Posted on 12/16/14 at 12:49pm

The Michigan Department of Education's (MDE) special education rule changes did not make it through a Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) and will have to be reintroduced next year. MDE wanted the rule changes to clarify language and help carry out federal law.

Posted on 12/16/14 at 12:52pm

How charter management companies spend more than $1 billion dollars in state taxpayer dollars is again the focus of a news article in the Detroit Free Press. "Public money for schools buys private property" uncovers the arrangement National Heritage Academies (NHA) has with its schools. NHA, not the school, owns the school buildings and the contents, even though that's all been purchased with taxpayer money.

Posted on 12/01/14 at 11:59am

The University of Michigan's College of Education received a $1.1 million grant to improve how teachers are trained. U-M will use the money to work with other states to change what's required of new teachers and how they receive mentoring once they're in the classroom. Hopefully, Michigan will be one of those states. 

Posted on 12/04/14 at 12:21pm

In a letter to members of the House of Representatives today, MEA President Steve Cook and AFT-Michigan President David Hecker are urging members of the House of Representatives to oppose HB 5111 if it continues to require retention of third grade students who are not reading at grade level. Both MEA and AFT are instead recommending early intervention with a reading improvement plan that is adequately funded on a long-term basis.

 

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 12/08/14 at 2:51pm

Don’t be taken in by a message to “coaches, teachers, and other interested parties” from a “Scholarship Selection Committee” offering scholarships to “Michigan High School Seniors.” MEA is not involved with nor endorses this program.

Federal suit filed against unconstitutional ban on payroll deduction of dues

Four unions representing Michigan school employees filed suit today in Michigan’s Eastern District federal court challenging the constitutionality of Public Act 53 of 2012, the recently enacted ban on payroll deduction of dues for public school employees only.

Tiger supporters show their commitment to the Heights

The orange and black balloons and signs said it all—“I’m committed to the Heights.”

And more than a thousand students, parents, school employees and community members came out in full force to pledge their commitment to Muskegon Heights schools at Tiger Pride Day on March 31. The tiger is the school mascot—a fitting symbol for the fighting spirit evident that day.

Is getting rid of the MEAP a mistake?

This week, the Senate K-12 Appropriations Subcommittee finally listened to education experts who have repeatedly said that the MEAP is not an accurate measure of student growth and pulled funding for it in favor of a new computer-adaptive test that would more accurately measure student growth. The new test is expected to cost $18 million as opposed to the $27 million for the MEAP. However, many education experts aren’t so sure this is a wise move.

House Democrats sue to restore voters’ voice

House Democrats have sued House Republicans to force them to recognize their requests for a roll call vote on the immediate effect of bills. House Minority Leader Richard Hammel (D-Mt. Morris Twp.), House Minority Floor Leader Kate Segal (D-Battle Creek), and Reps. Stanley (D-Flint), Meadows (D-East Lansing), Lindberg (D-Marquette) and Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) are plaintiffs in the suit.

School funding front and center in an election year

Spring has sprung.  Election season is underway. And, as usual, politicians are trying to shore up their record by allocating more money for public education.  However, after last year’s massive school budget cuts, voters won’t be tricked this year by politicians who are a day late and a dollar short.

Latest attack on retirement unveiled in Senate Bill 1040

The latest legislative assault on retirement was launched on Thursday in the form of Senate Bill 1040. The bill makes sweeping changes to limit the pension benefits received by employees while increasing the out-of-pocket costs for both active and retired members.

MEA members tell their stories at "WeRaisetheBar.org"

David Paul Rudzinzki, a sixth grade teacher at Utica Community Schools, says it's great when he sees "those light bulbs going off," and his students are finally understanding a new concept.

Governor signs dues deduction ban

Late last week before leaving for Europe, Gov. Snyder signed HB 4929, making it illegal for school districts to bargain with their employees' contract language allowing for payroll deduction of dues.

Walled Lake paraprofessional wins ESP Brunner Award

Denise Miller

Denise Miller, a paraprofessional and local union leader from Walled Lake, was named the 2012 recipient of the Leon A. Brunner Award. The award is given annually at MEA's Statewide Educational Support Professional Conference in recognition an ESP leader's significant contributions and commitment to ESP issues and concerns. 

During last year's recall petition drives, Miller worked tirelessly to collect signatures to hold lawmakers accountable for their decisions in Lansing. She gained notoriety after she filed suit against the Oakland County Parks for restricting her ability to circulate petitions at a local park, where the county had literally marked off a 12-by-12 foot square in which she was told she had to stand. In a huge victory for both the recall supporters and believers in our personal freedom to engage in political activity, Miller won the court case.

Miller is now looking forward to working hard in 2012 on the Protect Our Jobs campaign to protect collective bargaining rights in our state constitution.

Snyder wants elimination of some workplace safety rules to help businesses

If you haven't seen enough bills to provide reasons to get involved in the Protect Our Jobs campaign to preserve the right to collectively bargain over wages, benefits and working conditions, here is another.

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