Posted on 06/29/15 at 12:26pm

This Wednesday, Brian Whiston takes over as the new State Superintendent. In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, he talks about standardized testing, school funding, charter and cyber schools, deficit schools and teacher evaluations.

Posted on 06/29/15 at 12:27pm

Michigan delegates to NEA's Representative Assembly will join more than 7,000 educators on their way to Orlando to help set education policy and talk about what's best for students. The annual meeting starts July 3 and runs through July 6.

Posted on 06/22/15 at 5:38pm

SaveOnEnergy.com is looking for the best lesson plans for teaching students about energy. By submitting your plan, you have a chance to win a $500 Teacher Grant for your classroom. Save On Energy.com will be awarding six $500 grants in the form of Visa Reward Cards to be used toward classroom materials and activities. SaveOnEnergy.com is a resource for consumers on all aspects of energy and sustainability.

Posted on 06/22/15 at 5:25pm

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley is holding meetings around the state with parents of special education students to gather input on their experiences with the state’s special education system. To reach even more parents, Calley also launched an online survey which will be available through August. 

Posted on 06/22/15 at 5:31pm

The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that teachers and educators should not be put in law enforcement roles when they carry out their duty of reporting suspected child abuse or neglect. The National Education Association (NEA) filed an amicus brief in the case, Ohio v. Clark, stating that “educators’ valuable role as mandatory reporters and caregivers should not be compromised.”

Posted on 06/16/15 at 4:28pm

Some intermediate school district superintendents want the State Board of Education (SBE) to waive certain certification standards for career and technical education (CTE) teachers so they can have an easier time attracting them for jobs. Without the waiver, the group says some CTE programs could close.

Pontiac Education Association, school district reach tentative contract agreement

After 18 months of extremely contentious negotiations, bargaining teams for the Pontiac Education Association (PEA) and the Pontiac School District reached a tentative agreement on a new contract late Friday evening.

New CSR study says MPSERS problems fixable

The Coalition for Secure Retirement (CSR) released a study today examining the current state of the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS) and analyzing the reasons why the system is experiencing financial problems. MEA is a partner in the coalition.

Senate takes no action on SB 1040 -- keep lobbying!

Contrary to speculation, SB 1040--legislation that attacks school employee retirement benefits--saw no action on the Senate floor today.

Amended SB 1040 moves to Senate floor

Today, the Senate Appropriations Committee discharged a substitute version of SB 1040 on a 10-5 vote, but the changes do little to help out current and future school employees or retirees. Contrary to earlier reports from lawmakers and the media, many positive changes were left out of the bill.

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. 

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