In her February Labor Voices column in the Detroit News, MEA President Paula Herbart made the case that educators and parents need to stand together against efforts to divide them, since the parent-educator relationship is critical for student success.
There are a variety of divisive bills introduced in the Legislature that fit that description. “Some politicians want to drive a wedge between parents and their children’s teachers in hopes of securing short-term political gain,” Herbart wrote. “If left unchecked, these dangerous ploys — in which political extremists create artificial controversies — can cause long-term harm to our children and our state’s future.”
Please take a moment to contact your state senator and representative to oppose bills like these that try to divide rather than unite educators and parents, as well placing limits on honesty in education.
• HB 5722, sponsored by Rep. Gary Eisen (R-Saint Clair Township), would place a 5% funding penalty if a district does not make all of the following information available to the public:
- The curriculum approved by the district for each school year
- Each class offered to pupils
- Research projects
- Writing assignments
- Field trips
- Extracurricular activities
- A list of each certificated teacher.
• HB 5703, sponsored by Rep. Annette Glenn (R-Midland), would require the following texts are prominently posted in specified areas:
- Section 1 of Article VIII of the Michigan Constitution of 1963: Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.
- Section 10 of the Revised School Code: It is the natural, fundamental right of parents and legal guardians to determine and direct the care, teaching, and education of their children. The public schools of this state serve the needs of the pupils by cooperating with the pupil’s parents and legal guardians to develop the pupil’s intellectual capabilities and vocational skills in a safe and positive environment.
Both selections would have to be posted in the following areas, in a manner that is easily accessible by the public:
- The room or rooms in which the board or board of directors conducts its meetings.
- An office in the school district’s, ISD’s, or PSA’s administrative building.
- The principal’s or chief administrator’s office at each school operated by the board or board of directors, as applicable
• HB 5097, sponsored by Rep. Andrew Beeler (R-Fort Gratiot), would enact that the core academic curriculum must not, in any way, include any form of race or gender stereotyping or anything that could be understood as implicit race or gender stereotyping. Race or gender stereotyping would be defined by the bill as a set of statements, beliefs, or ideas that conform wholly or in part to the following general or particular statements:
- That all individuals composing a racial or ethnic group or gender hold a collective quality or belief.
- That individuals act in certain ways or hold certain opinions because of their race or gender.
- That individuals are born racist or sexist by accident of their race or gender.
- That individuals bear collective guilt for historical wrongs committed by their race or gender.
- That race or gender is a better predictor of outcome than character, work ethic, or skills.
- That cultural norms or practices of a racial or ethnic group or gender are flawed and must be eliminated or changed to conform with those of another racial or ethnic group or gender.
- That racism is inherent in individuals from a particular race or ethnic group or that sexism is inherent in individuals from a particular gender.
- That a racial or ethnic group or gender is in need of deconstruction, elimination, or criticism.
- That the actions of individuals serve as an indictment against the race or gender of those individuals.
• SR 107, sponsored by Sen. Lana Theis (R-Brighton), affirming parent rights in their children’s education (something that isn’t actually being threatened), focusing on a perception that “radical politics have permeated public school curricula, resulting in education that amounts to political indoctrination.”
• SB 460, sponsored by Sen. Lana Theis (R-Brighton), would enact prohibitions concerning curriculum on critical race theory. Require the board of a school district or board of directors of a public school academy to ensure that the curriculum provided to pupils did not include critical race theory, the 1619 Project, or other specified theories.
• SR 86, sponsored by Sen. Lana Theis (R-Brighton), is a resolution condemning the U.S. Department of Justice memorandum on intimidation and harassment against school board members for inhibiting parents’ constitutional right to free speech.
• SB 218, sponsored by Sen. Lana Theis (R-Brighton), would require that only biological males may compete for a position on and compete on a boys’ high school team in an interscholastic activity and only biological females may compete for a position on and compete on a girls’ high school team in an interscholastic activity.
• HB 5424, sponsored by Sen. Pamela Hornberger (R-Chesterfield Township), would prevent any tax dollars/school funds to pay any association fees, such as school board, superintendents, and school management associations. This also impacts our members who belong to athletic or music associations, FFA teachers, and various other memberships.