In a letter to members of the House of Representatives today, MEA President Steve Cook and AFT-Michigan President David Hecker are urging members of the House of Representatives to oppose HB 5111 if it continues to require retention of third grade students who are not reading at grade level. Both MEA and AFT are instead recommending early intervention with a reading improvement plan that is adequately funded on a long-term basis.
The State Board of Education (SBE) has unanimously approved the Model Code of Student Conduct 2014. (It's at the Michigan Department of Education website. SBE held several hearings before deciding on a revised Code that would ensure students were educated in a "safe and supportive environment that fosters academic success and healthy development." The current Student Conduct Code dates back to July 2001.
Funding for all levels of education was decided by the Legislature this week when HB 5314 passed the Senate. Funding levels are set for K-12, community colleges and universities. The legislation is now on its way to Gov. Snyder for his signature.
Michigan’s Supreme Court will be deciding on whether the changes made to PA 300 in 2012 were legal. The lawsuit challenges changes by the Michigan legislature to pension contribution rates, retiree healthcare contributions, the multiplier “sanction” for those opting out of the higher contribution rates, and the mechanism for refunding the contributions to individuals who opted into retiree healthcare but ultimately failed to qualify for the benefits.
If the Legislature provides the funding, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) will implement a new plan to help school districts with budget deficits. The plan is part of Gov. Snyder’s budget recommendations. Currently, there are 46 school districts with budget deficits.
Bills which provide an alternative to the expansion of the Education Achievement Authority (EAA) have been moved out of the House Education Committee and await action on the House floor. HB 5268 and HB 5269, sponsored by Rep. Ellen Cogen Lipton (D-Huntington Woods) and Rep. Brandon Dillon (D-Grand Rapids), will allow ISDs to have a part in assisting struggling schools.
The proliferation of charter schools throughout Michigan has left many school districts in serious financial trouble, according to a new report from Wall Street, leaving thousands of children without critical classroom resources.
MEA Vice President Nancy Strachan urged members of the state House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday to pass the Student Safety Act, which would provide students with modern methods to anonymously report threats to school safety.