Labor Voices: Rural schools serve vital role

January 17, 2018

By PAULA HERBART/President – Michigan Education Association

Nearly nine million students attend rural schools — more than the enrollments of New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and the nation’s next 75 largest school districts combined. These students in Michigan and around the county face similar challenges, like limited access to advanced coursework, medical care, internet access and employment opportunities.

MEA statement on legislation allowing concealed weapons in schools

EAST LANSING – Michigan Education Association President Paula Herbart issued the following statement today on Senate consideration of SBs 584-586, allowing concealed weapons in schools: “MEA strongly opposes this legislation for the safety of students and school employees alike.  Education and parent groups have joined us in opposing this misguided legislation because they too understand…

MEA statement on new districts in MDE Partnership Agreement discussions

EAST LANSING – The following statement can be attributed to Paula Herbart, President of the Michigan Education Association, in response to today’s announcement by the Michigan Department of Education regarding additional districts entering “partnership agreement” discussions to improve student achievement at some of their schools:  “State Superintendent Brian Whiston’s announcement today regarding continuation of ‘partnership…

New MEA Officers Take Reins at MEA; Embark on Listening Tour

EAST LANSING – This September, a new team of MEA officers have taken the helm of the state’s largest school employee union. President Paula Herbart, Vice President Chandra Madafferi and Secretary-Treasurer Brett Smith are kicking off their time in office with a statewide listening tour to hear from the experts on the front lines of public education – the dedicated teachers and school support staff working every day with Michigan’s students.

“In this fast-paced, information overloaded society, individuals are longing to be heard.  Educators are especially eager to share their thoughts, their hopes and their frustrations,” Herbart said. “That’s why we’re going around the state to listen to the passions and concerns of our members and learn what we can do to help. We need to listen to the experts on the front lines – and we’re going to take those stories with us to policymakers in Lansing and Washington in our role as statewide education leaders.”

New ad campaign highlights support staff as ‘unsung heroes’

MEA has launched a new video highlighting the important role education support professionals play in schools across Michigan. The video features MEA education support professional members, like paraprofessionals, bus drivers, secretaries, food service workers, custodians, maintenance workers and others who help kids in our schools achieve and learn. “Education support professionals are a critical part of our…

MEA Voice magazine highlights Michigan educator shortage crisis

‘Disappearing Educator’ article explores growing problem of attracting and retaining teachers, support staff

EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Education Association yesterday released the February edition of the MEA Voice magazine, featuring an article that explores Michigan’s growing school employee shortage crisis. The article, “The Disappearing Educator,” investigates why experienced teachers are leaving early and why young people aren’t pursuing the education profession.