Posted on 02/23/15 at 3:31pm

More Michigan children are living in poverty according to the annualKids Count report by the Michigan League for Public Policy and  funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The number of children in poverty increased by 35 percent with one in four children living in poverty and one in three qualifying for food assistance because their families’ incomes are $23,600 or less a year.

Posted on 02/23/15 at 3:32pm

The U.S. House is expected to pass a rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) this Friday. Unfortunately, this rewrite does nothing to help students learn or teachers teach. The focus has shifted to more testing, labeling of schools and then punishing them for their “failure,” while doing nothing to close achievement gaps.

Posted on 02/25/15 at 9:21am

If you believe our schools and safer roads are important to the quality of life in Michigan, circle May 5 on your calendar. On that day, voters will be asked to vote on a proposal that would raise over $1 billion to repair Michigan’s dangerous roads and bridges, while raising $300 million in new revenue for Michigan public schools, funded by a 1-cent increase in the state sales tax.

Posted on 02/18/15 at 3:01pm

MEA members Marcia Hudson and Linda Maniago of Avondale were awarded a $5,000 Learning and Leadership Grant from NEA for their Teacher Lab project. In this latest round, NEA awarded 16 Learning and Leadership Grants. 

Posted on 02/18/15 at 3:02pm

Michigan State University scholars have created a financial health-indicator system for school districts that could be facing financial stress. The proactive system uses research and information from other states to analyze the fiscal health of school districts and is outlined in a white paper, “Knowledgeable Navigation to Avoid the Iceberg.”

Posted on 02/18/15 at 3:06pm

When you find yourself in a hole, the first step to getting out is to stop digging.

The hole I am referring to is the $1 billion taxpayers spend each year on Michigan’s experiment with charter schools. A recent report by a pro charter school group ranks Michigan’s charter school accountability law last among similar states. 

President Steven Cook in the Detroit News: Gov. Snyder’s karma: Elections have consequences

Four years ago, Rick Snyder was elected governor and the Republicans won complete control of the Legislature. One-party control has created clear-cut winners and losers. The winners, large corporations and CEOs, have been given huge tax cuts, while the consequences for the losers — senior citizens, middle-class families, public school students and low income workers — have been devastating.

View candidate recommendations, updates about Election 2014

Log in to MEA’s Members Only Political Action page to get the latest political updates and information on MEA Recommended Candidates for the Nov. 4 election.

Know what the law says about teacher evaluations for the 2014-15 school year

PA 257 (SB 817) amended the School Code to delay the implementation of teacher and school administrator performance evaluation requirements until the 2015-16 school year.

 

Newsletter focuses on the new reality of Michigan's public schools

The Michigan Public Schools Partnership (MPSP) has launched InspirED, a newsletter featuring the innovative and inspiring stories happening every day for Michigan's 1.5 million public school students. 

Will Michigan have an evaluation system ready in time for the DOE?

Michigan is one of 16 states that will probably be looking for flexibility from No Child Left Behind (NCLB) standards that call for using student test scores in teacher evaluations. The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) is offering to give states that already have an NCLB waiver even longer to create new assessments. Currently, the state still doesn't have an assessment that measures student growth.

Number of homeless students hits record high

According to a report released last month by the National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE), nearly 1.26 million homeless students in primary and secondary grades across the country were enrolled in the 2012-13 school year. 

Snyder calls members’ front-line stories of school cuts ‘hogwash’

Increased class sizes, fewer staff, dwindling supply budgets, program cuts—every day, you, your students and their parents feel the effects of Gov. Snyder’s $1 billion cut to education in 2011 so corporate special interests could enjoy a $1.8 billion tax cut.

Four out of five of our members report having witnessed the effects of those cuts over the past four years. 

Want the truth about funding cuts? Ask educators!

Poll: 4 out of 5 educators have witnessed
school funding cuts in past four years
                                                                         

EAST LANSING, Mich., Oct. 15, 2014 — Roughly four out of five Michigan educators have experienced funding cuts at their school in the past four years, according to a member poll released today by the Michigan Education Association.

“If you want to know the truth about what’s really happening with education funding in our state, the people to ask are Michigan’s educators,” said MEA President Steven Cook.  “Cuts to K-12 and higher education aren’t just campaign rhetoric – they are reality experienced every day by MEA members across the state.”

In response to the question, “Thinking about the last four years, have you witnessed funding cuts to your local school district and school?", 78 percent responded that they had witnessed cuts, with 11 percent saying they had not and another 11 percent saying they were unsure. 

Dues and Lobbying

Looking back, I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into last school year, but I was asked to come to Lansing and lobby against a bill that would expand cyber schools in Michigan. Honesty, I didn’t really know what lobbying looked like. I mean I could tell you what a lobbyist is – but really how it worked—I had no idea.  What I did know is that MEA had lobbyists on staff who were full time and part of my dues dollars went to pay for them. 

MEA's new mobile app for iPhones and Android devices is now available!

MEA members can now access MEA information and news via a new mobile app for iPhones and Android devices. You can link to the app or go into the iPhone "App Store" or Android's "Google Play" and search for "Michigan Education Association."

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