Opinion: Michigan’s public schools face educator shortage crisis

February 19, 2020 By PAULA HERBART/President – Michigan Education Association There is a crisis in our public schools that threatens a generation of students. According to the U.S. Department of Education, Michigan has experienced a 70.7% decline in enrollment in teacher-education programs in the last decade. The only state with a worse decline in students studying to…

Opinion: To address literacy, understand link with poverty

December 18, 2019 By PAULA HERBART/President – Michigan Education Association Some of us remember the old “Reading is Fundamental” ad campaign, which encouraged parents to read to their children. Today, that fundamental is even more critical, especially in light of how poverty and lagging literacy levels intersect. Too often, lawmakers look for “silver bullet” solutions…

Opinion: Direct funds to needy students

September 18, 2019 By PAULA HERBART/President – Michigan Education Association We often hear politicians say, “It’s about the kids,” and, “The students of today are the leaders of tomorrow.” If they truly believe that, they need to craft a state education budget that recognizes a simple fact: Not all students are the same. Unfortunately, the Republican education…

Opinion: Educators deserve more funding

June 19, 2019 By PAULA HERBART/President – Michigan Education Association Unions learned an important lesson decades ago: collective action gets results. Tuesday, educators from the Michigan Education Association and American Federation of Teachers Michigan — along with parents, students, and other public education supporters — descended on the Capitol to urge legislators to “Value Students, Respect…

Labor Voices: Falling educator pay hurts students

By PAULA HERBART/President – Michigan Education Association

For many, education is a calling — but that doesn’t mean a career in education should come with a vow of poverty.

That’s the case for too many educators who are struggling with low and declining pay, according to recently released national figures.

Studies have shown – and logic dictates – that the number one variable in student achievement is the presence of a high quality teacher.

But only 25 percent of educators would recommend a young person enter the profession, according to a statewide survey released by Launch Michigan earlier this year.