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Eaton Rapids football coach goes outside the lines to help kids

Eaton Rapids High School football coach Mike Smith understands that what happens on the playing field is only a very small part of a coach’s job — the true measure of a quality coach is how much he or she cares about student athletes after the final whistle blows.

The many hats of Perry football coach Rob Porritt

Rob Porritt

MEA member Rob Porritt is a man of many hats and even more talents.

Until recently, Porritt simultaneously served as boys’ basketball coach at Haslett High School in Haslett Public Schools and as head football coach at Perry High School in Perry Public Schools.

That’s not all — Porritt also teaches English at Haslett High.

“Not only is Rob Porritt making a difference in one school, he’s doing it twice,” said Jack Ebling, host of WVFN-AM’s “The Drive with Jack Ebling,” who awarded Porritt with a “Building Leaders” award, which recognizes Mid-Michigan school employees who have gone above and beyond to help student athletes and is co-sponsored by MEA and Home Management Company.

New report: Slashing education funds for corporate tax breaks hurts states, citizens in long run

A new report shows that many states — including Michigan — are implementing short-sighted programs that divert scarce resources to economic programs that may or may not work, at the expense of critical investments in education that benefit the states’ residents in the long term.

School supply and extracurricular costs dramatically outpace inflation

The amount that school employees and parents spend out-of-pocket for school supplies and extracurricular activities has increased much faster than the inflation rate over the past year, according to Huntington Bank’s eighth annual Backpack Index, released Tuesday.

Cook in Detroit News: Blocking Common Core blocks progress

In a column published this week in the Detroit News, MEA President Steve Cook said that some GOP legislators are obstructing progress by blocking the implementation of the Common Core State Standards.

Battle Creek lays off 20 teachers, solicits bids to privatize busing, gives superintendent pay raise

The Battle Creek Board of Education voted last Monday to lay off 20 teachers and solicit bids to privatize its transportation services — and then a week later gave the school district’s superintendent a 3-percent raise.

MEA members successfully push for increased investment in early childhood education

Thanks to the hard-fought efforts of MEA members, the state Legislature on Wednesday voted to increase the state’s investment in early childhood education funding.

Snyder and Duncan shadowed by Progress Michigan’s ‘Pepe Le Voucher’

Progress Michigan’s “Pepé Le Voucher” stands with MEA member Rochelle Noel, a school counselor in Livonia Public Schools, at an event Monday in Ypsilanti to protest Gov. Rick Snyder’ secret “skunk works” voucher group.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited Michigan on Monday to participate in several media events with Gov. Rick Snyder to promote the governor’s Education Achievement Authority experiment.

MEA President: ‘Michigan kids deserve a world-class education – not a dime store diploma’

The following can be attributed to MEA President Steve Cook in response to the Detroit News’ story, “Education reform group forges voucher-like plan for Michigan”:

NCLB waiver provides Michigan districts with more flexibility

The federal government has relaxed some of Michigan's requirements under the so-called "No Child Left Behind Act," allowing more flexibility in how local school districts spend federal education dollars, the Michigan Department of Education announced this week.

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