Latest news releases and President's column.

Statement by MEA President Steve Cook on Oklahoma tornado and school employees’ heroism

EAST LANSING, Mich., May 21, 2013 — The following statement can be attributed to MEA President Steven Cook in reaction to Monday’s tragic tornado that struck Moore, Okla.:

“As I write this, at least 51 people — including 20 children — are dead, following the devastating tornado that tore through Moore, Okla., wiping out most of the town. At least seven of the dead children were students at Plaza Towers Elementary School, which was flattened by the storm. The death toll is expected to rise.

“In the midst of this tragedy, I want to convey how proud MEA’s 150,000 members are of our colleagues in Oklahoma.

“Reports continue to pour in of school employees in Moore who put themselves in harm’s way to save their students. Some used their bodies as human shields to protect children from falling rubble. Others carried children in their arms and out of collapsing schools.

“Still others lost their lives inside of their schools — a horrible end to what began as a routine day in the classroom."

MEA statement responding to dues deduction ruling

EAST LANSING, Mich., May 9, 2013 — The following statement can be attributed to MEA President Steve Cook in response to today’s Sixth Circuit federal court decision regarding Michigan’s ban on payroll deduction of dues for school employees only:

MEA statement on Walled Lake bus driver absences

WALLED LAKE, Mich., May 8, 2013 -- The following can be attributed to Aaron Sheposh, MEA UniServ Director for Walled Lake, in response to this morning’s absences by the district’s bus drivers (represented by the Walled Lake Transportation Association):

Buena Vista teachers vote to continue working through Friday, despite not getting paid on time


Buena Vista teachers met Monday and decided to continue working this week, even though they learned on Friday that the district had run out of money to pay their salaries on time.

Teachers in the Buena Vista School District voted Monday to continue working this week, even though they learned on Friday that the district had run out of money to pay their salaries on time.

Will Secretary Duncan bring news of ‘skunk works’ controversy back to D.C.?

MEA President issues statement in response to U.S. Education Secretary’s visit to Detroit and Ypsilanti with Gov. Snyder

EAST LANSING, Mich., May 6, 2013 — The following statement can be attributed to MEA President Steve Cook in response to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s visit Monday to schools in Detroit and Ypsilanti with Gov. Rick Snyder:

“It was certainly an honor for students and school employees in Detroit and Ypsilanti to get a visit from U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan today, and we appreciate the attention he and Gov. Rick Snyder are paying to the critical issue of early childhood education, which research proves is key in helping students become lifelong learners. 

“But just because Gov. Snyder agrees with investing in early childhood education doesn't forgive the fact that he's thrown research out the window in countless other education decisions he’s made in the past two years —  especially the recent revelations about his administration’s secret ‘skunk works’ plan.

“While he’s talking now about putting money into early childhood programs, Gov. Snyder continues to stand by his $1 billion in cuts to local schools, which shortchanges the education of our children from kindergarten through college.  And now his corporate special interest allies, already benefitting from massive tax breaks, could make more profit off our schools, thanks to skunk works.

MEA President: ‘Michigan kids deserve a world-class education – not a dime store diploma’

The following can be attributed to MEA President Steve Cook in response to the Detroit News’ story, “Education reform group forges voucher-like plan for Michigan”:

38 outstanding public school students awarded 2013 MEA Scholarship

EAST LANSING, Mich., April 12, 2013 — The Michigan Education Association today announced the recipients of the 2013 MEA Scholarships, honoring exemplary public school students from across the state who will be attending a Michigan public university next fall.

Among the 1,116 applications submitted for scholarship awards this year, the MEA Scholarship Fund Trustees chose 20 new award recipients who will each receive $1,500. In addition, 18 repeat winners who are already enrolled in college will receive $750 each.

Since 1997, the MEA Scholarship Fund has awarded 410 scholarships totaling $440,790 to graduates of Michigan public high schools.

The general criteria for awarding the scholarships include academic achievement, extra-curricular activities as well as school and community service.  All other criteria being equal, children of MEA members and students from lower income households are given first consideration.

MEA President Steven Cook: NRA proposal to arm school employees is ‘dangerous and reckless’

EAST LANSING, Mich., April 4, 2013 — MEA President Steven Cook issued the following statement Thursday in response to the National Rifle Association’s new report that recommends school employees receive firearms training and carry guns in schools:

“The National Rifle Association this week issued a report that recommends arming school employees as a way to prevent gun violence — a dangerous and reckless move that would place an undue burden on teachers and education support staff.

Judge orders Ferris State board to explain why it voted against its own contract proposal

BIG RAPIDS, Mich., March 21, 2013 — A state administrative law judge has ordered the Ferris State University Board of Trustees to explain why it voted to reject its own contract proposal with the Ferris Faculty Association, which represents employees at the university.

MEA supports Schor bill closing dangerous loophole in Michigan’s gun law

MEA President Steve Cook (right) addresses media at the state Capitol on March 14 about the MEA’s support for House Bill 4104, which would close a dangerous loophole that allows concealed pistol license holders to openly carry firearms in Michigan schools. With Cook is the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Andy Schor, D-Lansing.

The Michigan Education Association endorsed legislation Thursday that would close a dangerous loophole in Michigan’s gun law that allows a concealed weapons license holder to openly carry a gun in gun-free zones such as schools.