By now we’ve all heard much conversation about what it means that voters in the last election handed Democrats control of the Michigan Legislature with a Democratic governor at the helm for the first time in 40 years.
Less has been written about another result that has never happened before: Educators now chair the most important state House and Senate committees responsible for making preK-16 education policy.
Read. That. Again.
For too long, our focus has had to be on fighting off the destructive school privatization agenda of powerful interests such as Betsy DeVos. Of course, one election doesn’t end that battle, but clearly voters have sent a strong message.
Last month DeVos pulled her school vouchers scheme from consideration for the 2024 General Election ballot after spending millions gathering petition signatures. Read more.
That victory alone is worth celebrating. But there’s more — much more.
Check out our coverage of MEA legislative priorities, developed over months and years with the help of statewide MEA leaders, members and staff. For the first time in a long while, public school employees can rest assured their voices are being heard in the halls of power.
This doesn’t mean we can rest.
With narrow majorities in both legislative chambers, we are committed to working with members of both parties to secure meaningful support, resources and change to address our most pressing problems.
What can be done to begin to solve critical educator shortages, the mental health crisis, and interrupted student learning? It’s time to imagine possibilities, so let’s appreciate the wins we’ve made for educators and students and resolve to do what we can to make the future even brighter.
From MEA’s officers:
President Paula Herbart
Vice President Chandra Madafferi
Secretary-Treasurer Brett Smith