MEA President: Increases are a step in the right direction
Billionaire Betsy DeVos Confirmed as US Secretary of Education in Closest Cabinet Confirmation Vote in History
MEA, AFT Michigan leaders decry decision – and praise activism that opposed it
Today, the US Senate approved the appointment of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. Two Republican Senators broke ranks with their party and joined with the entire Democratic caucus to vote against DeVos’ confirmation, resulting in a 50-50 tie, requiring Vice President Mike Pence, in his role as President of the US Senate, to cast the tie-breaking vote.
EAST LANSING — The following statement can be attributed to MEA President Steven Cook regarding the release of the list of schools up for potential closure by the state’s School Reform Office:
“We all need to be dedicated to ensuring every child, regardless of their zip code, gets a great public education. But when it comes to closing schools through the School Reform Office, we need to take a hard look at how this process is working.
As legislators continue to attack school employees’ wages, benefits and pensions, the result isn’t just a shortage of full-time teachers. School districts are struggling to find substitute teachers — a trend that could reach crisis proportions if not addressed quickly.
AFT Michigan and MEA Presidents call for Gov. Snyder to protect, enhance school funding in State of the State
LANSING — With infrastructure challenges the likely focus of tonight’s State of the State address, members of the state’s two school employee unions are hoping to hear a commitment from Gov. Rick Snyder that much-needed repairs won’t come at the expense of students’ education.
EAST LANSING — The Michigan Education Association is praising the Senate’s decision to table costly legislation that would have forced all new school employees into a defined contribution, 401(k)-style retirement plan.
“Tabling this discussion rather than ramming this legislation through is the right decision,” said MEA President Steven Cook. “Education leaders and fiscal experts agree that dismantling the school employee retirement system would have been bad for school employees, parents, kids and taxpayers.”
LANSING — The selection of Betsy DeVos to serve as U.S. Secretary of Education is an affront to students and education professionals in Michigan, according to the leaders of Michigan’s school employee unions, the American Federation of Teachers Michigan and the Michigan Education Association.
LANSING — The Senate Fiscal Agency today testified in the Senate Appropriations Committee hearing that a proposal to dismantle the school employee retirement system would cost the state $1.6B to $3.8B over five years, as reported by the Detroit Free Press today.
Now that the divisive campaign season is behind us, lawmakers should use the lame-duck legislative session to unite and address Flint’s suffering. It is past time to fix the water crisis that continues to damage the lives of Flint residents.