Posted on 04/13/15 at 4:28pm

The Supreme Court is still holding off deciding whether school employees have to pay an extra 3 percent into a fund for retiree health insurance with no guarantee that the benefits will be available when they retire. 

Posted on 04/13/15 at 4:30pm

Saturday, April 11, marked the 50th anniversary of the signing into law of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) by then President Lyndon B. Johnson as a part of his “War on Poverty” campaign. The law provided federal funds to support public education, especially in low income areas.

Posted on 04/13/15 at 4:32pm

​Education professionals are the top licensed foster care providers in the state, with approximately 13,000 Michigan children in foster care at any given time.

Posted on 04/10/15 at 11:06am

After three months, the Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren issued its report for Gov. Snyder. The group was charged with coming up with ideas and recommendations to reform education in Detroit.

Posted on 04/10/15 at 11:09am

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has introduced a new program aimed at encouraging students in grades four to eight to get more engaged in their classrooms. The Student Inspiration Project developed from the results of a September 2014 MDE survey of students in grades four through eight which showed that while 94 percent of students said motivation is essential to a great education, only 24 percent said they felt motivated to learn.

Posted on 04/10/15 at 11:12am

Make history come alive for your high school students by giving them the chance to collaborate on determining the best course of action for a governor during an actual historical event. "The Governor's Decision Room," presented through the Michigan Historical Center, can help you do that.

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.

Attend the Michigan Summit on Saturday, May 12

The Michigan Summit, an annual gathering of progressive organizations and individuals to discuss important policies critical to our state, will be held Saturday, May 12, at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing. Sessions will emphasize the theme, "Energizing, Engaging and Winning". The program begins with registration at 8 a.m. and ends with a closing session at 3 p.m.

Amid questions, cyber school bill moves to Gov. for signing

SB 619 is on its way to Gov. Snyder for his signature after the Senate concurred with the House on the expansion of cyber schools. The vote was 23-14. Just as in the House, the bill did not receive immediate effect so SB 619 won’t go into effect until April 2013.

House Education Committee hears presentation denouncing common core standards

The House Education Committee heard a presentation this week by Lindsay Burke of the Heritage Foundation regarding common core standards. The Heritage Foundation, a conservative research and educational think tank, has become a frequent policy source for some lawmakers.

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