MEA members are currently receiving checks from the state for the MI Classroom Heroes grants of up to $500 for teachers or $250 for ancillary and support staff. Otherwise known as ‘hazard pay’ checks, this is the first round of payments based on legislation passed last year. MEA advocated with the Legislature for equity in these payments for all school employees and for fixes to the flawed language of the proposal – while we made gains in both areas, the legislative language is far from ideal and we’re aware of issues as these checks are going out.
- Some members did not receive the full amount they are entitled to under the proposal because of how their job was listed in the state’s Registry of Educational Personnel and/or the paperwork filed with by districts with the state. If you believe you did not get the full amount to which you were entitled based on your time worked during 2019-20, please contact your local MEA UniServ office as soon as possible so we can advocate for you as part of an appeals process (which districts need to file with the state by APRIL 9 – extended by the state from the original March 11 date).
- Some members who may have been expecting the full $500 but only got $250 unfortunately fall under the flawed provisions in the law that restrict the amount they are eligible for – please see information MEA shared in November for more details.
- Some members who were left out by the initial definitions under the law – including GRSP, Head Start, adult education and young adult (ages 18-26) special education classroom teachers – were added during the lame duck legislative session in December. Gov. Whitmer recently announced that the process of getting those members checks is underway.
- There are still members left out from these grants under previous definitions, such as early childhood special education employees and otherwise health impaired workers. Gov. Whitmer is advocating for these positions to be included as part of her 2022 state budget proposal and MEA is working to secure those funds for members as legislative budget negotiations happen throughout the spring.