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 EAST LANSING, Mich.,  December 18, 2012

Conn. school shooting tragedy reinforces need for real discussions on student, employee safety

EAST LANSING, Mich., Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 — The following statement can be attributed to MEA President Steve Cook in response to today's school shooting in Connecticut and the need for greater focus on student and school employee safety:

"More than 30 times since Columbine, unconscionable acts of gun violence in American schools have either ended or forever changed the lives of students and school employees. Speaking for MEA's 150,000 members, all our condolences go out to the victims and their families, as well as the entire community of Newton, as they deal with the senseless deaths of these children and educators. 

"Regardless of what the details and facts are of today's events in Connecticut, this nation must have a real conversation about guns and the safety of our students and those who care for them.

"I am a gun owner and avid outdoorsman, but something must be done to protect our children from such acts of violence.  Entire school communities -- boards, administrators, teachers, support staff, parents and students -- need to be partners in discussions to ensure our school buildings are safe and protected from these kinds of crimes, using the latest in technology and building design to secure buildings and classrooms from those who would bring harm to students, whether armed or not.

"But we need REAL solutions. Just yesterday, the Michigan Legislature passed SB 59, which allows for concealed firearms in our schools. Those who think that students and teachers will be safer with MORE guns in our schools are just plain wrong.  Thinking that teachers should carry weapons and fire on threats is a recipe for even more death -- not safety. I hope Governor Snyder understands this and vetoes SB 59, not only for the safety of our children but out of respect for those who died today in Connecticut. To sign this bill in light of this tragedy would be unfathomable."

Statement from MEA President Steve Cook on deceptive ’Freedom to Freeload’ bill

EAST LANSING, Mich., Dec. 6, 2012 — Gov. Rick Snyder and Republican leadership today announced they would push so-called “right-to-work” bills that include public and private workers while carving out exemptions for police and firefighters. Swift legislative action on these bills is already underway. The following statement can be attributed to Michigan Education Association President Steve Cook:

Statement from MEA President Steve Cook on Election 2012 outcomes


EAST LANSING, Mich., Nov. 7, 2012 — The following statement regarding the outcomes of yesterday’s elections can be attributed to MEA President Steve Cook:

“School employees across Michigan were more engaged in this election than any other I’ve witnessed, with huge numbers of MEA members volunteering for proposals and candidates over the past weeks.  That grassroots activism will continue in communities across this state to advocate for the great public schools that our students and our state need and deserve.

Message from MEA President Steve Cook about Election 2012 results


Dear MEA members,
There's no way to sugar-coat last night's loss on Proposal 2 enough to make it easy to swallow. But I will preface my comments with this -- I have never seen this organization so engaged and united. And I've never been more proud of our Association than I have been these past few months. We organized thousands of members to volunteer throughout this campaign, and that organizing will not be in vain so long as we keep our members engaged in the fight for our schools and our rights. I can only say thank you, but it doesn't seem like enough.
The failure to pass Proposal 2 is a bitter disappointment felt not only by you and me, but the other Protect Working Families coalition members as well. Suffice to say, the coalition simply was not able to overcome being outspent by corporate special interests who did everything they could to convince voters that Proposal 2 was about everything but collective bargaining. 
But the battle to protect collective bargaining is not over--it's never over.


MEA submits input to Governor’s school finance workgroup

EAST LANSING, Mich., Oct. 16, 2012 – Answering the call for input on education funding reform by the Governor’s Oxford Foundation school finance workgroup, MEA has submitted a comprehensive set of research-based recommendations for how to properly fund an effective public education system in Michigan.     

Statement on the legal impacts of Proposal 2

EAST LANSING, Oct. 10, 2012 —The following statement can be attributed to MEA President Steven Cook regarding the “MEA memo” being used by opponents of Proposal 2 to scare Michigan voters:

“Last spring the MEA Legal Department circulated an internal memo speculating about the effects of Proposal 2. Since the MEA memo was written, the Michigan Court of Appeals has rejected a broad interpretation of the amendment saying:

MEA launches new Web video highlighting Republican school cuts

The Michigan Education Association today launched a new Web video holding Republican legislators accountable for cutting schools to pay for a $1.8 billion tax break to corporate special interests.

MEA President supports Governor Snyder's emphasis on Voc/Tech training

Urges funding to back it up

East Lansing, Mich., Oct. 3, 2012 – Governor Rick Snyder recently spoke out on the need to expand vocational and technical education for Michigan students.

House passes sweeping attack on school employee retirement


The following statement can be attributed to MEA President Steven Cook regarding today’s passage of Senate Bill 1040 in the State House:

“With their passage of Senate Bill 1040 today, most House Republicans went on record in support of the single worst attack on school employee retirement security in history.