Labor Voices: In-person school is coming, but classrooms must be safe first

January 13, 2021 By PAULA HERBART/President – Michigan Education Association Since the beginning of the pandemic, educators have longed to safely return to the classroom for in-person learning. Virtual learning options — while vastly-improved thanks to the hard work of educators — are no match for the academic and overall benefits that come with face-to-face […]

Why Michigan needs tuition-free higher education options

By PAULA HERBART/President – Michigan Education Association This public health crisis has also driven home what many have known for some time: There is a direct correlation between education, income and the jobs we perform. So it should come as no surprise that we at the Michigan Education Association were gratified when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer […]

Why Michigan needs tuition-free higher education options

By PAULA HERBART/President – Michigan Education Association The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us how connected we are to the world around us. Nowhere has this been more evident than in our reliance on essential, frontline workers who staff our hospitals, keep our communities running and, yes, educate our students. This public health crisis has also […]

Labor Voices: MEA endorses Biden as best for educators, parents

September 16, 2020 By PAULA HERBART/President – Michigan Education Association   For decades, we’ve all heard the refrain: “This is the most important election in our lifetime.”  More than ever, this statement is ringing true for voters with more than 190,000 American lives — and counting — lost to the pandemic, a crumbling economy that has devastated […]

Opinion: MEA: We’ll sue to ensure school safety

By PAULA HERBART/President – Michigan Education Association As we approach the start of a school year like no other, teachers and education support professionals are feeling scared and angry. Scared because of unknown consequences of returning to classrooms without clear answers about COVID-19 health and safety — because, frankly, the experts don’t have those answers […]

Opinion: Michigan v. DeVos is more than just a lawsuit

July 15, 2020 By PAULA HERBART/President – Michigan Education Association A lawsuit filed last week against U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos created a case name that captures a long-standing feeling among educators and friends of public education. Michigan v. DeVos. After years of Betsy DeVos and her family pushing an extreme, anti-public education agenda across our state […]

Opinion: Teachers say we need key steps to reopen schools

June 17, 2020 By PAULA HERBART/President – Michigan Education Association One of the most important decisions our state will make in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic is when and how to safely reopen our public schools. MEA recently completed a landmark survey on COVID-19’s impact on public education, with more than 15,000 responses from […]

Opinion: Federal relief is critical to lessen school budget blow

The global pandemic has wreaked havoc on state budgets, and Michigan is no exception; we face an estimated $6.2 billion shortfall through next year. To avoid catastrophic cuts, educators across the country are asking for help from Congress, like what has already been provided to such large corporations as airlines, cruise companies and banks. Specifically, […]

Opinion: Educators meet students’ needs amid COVID-19

Michigan Education Association member Sarah VanderMeer says her heart aches from missing her developmental kindergartners from Brown Elementary School in Byron Center, so she checks in via FaceTime to see how they’re doing, setting up appointments through parents. VanderMeer taps every tool at her disposal to keep kids connected and engaged during online chats and virtual […]