By Amy Urbanowski-Nowak Birch Run Education Association President We have a big problem in Michigan schools, folks, and it has nothing to do with test scores or differentiated instruction. It has everything to do with treating teachers like professionals and human beings. Most recently, this came to the forefront for me as a union president…Details
By Brenda Ortega Editor Last Friday was not an unusual day at school for MEA member Amber Guerreiro. Nothing in particular happened to make the middle school Spanish teacher feel frustrated or discouraged. But she came home “overcome with exhaustion,” she said, “and I just broke.” “It was a regular day, like any day, but…Details
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ventured into the Jackson County turf of Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) on Thursday to illustrate the struggles schools are facing without a state budget and press Republican leaders to put real solutions on the table.Details
By Brenda Ortega Editor Like many mid-career teachers in Michigan today, English teacher Maureen Horan can document the decline of her income starting in 2011. Not only did her salary decrease that year, but new state laws deducted more money from her paycheck for health care premiums and retirement which ate into her take-home pay.…Details
Editor’s Note: Much has been written about educator demoralization in Michigan and across the country. Politicians have simultaneously cut education funding while increasing demands on schools and educators. The resulting effects have led to growing staffing difficulties, from K-12 teachers, to bus drivers, paraeducators, and higher education faculty. Declining pay and benefits. Large class sizes.…Details
By Brenda Ortega Editor Four years ago, MEA member Brady Crites returned to teach at his high school alma mater in Rochester after earning a Bachelor’s degree in Germanic Languages and Literature and obtaining secondary teaching certification at University of Michigan. But he couldn’t return to live in Rochester. He can’t afford it. Instead 26-year-old…Details
By Brenda Ortega MEA Voice Editor Gov. Gretchen Whitmer listed education funding along with fixing roads and other infrastructure as the top two priorities facing Michigan policymakers during her first State of the State address on Tuesday night. Everyone can see the terrible condition of the state’s roads, and the average motorist spends $562 per…Details
Editor’s Note: For anyone worried about the state of public education—especially if worry is accompanied by a feeling of powerlessness—today’s guest post accomplishes two different goals remarkably well: It entertains and inspires.
Ken Ferguson is a husband, dad, West Bloomfield School Board trustee, and a teacher/consultant for visually impaired students in Grosse Pointe Public School System. He also is a committed MEA member who signed on to be a Political Action Leader in his region.Details
By Brenda Ortega
I remember in June 2013 when Republican lawmaker – now candidate for lieutenant governor – Lisa Posthumus Lyons stood on the floor of the state House of Representatives and derided school employees with an offensive animal metaphor to portray them as greedy and lazy.
A bill was under consideration to dissolve two financially struggling school districts in cities hard hit by job and population losses – Inkster and Buena Vista near Saginaw – and disperse those students to neighboring districts.
Parents and children were about to lose their community schools, and school employees were poised to lose their jobs. None of them got much compassion or understanding from Rep. Lyons, then chair of the House Education Committee.
Lyons was opposed to a Democratic-sponsored amendment, supported by MEA, to require the neighboring districts receiving the students to interview displaced school employees for job openings and pay them according to their years of experience if hired.Details