Newsroom

Newsroom

COVID Updates: Funding, Vaccines, Testing and More 

This week has marked major news on several fronts in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic: - New President Joe Biden has made good on promises for swift action to fight the pandemic, including another COVID relief package to fill in the gaps left by the last Congress and provide essential federal funding and support, including on vaccine distribution. -…

Labor Voices: In-person school is coming, but classrooms must be safe first

January 13, 2021 By PAULA HERBART/President – Michigan Education Association Since the beginning of the pandemic, educators have longed to safely return to the classroom for in-person learning. Virtual learning options — while vastly-improved thanks to the hard work of educators — are no match for the academic and overall benefits that come with face-to-face class time. Burnout is widespread…

School district cited and fined for COVID safety violations

South Lake Public Schools in Macomb County was cited and fined $9,800 last week by the state for COVID-19 safety violations. According to MIOSHA, the district was among eight workplaces cited and fined for violating workplace rules to protect employees and the public from the coronavirus. From the department’s Friday news release: “South Lake Public Schools in Saint Clair Shores,…

Joint Statement on Governor’s In-Person Learning Goal

The following statement is from leadership of organizations representing Michigan’s PK-12 Schools: David Hecker, AFT-Michigan President; Don Wotruba, MASB Executive Director; Tina Kerr, MASA Executive Director; Ray Telman, Middle Cities Executive Director; Paula Herbart, MEA President. Since this pandemic began, it has been our most fervent wish to safely reopen our schools for in-person learning. Educators agree that face-to-face time…

FAQ on COVID-19 Vaccine for School Employees

MEA has compiled answers to these frequently asked questions about the new COVID-19 vaccine as it relates to school employees.  For general Q&As (including about vaccine distribution, phases, safety, and more) check out the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) COVID-19 Vaccine webpage and the Michigan Public Vaccine FAQ. Q:  Are school employees being prioritized for receiving the…

In The News: Educators on burnout; New study on school reopening and COVID

Two important news stories are worth your attention as the New Year is underway: -          Bridge Magazine talked with a cross-section of Michigan teachers about the burnout they and students are experiencing during this unprecedented school year.  The story featured MEA members from across the state, discussing challenges in virtual teaching and learning and how educators and students are reacting to…

Governor announces educator COVID vaccinations to begin next week

School employees who regularly are in contact with students will be eligible to begin receiving COVID-19 vaccinations beginning next Monday, Jan. 11, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced today. “This is great news for Michigan students and educators alike,” said MEA President Paula Herbart. “Ensuring our front line teachers and education support professionals can be vaccinated to protect themselves, their families, and…

A Mixed Bag in 2020 Lame Duck Session

MEA members’ lobbying efforts helped to score a victory in the Michigan Legislature’s abbreviated lame duck session in December – winning hazard pay grants for some school employees left out of the original legislation, including preschool and adult education teachers. Despite having numerous scheduled session days cancelled because of coronavirus exposure, before they left for the year legislators passed SB…

Congress Passes ‘Down Payment’ on COVID Relief

A COVID relief package passed in the waning hours of the 116th U.S. Congress could deliver a significant boost to Michigan school districts looking to pay for additional costs of operating amid a global pandemic – if President Trump signs the bill into law. According to MEA Economist Tanner Delpier, the median Michigan district should receive an additional $650 per…

Choir Teacher Surprised by Students on The View

Rachel Niewiada MEA member Rachel Niewiada already knew her Grandville Middle School choral music students were wonderful singers, but after she appeared last week on the ABC television program The View the seven-year teacher now knows they’re incredible actors as well. Niewiada says she had no idea several of her students would appear in taped interviews to talk movingly about…

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