Many education advocates have expressed concern about a federal bill, H.R. 610, that would implement a nationwide voucher system and repeal nutrition standards for school lunches. However, NEA leadership is recommending our members not give undue attention to the bill, but remain vigilant about the threats that a Trump/DeVos administration mean for public schools nationwide.
A bill to repeal the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in Michigan also would allow parents to opt their students out of any school activity – including classroom tests and assignments – among a number of poorly designed provisions in the proposal.
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.
The most prominent education-related bills to pass the Legislature in this month’s lame duck session include a softening of zero-tolerance policies and a ban on the use of seclusion and restraint with students except in the case of emergencies.
As the lame duck legislative session winds down and the year comes to a close, many school employees are wondering when they will see the return of money taken from their paychecks to fund retiree health care – the subject of an ongoing six-year court battle waged by MEA.
SB 279-280 impacts union release time; now includes ban on payroll deduction of dues for community colleges
We need members to join the fight against yet another anti-labor measure being pushed by the Legislature’s Republican leadership.
UPDATE 12/9 – According to the Detroit News, this “techincal fix” to tax refund law which would cost more than $400 million for schools next year has been dropped as an issue for the lame duck legislative session. Stay tuned for more on this issue when the Legislature returns in Janauary!
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 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.