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. 

Why should I join SMEA?

Improves Teacher Education 

Who is eligible to join SMEA?

Students at any of Michigan's postsecondary/higher education institutions who are not employed full-time in a regular teaching position by a pre-K-12 education agency or institution are eligible to join SMEA.

SMEA Membership Application

SMEA Home

What is SMEA?

The Student Michigan Education Association (SMEA) is a preprofessional organization for people preparing for the teaching profession in any of the higher education institutions in Michigan and who are not regularly employed as educators by an educational institution or agency.

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.

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