Issues and legislation

Information on the current legislation and legislative news.

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Education Reform 

Legislative Updates (PDF)


 

Income, education level should be part of "education reform" debate

More schools failing to meet AYP, a huge jump in child poverty, and an increase in the jobless rate—what’s the impact on education and “education reform” in Michigan with a new legislative session and a new school year getting ready to start?

Legislators set to return--what's on their agenda?

Vacationing legislators will be back at work soon. Up until their summer break, they were busy focusing on attacking school employees and the middle class. And the picture doesn’t look much brighter when they return.

Expected on their agenda is:

  • SB 7 which requires public employees to pay a portion of their health insurance. The legislation was moved to a joint House/Senate conference committee where debate over an 80/20 contribution versus a hard cap has been taking place. The bill is on a fast track with a goal of getting it through the Legislature Aug. 24.
  • Right-to-Work would allow workers who don’t want to pay union dues the right to freeload—they would get the same benefits as union members without paying any union dues. Back in February, Republicans introduced HB 4054, SB 116 and SB 120 establishing “Right to Work” zones. A new group, Michigan Freedom to Work, has emerged in support of a statewide law. Gov. Snyder claims the issue is not on his agenda but he would sign it. With anti-union sentiment running so strong, he may get that chance.

Snyder signs redistricting bills

About an hour before they would have taken effect without his signature, Gov. Snyder signed redistricting bills this week. The bills are now Public Acts 128 and 129.

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

Teacher tenure reform signed into law

Press release from the State of Michigan Executive Office - July 19, 2011

Performance to replace use of seniority in staffing decisions

House workgroup hears business input on public education

“Businesses in Michigan…How Do They Want to See Us Educate Our Children” was the agenda description for Wednesday’s meeting of the House Education Reform Workgroup. The committee heard presentations by a number of business owners, human resource personnel and the Grand Rapids Regional Chamber of Commerce. 

Bill capping health insurance goes to conference committee

State of Michigan Capitol Building
State of Michigan Capitol Building

Senate, House set to work on differences in SB 7

In a surprising move, the Senate took up the House version of Senate Bill 7 on Wednesday (their only session day this week), unanimously rejecting the House’s changes to the bill that would cap employer contributions to health insurance.

More ‘ed reform’ on House panel radar

Michigan Capitol Building
Michigan Capitol Building

School funding was on today’s agenda of a state House education reform work group, a special, bipartisan panel that plans to meet weekly through the summer to consider substantial changes for public education.

Important victory for affirmative action

Michigan universities will be able to consider race and gender, along with numerous other factors, in the admission process, following a ruling last week from the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

State Supreme Court rejects payroll deduction of PAC

As if we need another reminder that elections have consequences, the Michigan Supreme Court on Thursday reversed its earlier decision on payroll deduction of PAC contributions by public employees, deciding that doing so breaks state campaign finance law.

 

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