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. 

House considers major tenure overhaul

A four-bill package to dismantle teacher tenure would also eliminate significant collective bargaining rights for public employees.

MEA Action Day

RSVP for MEA Action Day

Please plan to travel to Lansing Saturday for MEA Action Day -- a da

House to take up privatization bill TODAY

Call your state rep NOW!

The state House TODAY will take up House Bill 4306 to force school districts to solicit bids to outsource certain support services.

Contact your state representative NOW and ask him/her to vote NO on House bill 4306 – the House is in session beginning at 1:30 p.m. and the vote could be taken any time after that. The bill would require competitive bidding of food, custodial, and transportation services in all public school districts beginning July 1, 2012.

Local school districts should decide what’s best for their students and community.

There are problems with mandatory bidding, according to the nonpartisan House Fiscal Agency and the Michigan Public School Employees’ Retirement System. They include:

  • Forced bidding could create additional administrative costs for a district.
  • Privatization increases the amount ALL school districts must pay into the Michigan Public School Employees’ Retirement Systems.
  • Schools that want to explore outsourcing can already do so. It’s unnecessary to force schools that aren’t interested in firing employees and hiring private contractors to do the work instead.

What’s more, the House Fiscal Agency reports that the bill would have no fiscal impact on the state. It will not fix Michigan’s budget crisis or create jobs .

MEA lobbyists are meeting with lawmakers and working hard to educate them about this bill – your legislative contacts will help! Call now!
 

House committee to take up new tenure bills

The House Education Committee today announced it will meet this week to take up four bills dealing with teacher tenure, teacher placement, and additional prohibited subjects of bargaining.

GOP-led House OKs deep budget cuts for education

The state House today approved deep cuts for public education, slashing nearly $1 billion from K-12 schools statewide and 15 percent from community college and university budgets.

The House voted 57-53 for House Bill 4325 (see how your representative voted). Under the plan, K-12 districts will receive hundreds less in state aid per pupil for 2011-12 to pay for huge tax breaks for business.

While this vote is very disappointing, the budget battle isn't over. The House and Senate now must reconcile competing funding plans. We continue to work around the clock to try to stop the GOP-controlled Legislature from cutting vital education funding that helps students, but we need your help!

Help stop drastic education funding cuts!

Call your state representative NOW!

The state House on Thursday could move on House Bill 4325, legislation to cut nearly $1 billion from K-12 schools statewide. Also funded in this legislation are community colleges and public universities, which would receive a 15 percent funding cut.

If these cuts go through, many districts will eliminate programs that help students, shutter schools, and lay off thousands of Michigan workers. Many districts will be forced toward financial ruin and be subject to takeover by a state czar wielding tremendous powers, including the ability to throw out contracts.

Vote Today!

 

Today is Election Day in Michigan. Voters will choose school board members and decide school bond proposals, millages, and more. The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

 Voting is a simple action that allows you to influence who will decide how budget cuts will affect your students, your school, and your community. Exercise your right to vote – and encourage your family and friends to vote, too.

 

MEA members elect new officers

MEA members attending the association’s Spring Representative Assembly elected a new president, vice president, and secretary-treasurer. Steven B. Cook, a paraprofessional from Lansing, will serve as the next president of the state’s largest school employee union.

Governor proposes sweeping changes for public education; ignores budget crisis

In a much-anticipated special address on education, Gov. Rick Snyder today called for sweeping changes to improve public schools – including merit pay, tenure changes, more charter schools and more online learning – yet failed to provide any direction about how schools will be able to do more without adequate funding.

Current budget proposals for K-12 schools, community colleges, and universities call for hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts from the state – cuts that will directly impact student achievement, which Snyder says must improve or schools and educators will face severe penalties.

MEA President Iris K. Salters said Snyder’s long list of ideas along with major budget cuts “simply doesn’t make sense.” In a press release, Salters described Snyder’s proposal to base school funding on student performance as “counterproductive.”

Related:

Latest news on education funding

What you need to know about tenure proposals

House panel OKs tougher teacher strike penalties

The House Education Committee today passed House Bill 4466, legislation to penalize labor unions that represent striking teachers.

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