Posted on 07/28/14 at 5:45pm

According to the latest KIDS COUNT Data Book published by the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation, Michigan ranks 32nd when it comes to a child's overall well-being compared to other states. Michigan dropped one slot in ranking from last year, making it the worst-performing state in the Great Lakes region. 

Posted on 07/28/14 at 5:46pm

Michigan isn't the only state looking to establish stricter guidelines for charter school authorizers. A policy brief by the Education Commission of the States (ECS), reports that while 42 states have charter school legislation, only  33 states have authorizing bodies that are responsible for approving and overseeing charters schools. But only 15 of those states have set standards for authorizers.

Posted on 07/28/14 at 5:47pm

More families will be able to qualify for free and reduced-priced meals with the new household income guidelines established by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). The guidelines will determine eligibility for the 2014-15 school year and will be effective through June 30, 2015.

Posted on 07/21/14 at 11:40pm

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is advising teachers not to change their lesson plans, despite the fact that the MEAP, instead of Smarter Balanced assessments, is being used next spring. The Legislature made that choice when they passed a state budget that requires the MEAP. MDE previously recommended Smarter Balanced.

Posted on 07/21/14 at 11:51pm

The Great Lakes Center annually releases a recommended "summer reading list" for educators. The list evaluates the so-called education reform movement and whether or not those reforms really work.

Posted on 07/15/14 at 11:23am

The Sunday, July 13 edition of the Lansing State Journal covered the issue of teacher evaluations in its "A Greater Lansing Outlook" section. Included is a column by MEA President Steve Cook, "Teachers support bills for fair evaluations," highlighting MEA's involvement in writing HB 5223 and HB 5224. 

President Cook reaffirms MEA's position on SB 618 with state reps

In a letter to state representatives, President Steve Cook is urging them to vote “no” on SB 618, the legislation that lifts the cap on charter schools.

After heated debate, committee reshuffling--House Education Committee lifts charter school cap

After a hurried reshuffling of the House Education Committee yesterday to ensure the needed votes, the Committee today reported out SB 618, which would raise the cap on charter schools.

The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.  Contact your state representative today -- urge him or her to vote NO on SB 618 that would allow for unlimited charter schools, regardless of the quality of those schools and the resources they draw away from neighborhood schools.

In advance of today's vote, House Speaker Jase Bolger announced late Tuesday that Rep. Holly Hughes (R-White River Township) was being replaced by Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons (R-Alto) on the House Education Committee. Hughes continually wavered on the charter school cap issue but Bolger claims his move protected her politically from both the MEA and Republican constituencies. What it really did was assure passage of the bill, despite opposition from within the Republican caucus.

School board elections move to November

Today, Gov. Snyder signed into law PA 232 and PA 233, which require school districts to hold elections during the general elections in November of even-numbered years beginning Jan. 1, 2012.

Warren wants ban on for-profit schools in Michigan

As part of testimony before the House Education Committee, a charter school principal read a letter signed by more than 150 charter school principals, superintendents, and teachers who wanted to set the record straight regarding SB 618, legislation to lift the cap on charter schools.

Michigan finally has anti-bullying legislation

The Senate wasted no time in passing HB 4163, anti-bullying legislation that does not contain any exemptions for religious or moral grounds.

The Senate made it clear before their break that passage of the House’s version would be taken up immediately upon their return. SB 137 caused controversy nationwide because it allowed bullying in certain instances.

Democrats offered amendments to address cyber-bullying, to provide a list of groups included under the bill and to require reporting of bullying instances to the Department of Education. All amendments failed on party-line vote.

The bill now goes to Gov. Snyder for his signature. 

Emails expose Mackinac Center’s true purpose

State representative gets lobbying email from Center’s legislative analyst, who wants “no more MEA”

Governor wants performance funding for universities

Gov. Snyder is warning that some of the state aid for Michigan’s 15 public universities could be based on graduation rates or the number of specialized degrees the university awards.

Supreme Court finds only some parts of pension tax unconstitutional

The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled that Gov. Snyder and the Republican-led Legislature could apply the state’s personal income tax to senior’s pension income. However, the court also ruled that basing exemptions on an individual’s wealth is unconstitutional since it could be considered a graduated tax, which is banned under the state constitution.

Keep an eye on education bills and keep in contact with legislators

The Legislature has only nine work days left in 2011 after it returns from break Nov. 29 to get key issues to the Governor for signature.

When it comes to education, the list of issues left to tackle include the collection of school employee union dues, so-called "education reform," and bullying.

While denying it is payback for the recall of Paul Scott, the Republican-led Legislature has SB 636 and HB 4588 on their agenda. Both bills prohibit public employers from collecting union dues via payroll deduction. MEA opposes the legislation. Contact your legislators and let them know that there must be an end to such partisan politics--especially when it doesn’t help kids or education and doesn’t create any new jobs.

State drops out – so MEA members step up for students, employees in Benton Harbor

Truckload of supplies, thousands in donations delivered to address supply shortages caused by $1 billion in education budget cuts

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