Posted on 07/28/14 at 5:45pm

According to the latest KIDS COUNT Data Book published by the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation, Michigan ranks 32nd when it comes to a child's overall well-being compared to other states. Michigan dropped one slot in ranking from last year, making it the worst-performing state in the Great Lakes region. 

Posted on 07/28/14 at 5:46pm

Michigan isn't the only state looking to establish stricter guidelines for charter school authorizers. A policy brief by the Education Commission of the States (ECS), reports that while 42 states have charter school legislation, only  33 states have authorizing bodies that are responsible for approving and overseeing charters schools. But only 15 of those states have set standards for authorizers.

Posted on 07/28/14 at 5:47pm

More families will be able to qualify for free and reduced-priced meals with the new household income guidelines established by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). The guidelines will determine eligibility for the 2014-15 school year and will be effective through June 30, 2015.

Posted on 07/21/14 at 11:40pm

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is advising teachers not to change their lesson plans, despite the fact that the MEAP, instead of Smarter Balanced assessments, is being used next spring. The Legislature made that choice when they passed a state budget that requires the MEAP. MDE previously recommended Smarter Balanced.

Posted on 07/21/14 at 11:51pm

The Great Lakes Center annually releases a recommended "summer reading list" for educators. The list evaluates the so-called education reform movement and whether or not those reforms really work.

Posted on 07/15/14 at 11:23am

The Sunday, July 13 edition of the Lansing State Journal covered the issue of teacher evaluations in its "A Greater Lansing Outlook" section. Included is a column by MEA President Steve Cook, "Teachers support bills for fair evaluations," highlighting MEA's involvement in writing HB 5223 and HB 5224. 

Michelle Rhee hires Melton

Rep. Tim Melton (D-Auburn Hills) is resigning as a Michigan lawmaker to lead the national lobbying efforts of StudentsFirst, the supposed education reform group set up by Michelle Rhee, the controversial former Washington, D.C. chancellor.

State employees’ retiree health care deduction unconstitutional

The 3 percent deduction—or pay cut—state  employees pay for their retiree health care is unconstitutional according to the state Court of Appeals. Affirming a lower court decision, the court ruled that the deduction bypassed the state Civil Service Commission which has jurisdiction over state employees.

New reform legislation pushes schools of choice, outsourcing teachers

The Legislature is back in session Wed., Sept. 7 and expect them to quickly take up more of Gov. Snyder’s “education reform” plan.  Sen. Phil Pavlov (R-St. Clair), chair of the Senate Education Committee, is pushing a package of bills that would require all public schools districts to participate in the schools of choice program and would allow Michigan public schools to hire teachers from private firms.

Pavlov said, “We have to expand choice to empower parents to make sure they get the very best education for their kids.”

1 percent health claims tax approved by Legislature

On the same day legislators approved SB 7, which capped public employers' health insurance contributions and shifted thousands of dollars in benefit costs to public employees, it also rammed through two bills increasing the cost of health insurance for all Michigan citizens, including those same public employees.

MDE releases school rankings, Persistently Low Achieving Schools list

On Friday, the Michigan Department of Education released two school ranking lists that continue to pit schools and districts against each other based on high-stakes standardized test scores.

Court restores first amendment rights to CMU faculty

CMU faculty’s first amendment rights were restored today by Judge Paul H. Chamberlain after the university filed an injunction to end the FA’s work stoppage on Monday.

“This is a win for the faculty and the students at CMU,” said Laura Frey, CMU FA President. “We had our day in court, and thanks to the insight and fairness of Judge Chamberlain, we prevailed.”

English Language Learners (ELL)/Migrant Education Committee

 

Start Date

6 members/staggered by 2’s

 

2010

Ann Marie Borders (2013-BD-Reg 3)

Chair

Senate Bill 7 passes Legislature; on its way to Governor

SB 7 has passed both the House and the Senate today and is on its way to the Governor for his signature. Earlier, both chambers accepted the legislative conference committee report for SB 7.

The bill, requiring local governments and school districts to spend no more than a certain amount on their employees’ health insurance, is a combination of both a hard cap and an 80/20 plan.

Under a hard cap, SB 7 would require public employers to pay no more than $5,500 (single--NOT $5,000 as previously reported), $11,000 (individual and spouse) and $15,000 (family coverage).  A public employer could elect the 80/20 split with employees for health care costs. While local units of government could get out of either cost-sharing plan, school districts must choose either the hard cap or the 80-/20 plan.

MEA President in the Detroit News: GOP flunks all efforts at reform

For some, summer means vacation and a break from work schedules.

Our "full-time" lawmakers are certainly taking advantage of the summer to get away from their work, which so far has included undermining due process protections for good teachers, stripping away the collective bargaining for public school employees, robbing the school aid fund and attacking the middle class.

URGENT! Contact your legislators now! Tell them to vote NO on SB 7!

State of Michigan Capitol Building
State of Michigan Capitol Building

On Tuesday, the legislative conference committee for Senate Bill 7 reported out a compromise version of this bill that continues the assault on public employee health care. Both the House and Senate are expected to vote on this final version of SB 7 tomorrow.

SB 7 would require public employers pay no more than $15,000 for family coverage, with lower thresholds applied to individuals and couples, OR elect to split the cost of health insurance 80/20 with their employees.

Local units of government -- other than school districts -- could opt out of either cost-sharing plan. School districts are required to choose either the hard cap or the 80/20 plan.

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