Tune in to Teletown Hall with Gov. Whitmer

You can listen now as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and members of her education policy staff join MEA, AFT Michigan, and AFSCME for a Teletown Hall following her Thursday announcement that schools will remain closed for the rest of this school year. Whitmer told thousands of union members assembled on the call: “I know this is hard,…

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Districts, educators to develop plans to continue student learning as school year suspended

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-35 earlier today, which orders all K-12 school buildings to close for the remainder of the school year — unless restrictions are lifted — and ensures at-home learning will be provided to students, families in need will still be provided meals, and all school employees will continued to receive…

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Whitmer: Schools Unlikely to Reopen in 2019-20

Given the unprecedented public health emergency unfolding across Michigan and the rest of the U.S., Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said during a radio interview this morning it is “very unlikely” that students in Michigan will return to classrooms before the end of the 2019-20 school year. MEA leaders and staff are part of ongoing conversations with…

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Thanking districts doing right by employees – and ensuring more do so 

Advocacy continues to ensure all school employees are paid, all students are educated “MEA wants to thank the many school districts that have done the right thing and continued paying all school employees during this closure,” said MEA President Paula Herbart today, as the COVID-19 school closures approach the two-week mark. “From teachers to hourly…

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Clarity on Instructional Time News from Friday

There was a flurry of news activity on Friday surrounding the online learning districts are pushing to deliver for students and how the state was going to count that toward requirements for student contact time this school year. The short version: There’s a lot that the state doesn’t know yet that we need to figure…

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Despite bipartisan support, legislation stalled on school employee pay and forgiveness for closure days

Michigan lawmakers adjourned last night without taking action to ensure all school employees get paid during this statewide school closure caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, despite bipartisan support and joint appeals from varied education organizations and educators across the state. Leaders from both the labor and management sides of the education community had worked together…

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State Legislative Update

A bill that would lift a prohibition on alternative certification routes to teach special education passed out of the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday. Senate Bill 657  would allow individuals who are pursuing permanent certification to seek an Interim Teaching Certificate (ITC) to teach in special education classrooms in public schools. The bill – meant…

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Whitmer Proposes Budget Increase for Education

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer launched the process for developing next year’s state budget with a proposed spending plan that includes increases for education and weighted funding for students who are costlier to educate. Whitmer is proposing a $415 million increase in K-12 funding and additional money for universities and community colleges. Under the Whitmer plan, base…

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