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 06/29/15 at 12:27pm

Michigan delegates to NEA's Representative Assembly will join more than 7,000 educators on their way to Orlando to help set education policy and talk about what's best for students. The annual meeting starts July 3 and runs through July 6.

Posted on 06/22/15 at 5:38pm

SaveOnEnergy.com is looking for the best lesson plans for teaching students about energy. By submitting your plan, you have a chance to win a $500 Teacher Grant for your classroom. Save On Energy.com will be awarding six $500 grants in the form of Visa Reward Cards to be used toward classroom materials and activities. SaveOnEnergy.com is a resource for consumers on all aspects of energy and sustainability.

Posted on 06/22/15 at 5:25pm

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley is holding meetings around the state with parents of special education students to gather input on their experiences with the state’s special education system. To reach even more parents, Calley also launched an online survey which will be available through August. 

Posted on 06/22/15 at 5:31pm

The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that teachers and educators should not be put in law enforcement roles when they carry out their duty of reporting suspected child abuse or neglect. The National Education Association (NEA) filed an amicus brief in the case, Ohio v. Clark, stating that “educators’ valuable role as mandatory reporters and caregivers should not be compromised.”

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.

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.

School funding front and center in an election year

Spring has sprung.  Election season is underway. And, as usual, politicians are trying to shore up their record by allocating more money for public education.  However, after last year’s massive school budget cuts, voters won’t be tricked this year by politicians who are a day late and a dollar short.

Latest attack on retirement unveiled in Senate Bill 1040

The latest legislative assault on retirement was launched on Thursday in the form of Senate Bill 1040. The bill makes sweeping changes to limit the pension benefits received by employees while increasing the out-of-pocket costs for both active and retired members.

MEA members tell their stories at "WeRaisetheBar.org"

David Paul Rudzinzki, a sixth grade teacher at Utica Community Schools, says it's great when he sees "those light bulbs going off," and his students are finally understanding a new concept.

Governor signs dues deduction ban

Late last week before leaving for Europe, Gov. Snyder signed HB 4929, making it illegal for school districts to bargain with their employees' contract language allowing for payroll deduction of dues.

Walled Lake paraprofessional wins ESP Brunner Award

Denise Miller

Denise Miller, a paraprofessional and local union leader from Walled Lake, was named the 2012 recipient of the Leon A. Brunner Award. The award is given annually at MEA's Statewide Educational Support Professional Conference in recognition an ESP leader's significant contributions and commitment to ESP issues and concerns. 

During last year's recall petition drives, Miller worked tirelessly to collect signatures to hold lawmakers accountable for their decisions in Lansing. She gained notoriety after she filed suit against the Oakland County Parks for restricting her ability to circulate petitions at a local park, where the county had literally marked off a 12-by-12 foot square in which she was told she had to stand. In a huge victory for both the recall supporters and believers in our personal freedom to engage in political activity, Miller won the court case.

Miller is now looking forward to working hard in 2012 on the Protect Our Jobs campaign to protect collective bargaining rights in our state constitution.

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