Posted on 02/23/15 at 3:31pm

More Michigan children are living in poverty according to the annualKids Count report by the Michigan League for Public Policy and  funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The number of children in poverty increased by 35 percent with one in four children living in poverty and one in three qualifying for food assistance because their families’ incomes are $23,600 or less a year.

Posted on 02/23/15 at 3:32pm

The U.S. House is expected to pass a rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) this Friday. Unfortunately, this rewrite does nothing to help students learn or teachers teach. The focus has shifted to more testing, labeling of schools and then punishing them for their “failure,” while doing nothing to close achievement gaps.

Posted on 02/25/15 at 9:21am

If you believe our schools and safer roads are important to the quality of life in Michigan, circle May 5 on your calendar. On that day, voters will be asked to vote on a proposal that would raise over $1 billion to repair Michigan’s dangerous roads and bridges, while raising $300 million in new revenue for Michigan public schools, funded by a 1-cent increase in the state sales tax.

Posted on 02/18/15 at 3:01pm

MEA members Marcia Hudson and Linda Maniago of Avondale were awarded a $5,000 Learning and Leadership Grant from NEA for their Teacher Lab project. In this latest round, NEA awarded 16 Learning and Leadership Grants. 

Posted on 02/18/15 at 3:02pm

Michigan State University scholars have created a financial health-indicator system for school districts that could be facing financial stress. The proactive system uses research and information from other states to analyze the fiscal health of school districts and is outlined in a white paper, “Knowledgeable Navigation to Avoid the Iceberg.”

Posted on 02/18/15 at 3:06pm

When you find yourself in a hole, the first step to getting out is to stop digging.

The hole I am referring to is the $1 billion taxpayers spend each year on Michigan’s experiment with charter schools. A recent report by a pro charter school group ranks Michigan’s charter school accountability law last among similar states. 

UPDATE: Tenure votes may come TODAY! Call senators NOW!

Reports are coming in that the state Senate may vote THIS AFTERNOON on the House package that dismantles teacher tenure and attacks the collective bargaining and due process rights of all school employees.                                                

PLEASE ACT NOW!  Call your state Senator and urge them to vote against House Bills 4625-4628.  Ask them not to strip good teachers of their rights in order to get the very few bad apples out of the classroom. Tell them we need common-sense tenure reform – which MEA supports through Senate Bill 503.

Contact your Senator right away – before it is too late.

Read more about these bills and what else is happening in Lansing today.

MEA President in the Detroit News: There's a right way to reform teacher tenure

I know the warning, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water," is a cliché — but there is no better way to describe some legislators' utterly misguided attempts to reform teacher tenure. Read more.

MEA launches statewide radio ad in support of common-sense tenure reform

EAST LANSING, Mich., June 29, 2011 — The Michigan Education Association released a radio ad this week calling on the state Senate to pass Senate Bill 503, which would make much-needed reforms to teacher tenure while maintaining basic due process and collective bargaining rights for good teachers.

Senate Bill 503, introduced by state Sen. Roger Kahn (R-Saginaw), is a more common-sense and thoughtful approach to tenure reform than the radical legislation passed recently by the state House that would strip away basic rights from teachers. 

House ed panel to meet Wednesday

The House Education Committee meets Wednesday to consider anti-bullying legislation and a separate bill dealing with school district health insurance plans.

Michigan teachers announce support of common-sense tenure reform

EAST LANSING, Mich., Tuesday, June 28, 2011 — Public school teachers from across Michigan today announced their support of a state Senate proposal that would reform teacher tenure while protecting school employees’ basic due process and collective bargaining rights.

Senate Bill 503, introduced by state Sen. Roger Kahn (R-Saginaw), is a more common-sense and thoughtful approach to tenure reform than radical legislation passed recently by the state House.

HB 4572 with hard cap passes House

With a vote of 58-51, the House approved HB 4572 which would place a hard cap on the amount an employer could spend on employees’ health care coverage.

Starting in 2012, an employer could spend no more than $15,000 on family coverage; $11,000 for two-person coverage; and $5,500 for an individual. The state treasurer would increase those caps each year based on the change to the medical care component of the Consumer Price Index.

If a school district paid more than the amount legislated, they would face a 10 percent reduction in their state aid funding.

House moves to eliminate their own retirement health insurance

Michigan House of Representatives

Michigan House of Representatives

Yesterday the House passed HB 4087 which ends legislative retiree health care for legislators elected after 2007. Under this legislation, future lawmakers and most of those currently serving in the Legislature would no longer be eligible for the benefit.

House reaches compromise on binding arbitration law

PA 312, the state’s binding arbitration law, could undergo dramatic changes with the passage of HB 4522 yesterday.  PA 312 has been used since 1969 to settle labor disputes in municipal police and fire departments.

Other legislative activity this week:

With the Legislature’s summer break on the horizon next Thursday, the rush was on to pass a variety of legislation in the state House to allow the Senate to consider the bills next week:

Legislative activity

  • Late today, the House approved HB 4572, calling for a hard cap on the amount of insurance a public employer could pay for its employees. The vote was 58-51.

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