Feature

Snyder names school takeover panel for lowest performing schools

Gov. Rick Snyder appointed 11 people to the board of the new Education Achievement System (EAS) which will take over and run Michigan’s lowest performing schools—starting with 45 failing Detroit public schools.

The 11-member board includes two members appointed by Detroit Public Schools, two members appointed by Eastern Michigan University, and seven members appointed by the governor.

Snyder signs anti-collective bargaining, anti-tenure bills into law

Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law a four-bill package that limits collective bargaining and changes how teachers are evaluated and dismissed in Michigan. Read the full press release sent from the State of Michigan Executive Office on July 19, 2011.

Under the new laws, formerly known as House Bills 4625-4628, teachers will have to wait five years instead of four to earn tenure. Educators will no longer be allowed to collectively bargain teacher placement and teachers at all levels can now be fired for almost any reason. Read more.

Related: Next step is recall of out-of-touch legislators

Senate passes anti-collective bargaining, anti-tenure bills

Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to sign legislation that passed this evening to strip public employees of collective bargaining rights and dismantle teacher tenure.

With hundreds of teachers and education support professionals looking on from the gallery above the legislative chamber, the GOP-led Senate passed the four-bill package. House Bills 4625-4628 previously passed in the House.

"This is a shameful day in Michigan," said Sen. John Gleason, D-Flushing, who opposed the bills.

Tell lawmakers NO on anti-collective bargaining, anti-tenure bills

Still time to fight back!

More than 200 MEA members and staff are at the state Capitol right now, monitoring legislative developments on plans to take away your collective bargaining rights, eliminate due process for tenured teachers, and shift more health insurance costs to employees.

There’s still time for you to join the fight – go to the Capitol or contact your legislators NOW.

We’re expecting the state House and Senate to be in session late tonight – and we’ll be there to the end, advocating for you and your students.

Learn more.

MEA members fight anti-collective, anti-tenure bills

Michigan Capitol
Capitol of Michigan

We need your help, too!

More than 100 MEA members and staff are at the state Capitol right now, holding legislators accountable for pending votes on several bills that will directly affect all public education employees, including you.

We’re expecting a long session day – if you can get to the Capitol any time today, go! The next MEA briefing on pending legislation is at 1 p.m. in Room 428 of the Capitol.

Today’s schedule includes decisions on bills to curb collective bargaining for all public school employees and to dismantle teacher tenure. Lawmakers also plan to vote on bills dealing with public employee health insurance.

Today could be a historic day for MEA members. Join the fight – go to the Capitol to help protect the collective bargaining rights of public education employees!

Get to Lansing Thursday -- let's pack the Capitol!

We need as many MEA members and supporters as possible at the Capitol in Lansing Thursday to hold legislators accountable for their actions on several bills that will directly affect all public education employees, including you.

You are invited to MEA briefings Thursday for updates on pending legislation. The briefings are at 8:30 a.m. at MEA headquarters in East Lansing and at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. in Room 428 of the Capitol.

Lawmakers plan to vote on bills dealing with public employee health insurance (House Bill 4572 and Senate Bill 7 and bills to curb collective bargaining for all public school employees and dismantle teacher tenure (House Bills 4625-4628).

UPDATE: Tenure votes may come TODAY! Call senators NOW!

Reports are coming in that the state Senate may vote THIS AFTERNOON on the House package that dismantles teacher tenure and attacks the collective bargaining and due process rights of all school employees.                                                

PLEASE ACT NOW!  Call your state Senator and urge them to vote against House Bills 4625-4628.  Ask them not to strip good teachers of their rights in order to get the very few bad apples out of the classroom. Tell them we need common-sense tenure reform – which MEA supports through Senate Bill 503.

Contact your Senator right away – before it is too late.

Read more about these bills and what else is happening in Lansing today.

The storm before the calm: Another busy week in Lansing -- and then, summer break

This week is expected to be another busy one in Lansing, as lawmakers push to pass several bills before a long summer recess. The agenda includes legislation dealing with collective bargaining, teacher tenure, and public employee health care.

Lawmakers could take final action on a four-bill package to gut collective bargaining and tenure laws. House Bills 4625-4628 already passed the House and are pending in the Senate.

MEA supports efforts to overhaul teacher tenure as outlined in Senate Bill 503, sponsored by Sen. Roger Kahn, R-Saginaw. The bill is an alternative to the House bills, which go beyond teacher tenure to take away collective bargaining of many new subjects, including evaluation and merit pay.

HB 4572 with hard cap passes House

With a vote of 58-51, the House approved HB 4572 which would place a hard cap on the amount an employer could spend on employees’ health care coverage.

Starting in 2012, an employer could spend no more than $15,000 on family coverage; $11,000 for two-person coverage; and $5,500 for an individual. The state treasurer would increase those caps each year based on the change to the medical care component of the Consumer Price Index.

If a school district paid more than the amount legislated, they would face a 10 percent reduction in their state aid funding.

MEA supports Senate alternative to House tenure reform

On Wednesday, Sen. Roger Kahn (R-Saginaw) introduced SB 503, an alternative tenure reform proposal to HB 4625-4628, the four-bill package passed by the House. MEA supports this new Senate proposal.

Unlike the House package, MEA supports SB 503 because it is true tenure reform as outlined in our A+ Agenda. The bill addresses the real problem with tenure--the length and cost of the current process to dismiss ineffective tenured teachers. By contrast, the House package does nothing to address these issues, instead focusing on taking away collective bargaining rights from Michigan educators.

SB 503 now goes to the Senate Education Committee for consideration. Today, that committee reported out the House package, making it even more urgent for MEA members to contact senators and urge immediate support for SB 503 instead of HB 4625-4628.

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