The State House is considering two bills that MEA members need to speak up on right away!
Last Thursday, a House committee voted to send SB 574 to the full chamber for consideration. This bill would give for-profit charter schools a cut of regional enhancement millages that voters approve to supplement funding for neighborhood public schools. While calls from educators and parents have led to some improvements in the legislation – including stopping the money grab from happening retroactively with millages already passed and requiring that cyber charters show 80 percent of students live in the enhancement district’s boundaries in order to get the extra money – the bill still allows for-profit charters to pad their bottom line without any transparency or accountability for the taxpayer money they receive. Contact your representative to oppose SB 574 today, and encourage parents and community members to get involved.
Tomorrow, another House committee may take up a package of bills about career and technical education – while the package has some good components, one of the bills (HB 5141) guts alternative certification requirements for CTE teachers. The bill would allow anyone to teach CTE courses with only a high school diploma (or GED) and a professional license in that field. MEA strongly opposes HB 5141 because all students deserve better than to have untrained educators in front of their classrooms – whether they’re taking shop class or AP calculus. Learn more and tell lawmakers your story about how your professional training as an educator is an important part of reaching and teaching the students you serve every day.
You can learn more about both these pieces of legislation on the MEA website at www.mea.org/legislation.