Feature

Help for Common Core available through MEA Cadre

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) has an impact on virtually every facet of education, but there are still members needing assistance putting them into practice in their classrooms. Now, there’s professional development help available with the MEA Leading with Common Core Leadership and Advocacy Cadre (CCLAC). 

Through the efforts of MEA’s Professional Development/Human Rights Department, 26 MEA members were invited to join CCLAC to assist teachers across the state in dealing with the instructional and policy implications of CCSS. The Cadre is made up of teachers from across the state and will be providing professional development through online and face-to-face trainings.

Melanie Waltz, Field Services Consultant and organizer of the program, said, “The Cadre will have the opportunity to work with teachers across the state to advocate and support CCSS in a way that will have a positive impact on teachers and students.”

Dexter custodian receives Leon Brunner Award at ESP Conference

Richard Wines of Dexter is the 2014 recipient of the Leon A. Brunner Award for his contributions to ESP.

Richard Wines, a custodian at Wylie Elementary School in Dexter, was honored with the ESP Caucus' highest award, the 2014 Leon A. Brunner Award at this year’s MEA ESP Statewide Conference. The award is given to an educational support professional who has made significant contributions to ESP and has exhibited a high degree of commitment to ESP issues and concerns.

Wines is president of his local, Coordinating Council Chair, and a Region 3 member of the ESP Caucus Executive Board.

In accepting his award, Wines described MEA and its members as a family and how “the family” is at a crossroads.

“Our family is being hurt. We need to sway our family to have a reunion and start rebuilding this union.  And we can do that by engaging each member of the family,” Wines said. 

Keep children safe while they’re online

Michigan children are inundated with advertisements from alcohol, tobacco, pornography and gambling marketers through the Internet and cell phones.

The State of Michigan offers a free registry to stop adult advertisements from reaching emails, mobile phones, text messages and instant messenger addresses. At www.ProtectMichild.com, parents, educators, schools and families can sign up for this free do-not-contact service that MEA supports.

Help spread the word. Tell your colleagues, friends and school district how they can protect children and families from unwanted adult advertising.

New website shows impact Snyder’s education cuts has on every school district

Kids not CEOs

Thanks to a new online tool unveiled yesterday, parents, educators, teachers, school staff and policymakers can now see exactly how much Gov. Rick Snyder’s school cuts have hurt students in every school district across the state. Since Snyder became governor in 2011, his education cuts have impacted classroom sizes, courses and programs, staffing, and basic school supplies.

Despite Snyder’s proposed 2014-15 budget increase of an average of $111 per pupil, the new website, www.kidsnotceos.com shows that every Michigan child will still be hurt. The shortfall ranges from $129 per pupil in many districts to a high of $770 per pupil in Wayne-Westland schools. But big corporations are still enjoying Snyder’s billions of dollars in tax breaks while classrooms suffer from a lack of vital resources.

“Every Michigan parent, teacher and citizen concerned about the future of our children should go to www.kidsnotceos.com to see the facts for themselves,” said Okemos High School math teacher Lisa Crites. “Gov. Snyder’s fuzzy math shortchanges Michigan children and robs them of the chance to learn and succeed.”

In Okemos, class sizes have almost doubled and staff positions have been lost. The result is students losing out on needed individualized attention from teachers. And since budgets are tight, the district can no longer afford to purchase supplies, so Crites has spent more than $1,400 out of her own pocket to provide resources her students need.

There's still time to register for the MEA ESP Conference

ESP-coverIf you haven't registered yet for the MEA Statewide ESP Conference on March 14-15, there's still an opportunity to take advantage of sessions like "Fighting Privatization," "Grievance Processing," and "Workplace Bullying." 

Registration is $125 and financial assistance is available.

This year's Conference, "Together Everyone Achieves More. . .TEAM MEA ESP," will be held at the Somerset Inn in Troy, MI. The winner of the 2014 Leon Brunner Award will be presented at the ESP Dinner and Award Ceremony on Friday night. Bill Raabe, NEA's Senior Director of the Center for Great Public Schools will be the keynote speaker at Saturday's lunch.

Many of the sessions have been approved for Michigan ESP Center for Professional Learning credits which can be used toward MEA ESP Certification. 

OCC faculty vote ‘no confidence’ in chancellor

“After much consideration, we, as an organization, decided to publicly express our concerns about Chancellor Meyer’s lack of leadership and absence of vision for student success,” said Mary Ann McGee, president of the OCC Faculty Association.

The faculty is particularly concerned with Meyer’s lack of vision when it comes to student success. The College is missing targets on student success measures, such as graduation and retention rates and developmental education success.

The faculty filed a lawsuit to gain access to consultant reports that recommended changes to academic programs, policies, and student support services that address student achievement and future success.

According to McGee, “Meyer’s decisions undercut collaboration and represent an unwillingness to communicate that shows a lack of respect, honesty and transparency which destroys trust.” The faculty points to data which shows the College has the lowest number of instructional staff per 100 students, yet he continues to make financial decisions which negatively impact student learning. 

Special members-only discounts for Valentine’s Day (Yes…it’s this Friday!)

As an MEA member you have access to members-only discounts that can save you big when you need it most.

Like when you (or someone you love) forgets that Valentine’s Day is coming up this Friday!

By logging into our members-only MEA Advantage Discount Search, you can order online and save up to 25% on flowers to be delivered on Valentine’s Day.  Other big savings are available on chocolates and other sweets for your sweetheart, as well as discounts for a romantic dinner for two at local restaurants. Check it out today – or share the info with someone you love (we’re sure they’ll appreciate your suggestion)!

If you haven’t logged in before, use your six-digit member number from your MEA membership card to log in.  If you don’t have your member number, you can sign on to Update Your Information in the Members Only area of www.mea.org to get a temporary membership card.  You can also get assistance and take advantage of the savings today by contacting the MEA Help Center at 866-MEA-HELP (866-632-4357) or through the live chat in the upper right corner of the website.

Final tweaks being made to new Members-Only interface for eDues

System outage extended until Wednesday, Jan. 29

While MEA’s membership system is back online and the automatic payments for January dues were taken on schedule this past Saturday, final changes to the members-only online interface are still being made to ensure our members have a good experience.  MEA technical staff are hard at work to get the new system online so you can access it to make changes and experience the upgraded eDues experience, including more payment options and customized monthly statements.

At this time, we expect the system to be online on Wednesday, Jan. 29.  We apologize for any inconvenience.  Please come back later to log in and see the changes for yourself.  In the meantime, you can download this flyer to learn more about the new eDues system or check out our Frequently Asked Questions page about the changes coming soon.

Online registration for Bargaining Conference currently unavailable

Online registration for the Bargaining, Public Affairs & Professional Issues Conference, Feb. 6-7, at the Cobo Center in Detroit, is currently unavailable. This only affects online registration. The deadline for the $290 rate is still in effect and registrations for that rate must be received by midnight on Friday, January 24. 

Credit card payments may be faxed or emailed to Rebbecca Ernst at 517-336-4024 or rernst@mea.org. Checks with registrations may be sent to MEA Accounting Department, 1350 Kendale Boulevard, PO Box 2573, East Lansing MI 48826-2573.

After January 24, all registrations will be processed onsite at the rate of $310.  Onsite registration will be held at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center on Wednesday, February 5 (7-9 p.m.) and at COBO Center on Thursday, February 6, beginning at 7:30 a.m.

If you have any questions regarding registration, please contact Rebbecca Ernst, Registration Coordinator, at 517-332-6551, ext. 6250.

Michigan awarded grant for early childhood education

Michigan will receive $51.7 million in a federal grant in the third round of the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge. Five other states—Georgia, Kentucky, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Vermont—are also benefitting from the $280 million total being awarded.  So far, 20 states have received grants.

This is the first time Michigan has been awarded any money from Race to the Top.  The grant, jointly operated by the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services, supports the education of children from birth to five years old.

In October 2013, the state submitted its grant application which set goals for the money: providing scholarships to early childhood education programs for families eligible for child care subsidies; promoting health and nutrition standards in child care facilities; and increasing participation in the state’s preschool ratings system.  It’s expected that more than 182,000 children from ages three to kindergarten from low-income families will benefit from the money.

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