Posted on 03/02/15 at 12:10pm

Today and all this month, we encourage adults to pick up a book and read with a child. Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow did just that. She recorded two videos with her reading books written by Michigan authors—Grace for Presidentand Meteor!” Let her share her love of reading with your students. Everyone will enjoy the experience! 

Posted on 03/03/15 at 10:45am

And today is also the start of a nationwide search for students 5 to 18 years of age who excel in STEAM—science, technology, engineering, arts and math. In recognition of the 25th anniversary of the book, Dr. Seuss Enterprises and NEA will offer a $10,000 STEAM scholarship through its “Kid, You’ll Move Mountains” promotion. Go to www.nea.org/grants to learn more.

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 03/02/15 at 2:41pm

Thanks to the efforts of NEA and its members like you, the full House is waiting to vote on a version of H.R. 5, the Republican’s rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which restores key elements we’ve been fighting for and makes a bad bill better.

Posted on 03/02/15 at 2:42pm

This is National Breakfast Week (March 2-6) and to raise awareness of the issue of child hunger, the NEA Health Information Network (NEA HIN) has released three new videos and created resources you can use in your classroom and in your school district. 

Posted on 03/02/15 at 2:40pm

Eighteen community colleges will be benefitting from a $50 million grant that will allow them to buy state-of-the-art equipment and provide training in their skilled trades courses. The grant is part of Gov. Snyder’s Community College Skilled Trades Equipment Program that will develop a talent base for skilled manufacturing jobs in the state.

New CSR study says MPSERS problems fixable

The Coalition for Secure Retirement (CSR) released a study today examining the current state of the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS) and analyzing the reasons why the system is experiencing financial problems. MEA is a partner in the coalition.

Senate takes no action on SB 1040 -- keep lobbying!

Contrary to speculation, SB 1040--legislation that attacks school employee retirement benefits--saw no action on the Senate floor today.

Amended SB 1040 moves to Senate floor

Today, the Senate Appropriations Committee discharged a substitute version of SB 1040 on a 10-5 vote, but the changes do little to help out current and future school employees or retirees. Contrary to earlier reports from lawmakers and the media, many positive changes were left out of the bill.

Senate committee considers ending full-time release practice

HB 4059 hasn’t seen much action since it was first introduced by Rep. Knollenberg (R-Troy) in January 2011 and passed by the House in April, but the bill to prohibit public employers from paying for full-time release union officials will again see the light of day at tomorrow’s Senate Reforms, Restructuring and Reinventing Committee meeting.

HB 4059 Talking Points

  • HB 4059 is another attack on unions. There are only 12 large school districts that allow for a full-time release president to take care of union business. And in most cases, the union reimburses the district for any costs.
  • This is a local control issue. If the school district and the union determine that it’s helpful for the district to pay union officials to conduct union business, the issue can be negotiated at the bargaining table.
  • Many times, union business is school business. When problems arise, they can be resolved quickly during the day.

Schools still losers in PPT elimination

A major sticking point in SB 1072—eliminating the Personal Property Tax (PPT)—has been no plan for replacing the lost revenue for local governments and school districts. Last week the Senate approved Republican amendments that would remedy the situation—at least in part. 

Kindergarten start date pushed back

Under SB 315-316 unanimously passed by the Senate this week, some 4-year olds will have to wait to start kindergarten, unless their parents file a request with a school district.

Preliminary financial review could lead to EM in Pontiac

Troubles keep mounting for the financially-strapped Pontiac School District.

Last month, more than 40 teachers were laid off—some with only 48-hours notice.  That brings the total layoffs to 95 since January.

Even more changes to SB 1040 expected

The latest version of SB 1040—legislation that attacks school employee retirement benefits—will be taken up tomorrow by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Despite the fact that there is no specific language yet for the bill, MEA continues to monitor the bill’s progress and is providing an updated analysis and talking points reflecting the change so far. 

Changes to SB 1040 address some concerns

Late Friday, Gov. Snyder, Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, and House Speaker Jase Bolger announced some significant changes to SB 1040—the bill to drastically change school employee retirement benefits.

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