Legislation

Legislation

Educators deserve to have their voice heard in policy decisions about public education. That’s why MEA works hard to keep members informed about what’s happening in Lansing and Washington, and help raise the voices of school employees on these critical issues.

Legislation News

Decline to Sign Latest Voucher Scheme

On Monday, the State Board of Canvassers approved revised summary language for a new voucher scheme, including important details about the cost and discriminatory practices in the description voters will see on the petition. The decision moves the GOP-backed scheme forward to signature collection – and signals the beginning of Decline to Sign efforts by a ballot committee formed to…

MEA President on latest DeVos-inspired voucher scheme

EAST LANSING — The following statement can be attributed to MEA President Paula Herbart regarding the announcement of an unconstitutional school voucher ballot campaign that tries again to end run Gov. Whitmer and voters: “Michigan voters have resoundingly opposed attempts by mega-donors like Betsy DeVos to enact voucher schemes in our state. We value our neighborhood public schools and know…

Support Gov. Whitmer Veto of DeVos-Inspired Voucher Scheme

Betsy DeVos The Republican-controlled Legislature recently fast-tracked legislation that would set up a $500 million voucher program, pulling money from our public schools to funnel money to private schools. This Betsy DeVos-inspired scheme is in direct conflict with the Michigan Constitution’s ban on public support for private schools – a ban voters have consistently supported. Gov. Whitmer said she will…

Lawmakers Pushing Numerous Partisan Bills Toward Veto

In addition to pushing an unconstitutional voucher bill, Republican leaders in the state House and Senate have been moving a number of controversial measures that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is likely or promising to veto. From bans on mask mandates to bills restricting educators’ speech on issues of race, to a resolution condemning U.S. Justice Department efforts to stem right-wing groups…

New Laws Go Into Effect to Improve Bus Safety

This month two new laws went into effect aimed at keeping students safer on buses. The first makes it easier to ticket drivers who ignore the red flashing lights and extended stop arm of a school bus, and the second prohibits any unauthorized person from entering a school bus without the driver’s permission. The changes allow school districts to equip buses…

Bill Would Relieve Student Debt for Some Teachers

Early-career teachers who work in lower-income school districts would be eligible to receive up to $20,000 in total student loan debt relief over 10 consecutive years, under a state Senate bill introduced by several Democratic lawmakers. Senate Bill 673 would apply fully for newer teachers in districts where at least 45% of students qualify for free and reduced lunch. Those…

Michigan’s COVID-Relief Funding Plan Wins Federal Approval

Following federal approval of Michigan’s plan to spend federal COVID-relief money, the state will receive the final one-third of $3.7 billion in its education funding approved by Congress in the American Rescue Plan. The U.S. Department of Education approved Michigan’s priorities for the rescue funds earlier this month: expanding early childhood learning opportunities, improving early literacy achievement, and improving the…

Bill Would Toughen Penalties For Harming Educators, Board Members

Tougher penalties could be imposed for anyone who causes physical harm to a school employee or board member, under legislation introduced by former teacher and MEA member Sen. Dayna Polehanki in the state Senate last week. Senate Bill 689 would amend the Michigan Penal Code to set a maximum misdemeanor penalty of one years' imprisonment and a $1,000 fine to…

House committee to act on bill gagging curriculum on race, gender issues

The House Education Committee voted along party lines Tuesday to forward a bill to the House floor seeking to bar discussion in schools about important issues of race and gender in classrooms and limit the professional expertise of educators to help students develop important critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Sponsored by Rep. Andrew Beeler (R-Fort Gratiot), HB 5097 would bar “any…

Budget deal increases higher education, child care funding

This week, the Legislature and Governor reached an agreement on remaining state budget legislation (aside from the K-12 budget adopted this summer), including additional funding for higher education and child care. For higher education, HB 4400 includes $2.2 billion in higher education funding – including increases for community colleges and universities of 1% in state funding for the coming year,…

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