Posted on 09/02/14 at 2:21pm

The NEA Foundation has provided funding to educators in three Michigan school districts: Marine City, Mattawan and Muskegon. The $2,000 and $5,000 grants will be used to fund projects teachers and paraprofessionals submitted.

Posted on 09/02/14 at 2:23pm

The Muskegon Area ISD has created free, generic bus safety videos on YouTube designed to keep kids safe and remind drivers about the laws regarding sharing the road with school buses.

Posted on 08/26/14 at 6:07pm

The U.S. Department of Education is giving states until the 2015-16 school year-a two-year delay-to use student test scores for teacher evaluations. Education Secretary Arne Duncan made the announcement after more than a year of NEA and other education groups calling for such action.

Posted on 08/27/14 at 5:02pm

MEA is partnering with NEA to offer a series of 16 new online courses for MEA members. The courses will be offered through the MEA Online Learning Portal so MEA members can earn State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECHs) for their coursework.

The NEA Foundation courses were developed to promote association/district collaboration when it comes to local level education reforms. While the courses have appeal for all members, some of the courses are geared to developing local leaders and enhancing the work of other MEA local leadership programs.

Posted on 08/26/14 at 6:13pm

State Superintendent Mike Flanagan will be retiring July 2015, and you can share your thoughts and recommendations on the qualities a new superintendent should have.

Posted on 08/26/14 at 5:04pm

Michigan won a renewal of its waiver from No Child Left Behind (NCLB) for the 2014-15 school year. Without the waiver, schools would have to follow NCLB standards that require 100 percent of students proficient in math and language arts.

MEA members take action to combat student poverty

Michigan teachers and support staff serving on the frontlines of education are increasingly seeing poverty among school kids as a direct obstacle to improving performances in the classroom. When school kids can’t adequately clothe themselves in winter or fill their bellies so they are prepared to learn, they will struggle to fill in the right answers on standardized tests. 

All across the state MEA members have been involved during this holiday season to make sure poverty doesn’t keep a student from getting a quality education.

MEA members in the Traverse City area are donating hundreds of food and care items to the student-run food bank at Traverse City High School, with the donations earmarked for local students and their families.

“For too many children in our community, learning is a challenge when they don’t have enough to eat in the morning or lack basic personal and school supplies,” said Mary McGee-Cullen, MEA’s UniServ Director. “Local teachers and education support professionals are stepping up to help those most in need this holiday season, because we all have deep roots in our community and we strongly believe in doing our part to make sure everyone in this community can succeed.”

MEA staff and members have been accepting donations for weeks at its Traverse City office, and have received contributions of everything from cereal to soap and shampoo.

Kids are the Key

Senate approves EAA expansion

After being discharged today from committee and taken up under general orders, the Senate voted 20-18 to expand the Education Achievement Authority. HB 4369 now allows persistently low -achieving schools to be operated by another public school or “reform/redesign district” as opposed to a private educational management organization as the EAA currently operates. The bill still allows the EAA to remain in place.

The EAA currently oversees the operation of 15 Detroit schools. While the original House version allowed the EAA to take over an additional 50 persistently low-achieving schools, the Senate’s substitute calls for a moratorium on expanding the EAA’s jurisdiction until January 2015.  After that, there is no cap on the number of schools that can be placed in the EAA and no schools would be functioning under the EAA until the 2015-16 school year.

Defunding Higher Education

The combination of lower state appropriations and higher tuition is forcing Michigan’s colleges and universities to look elsewhere, primarily to corporations, for funding. As a result, middle class families struggle to afford what used to be a widely available option. Defunding Higher Education - Privatization Through Neglect? examines whether this trend is effectively privatizing higher education.

Educators raising their hands on National Day of Action

Parents, students, educators and community leaders across the country are raising their hands and demanding more for America’s children. 

Dec. 9 is the National Day of Action, with the slogan of "Raise Your Hand for our Schools and our Solutions." Communities are demanding that those who know students best devise and implement community-driven solutions to tackle the opportunity gaps in American education.

The day of action is an outgrowth of ongoing collaboration among the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, and several key community partners to mobilize support for public education, pushing back against the corporate takeover of our public schools and lifting up the voices of practitioners and communities about what is best for our students.

Together, the groups have developed "The Principles that Unite Us"—a common vision for public education. It stands in sharp contrast to the corporate agenda for public schools, market driven reform that attempts to impose a system of winners and losers. More than 100 community groups and unions have already endorsed the principles.

Paula Maurer-Westbook: Talked into a distinguished career

MEA members get free and discounted life insurance

It pays to plan ahead -- and MEA members don’t have to pay much to do just that.

Every MEA member is eligible for free life insurance through NEA Member Benefits, as well as deep discounts on group term and individual life insurance plans through MEA Financial Services.

Member Voice: Why we should support MEA

All four of my grandparents came to Flint on trains and ships to pursue a living wage and a brighter future for their families.

School employees explain why they’re sticking with MEA

MEA recently announced that despite Michigan’s so-called “right-to-work” law’s taking effect, 99 percent of MEA members have decided to remain with their union.

Teachers, education support professionals and higher-education employees who remain members enjoy numerous member-only advantages for their careers, for their rights, for their wallets and for public education.

MEA Voice asked members to explain why they decided to stick with their union. Here is a sample of responses:

  • Julie Brill, Kentwood Public Schools: “To me, my union is my family. I will stick with them through thick and thin. I also believe that collective bargaining rights are the only way to keep education strong and solid as we move forward. Having my working conditions protected means that the learning conditions for kids are protected.”

MEA members and supporters share what they’re thankful for

With Thanksgiving coming up, MEA asked subscribers to its Facebook page what they’re thankful for this holiday season. Here are a few of their responses:

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