Posted on 04/13/15 at 4:28pm

The Supreme Court is still holding off deciding whether school employees have to pay an extra 3 percent into a fund for retiree health insurance with no guarantee that the benefits will be available when they retire. 

Posted on 04/13/15 at 4:30pm

Saturday, April 11, marked the 50th anniversary of the signing into law of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) by then President Lyndon B. Johnson as a part of his “War on Poverty” campaign. The law provided federal funds to support public education, especially in low income areas.

Posted on 04/13/15 at 4:32pm

​Education professionals are the top licensed foster care providers in the state, with approximately 13,000 Michigan children in foster care at any given time.

Posted on 04/10/15 at 11:06am

After three months, the Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren issued its report for Gov. Snyder. The group was charged with coming up with ideas and recommendations to reform education in Detroit.

Posted on 04/10/15 at 11:09am

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has introduced a new program aimed at encouraging students in grades four to eight to get more engaged in their classrooms. The Student Inspiration Project developed from the results of a September 2014 MDE survey of students in grades four through eight which showed that while 94 percent of students said motivation is essential to a great education, only 24 percent said they felt motivated to learn.

Posted on 04/10/15 at 11:12am

Make history come alive for your high school students by giving them the chance to collaborate on determining the best course of action for a governor during an actual historical event. "The Governor's Decision Room," presented through the Michigan Historical Center, can help you do that.

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.

5 Things to Do With This Information

 

See the video; sign the petition

If you’ve had enough of the attacks on public school employees and their unions and the middle class, the Senate Democrats want you to go www.miworkers.com to sign a petition that tells Republicans, “Enough is enough!”

Earlier this year, Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer sent out an appeal asking Michigan families to let legislators know they oppose any attempts to eliminate collective bargaining rights of our workers. Given the legislation introduced just this week, this appeal is more important than ever.

Will Richardville and Snyder clash over "right to teach?"

At a televised town hall meeting in Grand Rapids, Gov. Snyder repeated his message that Right to Work isn't on his agenda but this time in what in response to a question about Rep. Richardville's "right to teach" legislation.

Bill to prohibit payroll dues deduction on a fast track

HB 4929, which prohibits the deduction of union dues by public school employers, is on a fast track since it was moved from the House Oversight, Ethics and Reform Committee yesterday. It has been referred to second reading on the House Floor and may move to third reading today with final passage on Thursday.

 Sen. Arlan Meekhof (R-West Olive) introduced a similar bill--SB 636--on Sept. 8.

Introduced by Rep. John Haveman (R-Holland), HB 4929 was approved on a 4-2 party-line vote. In support of his own bill, Haveman testified that schools shouldn’t be in the business of collecting dues. The bill specifically says the dues deduction is a “prohibited contribution to the administration of a labor organization.” The Michigan Chamber of Commerce endorsed the bill but did not testify.

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