Posted on 07/06/15 at 2:58pm

You only have until July 14-next Tuesday-- to register for MEA's 2015 Summer Leadership Conference, "Power from the Past-A Force for the Future." The Conference is scheduled for July 28-30 at Lake Superior State College in Sault Ste. Marie.

Posted on 07/06/15 at 2:57pm

Public Sector Consultants, a non-partisan public policy research firm in Lansing, has released a report offering financial recommendations and policy proposals to move Michigan forward. This comes on the heels of new State Superintendent Brian Whiston's goal of making Michigan one of the top 10 states in the next 10 years.

Posted on 07/06/15 at 2:56pm

The Senate's version of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Act (ESEA) will finally get a hearing on the full U.S. Senate floor starting tomorrow on July 7. In mid-April, the Senate Education Committee approved the Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA) a week after it was introduced by co-sponsors Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). 

Posted on 06/29/15 at 12:25pm

Two weeks ago, Gov. Snyder's education advisor led House Education Committee members to believe that the Governor opposed SB 103, the teacher evaluation bill sponsored by Sen. Phil Pavlov (R-St. Clair), chair of the Senate Education Committee. Under direct questioning, Karen McPhee replied that Snyder did not support the bill in its present form. 

However, last week his media spokesperson said that Gov. Snyder has taken no position on SB 103, but would support some changes to the bill. So far, the bill has had four hearings in Committee that still has not voted to discharge the bill.

Pavlov's bill emphasizes local control with districts allowed to choose whatever evaluation tool they wish. There are no provisions for training and no standards by which to judge those evaluation tools. MEA lobbyist Christina Canfield spoke in opposition to the bill, saying the bill is not in the best interest of teachers or children.

Last year, the House plan for teacher evaluations was very different from SB 103. That set of evaluation bills never made it through lame duck last year. Those bills set standards for the evaluation tools districts use; emphasized training for evaluators; and created a much fairer evaluation system for teachers. The MEA remains hopeful this year's House Education Committee will introduce similar amendments to SB 103.

Posted on 06/29/15 at 12:26pm

This Wednesday, Brian Whiston takes over as the new State Superintendent. In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, he talks about standardized testing, school funding, charter and cyber schools, deficit schools and teacher evaluations.

Posted on 06/30/15 at 9:19am

With the passage of Michigan’s Public Employment Relations Act in 1965, teachers finally went from begging to bargaining. Thanks to PERA, all public school employees have the right to negotiate for fair wages, quality health care benefits and decent working conditions.

NEA Complimentary Life Insurance (DUES-TAB)

Budget proposal strips funding from U of M, MSU

The latest targets of punitive budget proposals are the University of Michigan and Michigan State University who were stripped of state aid by Republican members of the House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee. Legislators aren't pleased with the schools' position on stem cell research and mandatory student health insurance and both schools stand to lose out on a share of $40 million in performance funding.

Ciloski named Wayne State's "Outstanding Educator of the Year"

Frank Ciloski, on special assignment in MEA's Professional Development/Human Rights Department, was recently named the "Outstanding Educator of the Year" by Wayne State University for his contributions to education. Ciloski was nominated by faculty in Wayne State's College of Education.

MEA joins in federal suit challenging PA 53

MEA has joined with three other unions representing Michigan school employees in a federal suit challenging the constitutionality of PA 53 that bans the payroll deduction of dues only for public school employees.

Analysis of SB 1040

SB 1040 Talking Points

Senate Republicans Kahn, Jansen, Pavlov and Walker introduced Senate Bill 1040.  This bill makes massive changes to the Michigan School Employee Pension System (MPSERS) and is designed to shift significant costs for pensions and retirement health care benefits onto school employees and retirees. 

New SB 1040 analysis answers member questions, concerns

SB 1040, the recent legislative assault on the public school employees' retirement and pension benefits, has generated many member questions and concerns. To help answer them, MEA has prepared an analysis of SB 1040, in addition to the talking points already sent out.

Federal suit filed against unconstitutional ban on payroll deduction of dues

Four unions representing Michigan school employees filed suit today in Michigan’s Eastern District federal court challenging the constitutionality of Public Act 53 of 2012, the recently enacted ban on payroll deduction of dues for public school employees only.

Tiger supporters show their commitment to the Heights

The orange and black balloons and signs said it all—“I’m committed to the Heights.”

And more than a thousand students, parents, school employees and community members came out in full force to pledge their commitment to Muskegon Heights schools at Tiger Pride Day on March 31. The tiger is the school mascot—a fitting symbol for the fighting spirit evident that day.

Is getting rid of the MEAP a mistake?

This week, the Senate K-12 Appropriations Subcommittee finally listened to education experts who have repeatedly said that the MEAP is not an accurate measure of student growth and pulled funding for it in favor of a new computer-adaptive test that would more accurately measure student growth. The new test is expected to cost $18 million as opposed to the $27 million for the MEAP. However, many education experts aren’t so sure this is a wise move.

House Democrats sue to restore voters’ voice

House Democrats have sued House Republicans to force them to recognize their requests for a roll call vote on the immediate effect of bills. House Minority Leader Richard Hammel (D-Mt. Morris Twp.), House Minority Floor Leader Kate Segal (D-Battle Creek), and Reps. Stanley (D-Flint), Meadows (D-East Lansing), Lindberg (D-Marquette) and Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) are plaintiffs in the suit.

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