Posted on 12/16/14 at 12:49pm

The Michigan Department of Education's (MDE) special education rule changes did not make it through a Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) and will have to be reintroduced next year. MDE wanted the rule changes to clarify language and help carry out federal law.

Posted on 12/16/14 at 12:52pm

How charter management companies spend more than $1 billion dollars in state taxpayer dollars is again the focus of a news article in the Detroit Free Press. "Public money for schools buys private property" uncovers the arrangement National Heritage Academies (NHA) has with its schools. NHA, not the school, owns the school buildings and the contents, even though that's all been purchased with taxpayer money.

Posted on 12/01/14 at 11:59am

The University of Michigan's College of Education received a $1.1 million grant to improve how teachers are trained. U-M will use the money to work with other states to change what's required of new teachers and how they receive mentoring once they're in the classroom. Hopefully, Michigan will be one of those states. 

Posted on 12/04/14 at 12:21pm

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.

 

Posted on 12/08/14 at 2:50pm

Too much time and too little money keep most college students from earning a degree in four years according to Complete College America’s report, “4-year degrees now a myth in American higher education.” 

Posted on 12/08/14 at 2:51pm

Don’t be taken in by a message to “coaches, teachers, and other interested parties” from a “Scholarship Selection Committee” offering scholarships to “Michigan High School Seniors.” MEA is not involved with nor endorses this program.

Supreme Court finds only some parts of pension tax unconstitutional

The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled that Gov. Snyder and the Republican-led Legislature could apply the state’s personal income tax to senior’s pension income. However, the court also ruled that basing exemptions on an individual’s wealth is unconstitutional since it could be considered a graduated tax, which is banned under the state constitution.

Keep an eye on education bills and keep in contact with legislators

The Legislature has only nine work days left in 2011 after it returns from break Nov. 29 to get key issues to the Governor for signature.

When it comes to education, the list of issues left to tackle include the collection of school employee union dues, so-called "education reform," and bullying.

While denying it is payback for the recall of Paul Scott, the Republican-led Legislature has SB 636 and HB 4588 on their agenda. Both bills prohibit public employers from collecting union dues via payroll deduction. MEA opposes the legislation. Contact your legislators and let them know that there must be an end to such partisan politics--especially when it doesn’t help kids or education and doesn’t create any new jobs.

State drops out – so MEA members step up for students, employees in Benton Harbor

Truckload of supplies, thousands in donations delivered to address supply shortages caused by $1 billion in education budget cuts

How would you solve the dropout problem?

Detroit Public Television (DPTV) is hosting a televised "Teacher Town Hall" on Friday, Nov. 18 to discuss the high school dropout crisis in American and they need your input.

Districts receiving "best practices" payments

Because they met four out of five of Gov. Snyder's "best practices," 177 school districts across the state were approved for an additional $100 per student in state aid designated as "incentive funds." Those districts began receiving installment payments on Oct. 20.

Help close the supply gap for Benton Harbor students

You have until Nov. 16 to help out Benton Harbor students with needed supplies. Legislative cuts to education have left them without basic classroom supplies. Since lawmakers won't help--MEA members are stepping up to close the supply gap.

After the victories--what's next?

MEA President Steve Cook weighed in on election victories last week.. So it’s no surprise that the opposition has an opinion on Rep. Paul Scott’s recall and the defeat of Ohio’s collective bargaining law.

Gov. Snyder led the Republican Party message on the recall saying that his administration will “forge ahead with our efforts,” and “This was not about Rick Snyder or the Republican agenda.”

When it came to the Ohio vote, he said, “The country needs a mellower, less confrontational approach to fiscal problems on the state and federal level.” He went on to claim that his new Republican administration has been able to avoid the rancor rocking other Republican governors “by steering clear of challenges to collective bargaining agreements with state employees. “I counseled dialogue and negotiations with union leaders,” he said.

School board election dates changed

With the passage this week of SB 427—along with the House passage of HB 4005—school  board elections will be held at the general election in November of even-numbered years, effective Jan. 1, 2012.

House will change Senate's anti-bullying bill

Senate Minority Floor Leader Gretchen Whitmer’s D-East Lansing) passionate speech against SB 137 went viral on YouTube with more than 300,000 hits.

Voters recall Paul Scott -- "This is what democracy looks like."

Alongside citizens on the ground in the 51st House District, MEA members, leaders and staff pulled off what hasn’t happened in this state for more than two decades—the recall of a sitting legislator. Last night’s recall of Rep. Paul Scott (R-Grand Blanc) marks the first time in state history that a Republican has been recalled.

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