Michigan State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Dr. Michael F. Rice was appointed Michigan’s 44th Superintendent of Public Instruction by Michigan’s State Board of Education in May 2019. Since his appointment as state superintendent and chairman of the State Board of Education, Dr. Rice has led the revamping of the state’s Top 10 Strategic Education Plan, with defined goals and associated metrics, and has focused educators and policymakers on ways to improve inputs, outputs, and outcomes for children.
During his tenure, the state has increased funding in the state school aid act for children’s mental health from $30 million to $361 million and for Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) pre-school by $202 million. The governor and legislature supported a range of Michigan Department of Education recommendations to address the teacher shortage with $575 million in the FY23 budget to fund scholarships, student teacher stipends, and grow your own programs for individuals interesting in becoming or working to become teachers.
Dr. Rice came to the Michigan Department of Education after serving 17 years as a local district superintendent–12 years in the Kalamazoo Public Schools and five in the Clifton (NJ) Public Schools. In Kalamazoo, the district started and expanded full-day pre-kindergarten; quintupled the number of full-day kindergarten students; passed all voter questions, including three bond issues; built the first three schools in more than a third of a century; grew by more than 1,000 students; and improved student achievement in reading, writing, math, Advanced Placement participation and success, and graduation rates.
In Clifton, the district started full-day kindergarten; opened its first new school in four decades; passed eight voter questions; began dual enrollment agreements with Montclair State University and Passaic County Community College; and improved student achievement in reading, math, and Advanced Placement participation and success.
Dr. Rice began his career in public education in the Washington, D.C. Public Schools, where he taught high school French and founded and coached award-winning speech and debate programs. A long-time mentor of children, his greatest joy continues to be his interactions with children in Michigan’s schools.