Posted on 12/23/14 at 2:54pm

A cyberbullying bill that would require school districts and academies to change their existing anti-bullying policies to include electronic or online bullying passed during the lame duck session. SB 74 describes cyberbullying as "any electronic communication that is intended or that a reasonable person would know is likely to harm one or more pupils either directly or indirectly."

Posted on 12/23/14 at 2:57pm

The number of public schools and charters that are facing a financial deficit has risen to 55-up from 48 schools last year. On that list are schools that started the 2013-14 school year solvent, but after facing money problems during the year, are now part of the new list of deficit schools. The Education Achievement Authority is one of those schools newly added.

Posted on 12/23/14 at 2:58pm

The state Board of Education (BOE) has adopted its"Recommendations for Change to Michigan School Organization and Finance" calling for the state to make education funding a budget priority. Since January 2014, the BOE has been analyzing the issue of school funding and holding meetings to make its final recommendations.
 

Posted on 12/23/14 at 2:59pm

The 11 charter school authorizers named at-risk by State Superintendent Mike Flanagan have avoided suspension and still remain at-risk. In August, Flanagan required those authorizers to provide sufficient transparency and oversight of their operations or face suspension in October.
 

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 12/18/14 at 12:32pm

MEA member Ann Marie Borders has been named United Musical Society (UMS) DTE Energy Foundation Educator of the Year. Borders is a vocal music teacher at Carpenter Elementary School in Ann Arbor. Karen McDonald, a Carpenter art teacher, shares the award with Borders since the UMS selection committee declared a tie.

Lansing politicians attack freedom of speech

With a 4-2 vote, the House Oversight, Reform and Ethics Committee adopted HB 4052 today and moved one step closer to restricting our rights to freedom of speech and association. The bill now goes to the full House.

Bolger vs. Snyder vs. Hammel

During a live call-in program on Michigan Public Radio, it was apparent there were marked differences of opinion between House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Marshall), Minority Leader Richard Hammel (D-Mount Morris Township) and Gov. Snyder.

New report shows "Right to Work" is wrong for Michigan

In a new report released by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI),  ‘Right to work’: The wrong answer for Michigan’s economy, Gordon Lafer, a labor economist with the University of Oregon, says such legislation does nothing to encourage job growth and ends up lowering wages by an average of $1,500 per year. This is the case for union and non-union workers in right-to-work-states.

MEA President Cook on "Off the Record"

MEA President Steven Cook

MEA President Steven Cook

MEA President Steve Cook appeared on Michigan Public Television’s “Off the Record” last week and called out Republicans for their harmful decisions regarding public education in Michigan and set the record straight on MEA’s involvement in recall elections. 

“It’s actions by Republicans that are driving the recalls; it’s not the MEA. The MEA is not their only problem. Their problem is constituents upset about a business tax cut that gutted public education by $1 billion,” said President Cook.

Last week Sen. Randy Richardville, Senate Majority Leader (R-Monroe), announced his push for “Right to Work FOR LESS” legislation for teachers. He singled out the MEA for failing to represent its membership and failing to make financial sacrifices in these tough economic times. 

Political insiders say this is all retribution for the recall of Scott who voted to cut education funding, played a key role in changing tenure policies and supported slashing collective bargaining rights.

House passes bills to block domestic partner medical benefits

On a 64-44 vote, the House also passed HB 4770 and 4771 today that would prohibit public employers from providing domestic partner medical benefits and makes it a prohibited subject of bargaining. The bill now moves to the Senate.

House passes HB 4929

On a close 55-53 vote today, the House passed HB 4929 which prohibits the deduction of union dues by public school employers.  The bill was fast-tracked through the House after being introduced Tuesday. The bill now goes to the Senate where SB 636, a comparable bill introduced by Sen. Meekhof (R-West Olive) on Sept. 8 sits.

Rep. Haveman (R-Holland), sponsor of the bill, said the legislation isn’t an attack on teachers. “It allows them to have more money in their pockets and that’s a good thing.”

Background

In the name of “education reform,” the Senate introduced a package of seven bills patterned after Gov. Snyder’s education message this spring. Senate Bills 618-624  effectively dismantle public education by increasing charter schools, privatizing teachers, mandating schools of choice, expanding cyber schools, using tax dollars to support private school students and allowing parents to convert their neighborhood school to a charter school.

Preliminary Analysis - SB 618 through SB 624

Read the preliminary analysis for each of the Senate Bills 618-624.

Talking Points

 

Sample Letters to the Editor

Here are some sample letters that you can use to communicate to the editor regarding Senate bills 618-624.

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