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.

Statement from MEA President Cook on passage of HB 4929 (ban on payroll deduction of dues)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 – The following statement can be attributed to MEA President Steven Cook:

“Today the Michigan Legislature continued its assault on collective bargaining rights, passing legislation to prohibit school employees from paying their union dues through payroll deduction. This is a practice that has been used for years and is outlined in local collective bargaining agreements.  It is yet another case where lawmakers are restricting the rights of school employees and interfering in local control.

ACT NOW to stop attacks on dues deduction!

Urge the Governor to veto HB 4929, HB 4246

It didn't take long for Republican legislators to respond to yesterday's launch of the Protect Our Jobs campaign.

Just one day later, both the House and Senate passed HB 4929 restricting payroll deduction of union dues for school employees and then voted on an unconstitutional maneuver to avoid an immediate effect vote on banning graduate student research assistants from unionizing.

It's been said that an ineffective administration is the best organizing tool--it also applies to legislators whose only goal is to break unions and destroy the middle class instead of creating jobs. Legislative activity today is a prime example of why all MEA members need to be involved in the Protect Our Jobs campaign.

It was a busy day of union busting in Lansing. Just this morning the Senate Reforms, Restructuring and Reinventing Committee reported out an amended version of HB 4929. By this afternoon, the full Senate had taken up the bill, throwing out one of the amendments that would have allowed school employees to continue with automatic payroll deduction if their union paid school districts for the cost of doing so. Amendments did pass that require public posting of audits of union representation costs and provide $100,000 to cover the cost of data collection (that appropriation prevents the bill from being eligible for a voter referendum).

Federal court ruling strikes down anti-worker law

Last week, a federal judge ruled that the new state law banning local governments from mandating project labor agreements (PLA) on public construction projects violates federal labor law. A PLA is an agreement between municipal officials or school boards and hired contractors which defines wages and hours and sets safety standards and skills training for workers.

Bill silences voice of graduate research assistants

The latest legislative news provides reasons for supporting the Protect Our Jobs campaign to amend the state constitution and protect our collective bargaining rights.

Republican ESEA amendments pass

The Student Success Act (H.R. 3989) and Encouraging and Innovation and Effective Teachers Act (H.R. 3990) were approved along party lines last week during a House Education and Workforce Committee meeting. NEA opposed the bills because they give too much power to the states and undermine the federal role in ensuring equity for all students. 

Democrats offered two substitutes—one mandating a school accountability system in each state; the other requiring educators to be a part of the development of teacher and principal evaluation systems. Both amendments failed along party-lines.

Tell your story at WeRaisetheBar.Org

MEA members will be featured in new radio and online advertising that will run this spring in media markets throughout the state. Teachers, students and parents can share their own stories at www.WeRaisetheBar.org .

New call system for reporting abuse starts today

Today was the first day for a new call-in system for reporting abuse and neglect of children or adults.

MDE submits ESEA waiver

Michigan is among 26 states that have applied for waivers under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The waiver would free states from some ESEA requirements, in exchange for adopting key reforms. Eleven states have already received a waiver.

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax Stars Danny DeVito and Zac Efron kick off NEA's 15th annual Read Across America Day at The New York Public Library

The National Education Association (NEA) today hosted a national reading kickoff event at The New York Public Library where actors Danny DeVito and Zac Efron read Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax” to 300 New York public school elementary students.

Statement from MEA President Cook on Feb. 28 election results

The following can be attributed to MEA President Steve Cook on tonight’s election results:

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