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. 

Update

Pontiac may lose state aid for failing to reduce debt

Even after two rounds of staff layoffs—the most recent on April 13—the Pontiac school district still hasn’t reduced enough of its $24 million deficit to receive its April 20 state aid payment.

The move by the Michigan Department of Education, who is overseeing the progress of the district’s deficit elimination plan, has questions about the district’s progress.  Not only does the district stand to lose $1.25 million in state aid this Friday, future aid payments will also be withheld.

Forty teachers were laid off last Friday with only two days notice. Substitutes were hired to cover those classes.

Walter Burt, Pontiac’s interim superintendent, is looking to staff to bear the brunt of the deficit elimination plan since they are the most costly. However, mismanagement of funds by the administration is the reason the district is so deeply in debt.

Senators get an earful on SB 1040

The Senate Appropriations Retirement Subcommittee heard six hours of testimony yesterday on SB 1040 from a variety of people—current school employees, retired teachers,  community college employees, a student teacher, and a concerned parent. 

Challenges to PA 4 repeal based on technicalities

Just before yesterday's 5 p.m. deadline to challenge PA 4 repeal petitions, the Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility criticized the drive on technical issues. PA 4 allows the appointment of an emergency manager to municipalities and school districts when a financial emergency exists.

Court of Appeals will make final ruling on immediate effect lawsuit

In the next phase of the continuing House battle over the immediate effect of recent legislation, the Court of Appeals issued a stay on an Ingham Circuit Court decision ordering House Republicans to stop ignoring Democrats’ demands for roll call votes on immediate effect.

Tell legislators what retirement cuts will mean for you

This Wednesday, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Retirement is holding a hearing on Senate Bill 1040. We need your help to make sure the voice of school employees and retirees are heard! SB 1040 is the most sweeping attack on school employee retirement benefits in history. It breaks promises made to both current and active retirees. At the same time, it discourages the best and the brightest from ever entering the profession.

Your voices needed at Wednesday hearing on retirement cuts

This Wednesday, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Retirement is holding a hearing on Senate Bill 1040 -- and we need your help to make sure the voice of school employees and retirees are heard!

Educators Employment Liability Insurance

What if an event involving you causes property damage or bodily injury while you are at work, either on school grounds or at a school function? Personal liability insurance will not pick up that risk - you need professional liability insurance for this purpose.

NEA Complimentary Life Insurance (DUES-TAB)

Budget proposal strips funding from U of M, MSU

The latest targets of punitive budget proposals are the University of Michigan and Michigan State University who were stripped of state aid by Republican members of the House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee. Legislators aren't pleased with the schools' position on stem cell research and mandatory student health insurance and both schools stand to lose out on a share of $40 million in performance funding.

Ciloski named Wayne State's "Outstanding Educator of the Year"

Frank Ciloski, on special assignment in MEA's Professional Development/Human Rights Department, was recently named the "Outstanding Educator of the Year" by Wayne State University for his contributions to education. Ciloski was nominated by faculty in Wayne State's College of Education.

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