Melissa Baker at
Greg Baracy at

Metro Bureau Business Partners are a valuable asset. Not only to they support the Metro Bureau financially, but each Metro Bureau business partner:
  • Has expertise within their field that school district leaders need and want
  • Enjoys a superior reputation in providing high quality service to school districts in our region
  • Is willing to consult with any Metro Bureau member for little or no cost
  • Supports public education in Michigan.

Operations:  Campus Safety - Construction - Cost Control - Energy - Facility Design-Restoration


Barton Malow has been in business for 95 years and we are privileged to serve many repeat educational clients. As your single source of contact for all your program related needs we provide outstanding service and go the extra mile to develop long-term partnerships with all of our clients. Please give us a call to find out how we can help your District. 
Michael E. Stobak, Vice President
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CenterPoint Energy's primary businesses include: electric transmission and distribution, natural gas distribution, and natural gas sales and services.

John Holdsworth, Account Executive
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French Associates Architects
French Associates-Architects, Educational Facility Planners, Campaign Strategists ... we're everything you need us to be.

Dale Jerome, President
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McCarthy & Smith, Inc. has built strong communities since 1965.  Specializing in the construction and renovation of facilities.
Deborah McCarthy
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Before you make a move, let us uncover every real estate opportunity
Paul  Wills
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Recon Management Group, LLC provides local, national, and international security services to virtually every type of organization, public and private, throughout the United States and abroad.
Mark Paliszewski, Director, Consulting & Investigative Group
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Oil & Gas:  Fueling Efficiency

Isaac Hawthorne, Client Service Manager
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We're in the Business of Keeping you in Business

Don Bluhm, Director of Operations, Michigan
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Learning Services

Making Classrooms Better Places for Teachers and Students

Jeff Tompkins, Education Sales Consultant-Michigan
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Your Partner in K-12 Online Learning Solutions

Amy Jarvis, Account Executive
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"The Effective Urban Educator: Reflective, Innovative and Committed to Diversity,"

Dr. Anita Welch, Dean
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Legal Services

Specializing in education law

Gary Collins and William Blaha
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Dickinson Wright

Providing legal services to schools, colleges, and universities.

Analytics and Data
Eidex offers cloud-based software platforms that provides stunningly clear analytics to help school leaders solve problems.

Doug LeFleur
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Munetrix Educational Data Platform
Say hello to easy! Munetrix collects and aggregates the essential data a school district needs to share its impact on fiscal and academic outcomes.  We put the data at your fingertips so you can spend more time on what matters, educating kids. Munetrix = Easy.
Bob Kittle, President
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Benefits & Risk Management

Benefits & Risk Management
Chadd Hodkinson
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Nancy Papet, President

Financial Services

We believe the strategic combination of Umbaugh and Baker Tilly has created one of the largest, most experienced independent municipal advisory teams available to governmental units. Together, we bring more capabilities and resources, and will continue providing the same level of service you’ve come to expect with a purpose to enhance and protect our client’s value, now and for tomorrow.

Jesse Nelson, Partner
Mark Rochford, Sr. Managing Consultant
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Supporting public education since 1969
One of the largest independent providers of retirement services for educators in the market place today.

Mike McEvilly
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HilltopSecurities’ established underwriting desk works with issuers across the country. Our nationwide underwriting, sales, and trading staff leverage the firm’s capital commitment, national distribution network, and the robust resources of Hilltop Holdings to help connect your issue with the right investors. Member: NYSE/FINRA/SIPC

Craig Kahler, Managing Director-Public Finance
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Assisting in creating solid retirement plans.

Michael Pesendorfer, President

Robert Bernhardt, Manager
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PFM is the nation’s largest and most active financial advisor to public agencies, including k-12 schools, according to Refinitiv, in terms of par amount and number of issues as of December 31, 2018.  Our Ann Arbor office experienced professionals include 9 registered municipal advisory representatives that have over 170 years of combined Michigan municipal advisory expertise.
Kari L. Blanchett, Managing Director
Paul R. Stauder, Managing Director
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