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 […]

School district cited and fined for COVID safety violations

South Lake Public Schools in Macomb County was cited and fined $9,800 last week by the state for COVID-19 safety violations. According to MIOSHA, the district was among eight workplaces cited and fined for violating workplace rules to protect employees and the public from the coronavirus. From the department’s Friday news release: “South Lake Public […]

Joint Statement on Governor’s In-Person Learning Goal

The following statement is from leadership of organizations representing Michigan’s PK-12 Schools: David Hecker, AFT-Michigan President; Don Wotruba, MASB Executive Director; Tina Kerr, MASA Executive Director; Ray Telman, Middle Cities Executive Director; Paula Herbart, MEA President. Since this pandemic began, it has been our most fervent wish to safely reopen our schools for in-person learning. […]

FAQ on COVID-19 Vaccine for School Employees

MEA has compiled answers to these frequently asked questions about the new COVID-19 vaccine as it relates to school employees.  For general Q&As (including about vaccine distribution, phases, safety, and more) check out the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) COVID-19 Vaccine webpage and the Michigan Public Vaccine FAQ. Q:  Are school employees […]

In The News: Educators on burnout; New study on school reopening and COVID

Two important news stories are worth your attention as the New Year is underway: –          Bridge Magazine talked with a cross-section of Michigan teachers about the burnout they and students are experiencing during this unprecedented school year.  The story featured MEA members from across the state, discussing challenges in virtual teaching and learning and how educators […]

Governor announces educator COVID vaccinations to begin next week

School employees who regularly are in contact with students will be eligible to begin receiving COVID-19 vaccinations beginning next Monday, Jan. 11, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced today. “This is great news for Michigan students and educators alike,” said MEA President Paula Herbart. “Ensuring our front line teachers and education support professionals can be vaccinated to […]

A Mixed Bag in 2020 Lame Duck Session

MEA members’ lobbying efforts helped to score a victory in the Michigan Legislature’s abbreviated lame duck session in December – winning hazard pay grants for some school employees left out of the original legislation, including preschool and adult education teachers. Despite having numerous scheduled session days cancelled because of coronavirus exposure, before they left for […]

Congress Passes ‘Down Payment’ on COVID Relief

A COVID relief package passed in the waning hours of the 116th U.S. Congress could deliver a significant boost to Michigan school districts looking to pay for additional costs of operating amid a global pandemic – if President Trump signs the bill into law. According to MEA Economist Tanner Delpier, the median Michigan district should […]

Choir Teacher Surprised by Students on The View

MEA member Rachel Niewiada already knew her Grandville Middle School choral music students were wonderful singers, but after she appeared last week on the ABC television program The View the seven-year teacher now knows they’re incredible actors as well. Niewiada says she had no idea several of her students would appear in taped interviews to […]

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 […]