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. 

Has StudentsFirst contacted you?

StudentsFirst, the so-called education reform group led by Michelle Rhee, is contacting Michigan teachers with the message, "Tell your Representative to support 401(k) plans for teachers."

EM turns Muskegon Heights schools into charter district, terminates staff

Statement from MEA President Steven Cook on Muskegon Heights School Restructuring Plan

There will be school in Muskegon Heights this fall, but it will look very different.

Late last Friday afternoon, Don Weatherspoon, Muskegon Heights’s appointed Emergency Manager (EM), announced his plan to turn the school district into the first charter school district in Michigan. He is taking bids from private companies and is expected to award the job on June 6.

Earlier in the week, teachers were notified they were being laid off and could reapply for their jobs. Now, however, they’ve been told they are terminated and their jobs sold off to the lowest bidder.

“Our teachers had no advance knowledge of the Emergency Manager’s plan to convert the school district into a charter school system. We have been left out of the planning process. The staff, students and community are paying the price for the district’s financial mismanagement that they had nothing to do with creating,” said Muskegon Heights EA President Joy Robinson.

Middle class no winner in budget agreement

Gov. Snyder, Senate Majority Leader Randy, and House Speaker Jase Bolger reached a target budget agreement that looks more like an election year promotion to win votes rather than a sincere attempt to repair the damage tax breaks to corporate CEOs have done to public education and the middle class. 

 

House Appropriations passes SB 1040--with more changes

SB 1040 is on its way to the full House after the House Appropriations Committee reported it out on a party-line vote of 17-10 with some important changes. The H-2 substitute approved today revised the previous H-1 substitute that was discussed by Committee members yesterday.

House Committee moving closer to SB 1040 vote

At today’s House Appropriations Committee meeting, Committee members had their chance to ask questions of representatives from the House Fiscal Agency and Phil Stoddard, Director of Michigan’s Office of Retirement (ORS) about SB 1040 and the H-1 amendment .

House should heed testimony, take time with SB 1040

EAST LANSING, Mich., May 22, 2012 – With the House Appropriations Committee scheduled to meet again Wednesday morning regarding Senate Bill 1040, MEA is urging state representatives to proceed with caution on this complex issue that will impact the lives of tens of thousands of school employees statewide.

House Committee approves SB 1040 sub; hears testimony

Last week, the Senate passed SB 1040 with changes, and this morning the House Appropriations Committee took up the legislation in an “emergency” Monday meeting. After making their own modifications to the bill, the Committee heard testimony from retirees and current and future school employees who described the devastating financial impact SB 1040 would have.

SB 1040 Talking Points

  • The latest assault on public school employees, SB 1040, comes under the guise of fixing the problems with the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS).
  • In reality, SB 1040 makes dramatic cuts to employee pension benefits while drastically increasing the out-of-pocket costs for both active and retired members.

Whitmer blasts Republican Senators for SB 1040 vote

No Democratic amendments made it into SB 1040 as passed by the Senate yesterday--not even Minority Leader Sen. Gretchen Whitmer's proposal to prefund the retirement system.

House committee to take up SB 1040 on Monday--Come to the Capitol!

After passing through the Senate, SB 1040 is on a fast track through the House.

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