We all know it takes a village to raise a child, and as educators we value everyone within the school community who plays a role in it.
School children start every day greeted by a bus driver as they climb aboard. They arrive at school to a building full of folks ready to care for their physical, emotional and academic needs.
The school secretary/resident troubleshooter juggles multiple tasks while keeping all systems running smoothly. Cafeteria workers run a tight kitchen to serve hot, nutritious food to huge numbers of people efficiently.
Nurses, social workers, counselors, psychologists – all play a role in making sure our kids are healthy and ready to learn.
Custodial and maintenance crews keep things clean and operational while always standing ready to fix breakdowns or mop up accidents. Paras do the one-on-one work that makes children feel seen, and aides pick up the slack in all kinds of roles from classrooms to playgrounds.
A part of this interdependent ecosystem, teachers engage students’ curiosity with lessons and learning.
No one knows better than we do what it takes to deliver a quality public education – and that it takes a team to deliver for Michigan’s students.
It’s been wonderful these last four years to have a governor in Gretchen Whitmer who listens to educators of every stripe before setting priorities or determining policy. Learn more on page 19.
But she’s not alone in that work – there are great friends of education up and down the November ballot who deserve our support.
Friends like Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Attorney General Dana Nessel, who have used their roles to find new ways to engage students and educators while protecting the rights of every Michigan citizen.
Friends like Richard Bernstein and Kyra Harris Bolden who will make sure the Michigan Supreme Court delivers justice for Michigan families, students and school employees.
Friends like Pamela Pugh and Mitchell Robinson for the State Board of Education, where they will fight against growing efforts to divide educators and parents by extremists and enemies of public education.
Our members identify these friends who deserve our support. MEA Screening & Recommendations committees are diverse groups of everyday MEA members from across the state who interview and recommend candidates for elected offices from Washington to Lansing to our local school boards.
But it’s your votes that send those candidates there – and make no mistake that the entire team needs your support this fall.
The future of our profession is on the ballot this November, and we need to vote like it is.
When you’re ready to vote, whether it’s sitting at the kitchen table with a mail-in ballot or heading to a local precinct on election day, pull out the handy four-page voting guide at the center of this magazine. Go online to MEAVotes.org to find recommended candidates for your area.
Share MEA’s recommendations with friends and family who want to preserve a cornerstone of democracy in our neighborhood public schools. Let them know what’s at stake – and that our members are standing with them statewide to elect champions for education.
No one knows public education like we do, but all of society benefits from having vibrant, well-resourced neighborhood public schools staffed by committed professionals. It’s up to us to keep that institution strong with our votes and our hard work to win for public education on Nov. 8.