Posted on 04/21/14 at 4:43pm

This month, university students looking to teach in Michigan took a new, more rigorous teacher certification test. It was first administered last October and pass rates fell from 82 percent to 26 percent. All education majors have to take the test to become student teachers.

Posted on 04/07/14 at 11:30am

We’re moving into the last months of the legislative session before policymakers take a summer break.

Posted on 04/21/14 at 4:46pm

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 4-11 when teachers and all school employees are recognized for their contributions to public education. Last week, we asked for your suggestions on how best students, parents, the community and the media can show their appreciation for all that you do.

Posted on 04/14/14 at 1:39pm

The Michigan School Safety and Bullying Prevention Summit will be held at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing on Monday, April 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Posted on 04/14/14 at 1:37pm

If the Legislature provides the funding, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) will implement a new plan to help school districts with budget deficits. The plan is part of Gov. Snyder’s budget recommendations. Currently, there are 46 school districts with budget deficits.

Posted on 04/14/14 at 1:40pm

If you’re looking to get involved in a community event that promotes safety and a healthy habit, consider signing up for the National Bike to School Day on Wednesday, May 7. In Michigan, the event is sponsored by the Michigan Fitness Foundation to make communities more walkable and “bikeable.”

Bill to prohibit payroll dues deduction on a fast track

HB 4929, which prohibits the deduction of union dues by public school employers, is on a fast track since it was moved from the House Oversight, Ethics and Reform Committee yesterday. It has been referred to second reading on the House Floor and may move to third reading today with final passage on Thursday.

 Sen. Arlan Meekhof (R-West Olive) introduced a similar bill--SB 636--on Sept. 8.

Introduced by Rep. John Haveman (R-Holland), HB 4929 was approved on a 4-2 party-line vote. In support of his own bill, Haveman testified that schools shouldn’t be in the business of collecting dues. The bill specifically says the dues deduction is a “prohibited contribution to the administration of a labor organization.” The Michigan Chamber of Commerce endorsed the bill but did not testify.

The anti-union attacks continue -- bills attacking dues deduction, retirement introduced

In addition to Senate Bills 618-624, which would increase the number of charter schools, privatize teachers and allow for back-door school vouchers, both chambers have introduced legislation that would prohibit school districts from automatically deducting union dues from members' paychecks.

MEA response to Richardville political attack on public education, middle class

 The following statement in response to Sen. Randy Richardville’s appearance on “Off the Record” can be attributed to MEA President Steven Cook.

Richardville singles out public school employees for Right to Work FOR LESS bill

In what is probably one of the most blatant examples of anti-union, anti- school employee legislation yet, Sen. Majority Leader Randy Richardville (R-Monroe) says he supports right-to-work legislation that only affects public school employees and will have legislation ready soon.

In support of what looks like political payback for MEA’s recall efforts, Richardville said on PBS’s Off the Record, “The teachers union—specifically the Michigan Education Association—have lost their way and public school employees should no longer be forced to join them.”

Richardville singled out teachers unions because he claimed they haven’t recognized the state’s tough economic times like other unions have.

MEA President Steve Cook responded in a press statement this morning, “Republican leaders have slashed school funding, increased taxes, stripped collective bargaining rights from school employees, forced them to pay more out-of-pocket for retirement and health insurance. They’ve completely undermined and demoralized the educators of this state.”

President’s jobs plan to repair schools and keep educators in classrooms

 In last night's speech to a Joint Session of Congress, President Obama unveiled his American Jobs Act and further underscored his belief that investing in the American middle class is the surest path to economic recovery.  Read press release.

More of the same -- Senate introduces anti-public education bills

With the Legislature back in session, they are wasting no time pushing their so-called “education reform” agenda.

Today, Senate Republicans introduced a package of seven bills focusing on the expansion of charter schools, school choice, dual enrollment, and cyber schools; privatization of instructional staff; and siphoning of school aid funds to nonpublic school students.

Michelle Rhee hires Melton

Rep. Tim Melton (D-Auburn Hills) is resigning as a Michigan lawmaker to lead the national lobbying efforts of StudentsFirst, the supposed education reform group set up by Michelle Rhee, the controversial former Washington, D.C. chancellor.

State employees’ retiree health care deduction unconstitutional

The 3 percent deduction—or pay cut—state  employees pay for their retiree health care is unconstitutional according to the state Court of Appeals. Affirming a lower court decision, the court ruled that the deduction bypassed the state Civil Service Commission which has jurisdiction over state employees.

New reform legislation pushes schools of choice, outsourcing teachers

The Legislature is back in session Wed., Sept. 7 and expect them to quickly take up more of Gov. Snyder’s “education reform” plan.  Sen. Phil Pavlov (R-St. Clair), chair of the Senate Education Committee, is pushing a package of bills that would require all public schools districts to participate in the schools of choice program and would allow Michigan public schools to hire teachers from private firms.

Pavlov said, “We have to expand choice to empower parents to make sure they get the very best education for their kids.”

1 percent health claims tax approved by Legislature

On the same day legislators approved SB 7, which capped public employers' health insurance contributions and shifted thousands of dollars in benefit costs to public employees, it also rammed through two bills increasing the cost of health insurance for all Michigan citizens, including those same public employees.

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