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.

What is SMEA?

The Student Michigan Education Association (SMEA) is a preprofessional organization for people preparing for the teaching profession in any of the higher education institutions in Michigan and who are not regularly employed as educators by an educational institution or agency.

Statement from MEA President Cook on passage of HB 4929 (ban on payroll deduction of dues)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 – The following statement can be attributed to MEA President Steven Cook:

“Today the Michigan Legislature continued its assault on collective bargaining rights, passing legislation to prohibit school employees from paying their union dues through payroll deduction. This is a practice that has been used for years and is outlined in local collective bargaining agreements.  It is yet another case where lawmakers are restricting the rights of school employees and interfering in local control.

ACT NOW to stop attacks on dues deduction!

Urge the Governor to veto HB 4929, HB 4246

It didn't take long for Republican legislators to respond to yesterday's launch of the Protect Our Jobs campaign.

Just one day later, both the House and Senate passed HB 4929 restricting payroll deduction of union dues for school employees and then voted on an unconstitutional maneuver to avoid an immediate effect vote on banning graduate student research assistants from unionizing.

It's been said that an ineffective administration is the best organizing tool--it also applies to legislators whose only goal is to break unions and destroy the middle class instead of creating jobs. Legislative activity today is a prime example of why all MEA members need to be involved in the Protect Our Jobs campaign.

It was a busy day of union busting in Lansing. Just this morning the Senate Reforms, Restructuring and Reinventing Committee reported out an amended version of HB 4929. By this afternoon, the full Senate had taken up the bill, throwing out one of the amendments that would have allowed school employees to continue with automatic payroll deduction if their union paid school districts for the cost of doing so. Amendments did pass that require public posting of audits of union representation costs and provide $100,000 to cover the cost of data collection (that appropriation prevents the bill from being eligible for a voter referendum).

Federal court ruling strikes down anti-worker law

Last week, a federal judge ruled that the new state law banning local governments from mandating project labor agreements (PLA) on public construction projects violates federal labor law. A PLA is an agreement between municipal officials or school boards and hired contractors which defines wages and hours and sets safety standards and skills training for workers.

Bill silences voice of graduate research assistants

The latest legislative news provides reasons for supporting the Protect Our Jobs campaign to amend the state constitution and protect our collective bargaining rights.

Republican ESEA amendments pass

The Student Success Act (H.R. 3989) and Encouraging and Innovation and Effective Teachers Act (H.R. 3990) were approved along party lines last week during a House Education and Workforce Committee meeting. NEA opposed the bills because they give too much power to the states and undermine the federal role in ensuring equity for all students. 

Democrats offered two substitutes—one mandating a school accountability system in each state; the other requiring educators to be a part of the development of teacher and principal evaluation systems. Both amendments failed along party-lines.

Tell your story at WeRaisetheBar.Org

MEA members will be featured in new radio and online advertising that will run this spring in media markets throughout the state. Teachers, students and parents can share their own stories at www.WeRaisetheBar.org .

New call system for reporting abuse starts today

Today was the first day for a new call-in system for reporting abuse and neglect of children or adults.

MDE submits ESEA waiver

Michigan is among 26 states that have applied for waivers under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The waiver would free states from some ESEA requirements, in exchange for adopting key reforms. Eleven states have already received a waiver.

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax Stars Danny DeVito and Zac Efron kick off NEA's 15th annual Read Across America Day at The New York Public Library

The National Education Association (NEA) today hosted a national reading kickoff event at The New York Public Library where actors Danny DeVito and Zac Efron read Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax” to 300 New York public school elementary students.

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