Posted on 12/23/14 at 2:54pm

A cyberbullying bill that would require school districts and academies to change their existing anti-bullying policies to include electronic or online bullying passed during the lame duck session. SB 74 describes cyberbullying as "any electronic communication that is intended or that a reasonable person would know is likely to harm one or more pupils either directly or indirectly."

Posted on 12/23/14 at 2:57pm

The number of public schools and charters that are facing a financial deficit has risen to 55-up from 48 schools last year. On that list are schools that started the 2013-14 school year solvent, but after facing money problems during the year, are now part of the new list of deficit schools. The Education Achievement Authority is one of those schools newly added.

Posted on 12/23/14 at 2:58pm

The state Board of Education (BOE) has adopted its"Recommendations for Change to Michigan School Organization and Finance" calling for the state to make education funding a budget priority. Since January 2014, the BOE has been analyzing the issue of school funding and holding meetings to make its final recommendations.
 

Posted on 12/23/14 at 2:59pm

The 11 charter school authorizers named at-risk by State Superintendent Mike Flanagan have avoided suspension and still remain at-risk. In August, Flanagan required those authorizers to provide sufficient transparency and oversight of their operations or face suspension in October.
 

Posted on 12/08/14 at 2:50pm

Too much time and too little money keep most college students from earning a degree in four years according to Complete College America’s report, “4-year degrees now a myth in American higher education.” 

Posted on 12/18/14 at 12:32pm

MEA member Ann Marie Borders has been named United Musical Society (UMS) DTE Energy Foundation Educator of the Year. Borders is a vocal music teacher at Carpenter Elementary School in Ann Arbor. Karen McDonald, a Carpenter art teacher, shares the award with Borders since the UMS selection committee declared a tie.

Mosaica ‘buys’ Muskegon Heights schools

The new Muskegon Heights Public School Academy will be run by Mosaica Education, Inc., a charter school management company established in 1987 and based in New York. Mosaica beat out the Leona Group, a Phoenix-based charter school management company. Mosaica currently operates six charter schools in Michigan.

Is a 'right to read' a civil liberty?

Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed an unprecedented “right to read” lawsuit against the Highland Park School District claiming that the district deprived students of an opportunity to “attain basic literacy.”

Seven ballot proposals heighten importance of Nov. election

On Nov. 6, voters will be deciding the fate of seven ballot proposals--six constitutional amendments and one law repeal. The last time there was this many proposals on the ballot was 1982, when three constitutional amendments and three laws were being voted on.

SB 1040 rears its ugly head again

When the Legislature returns for one day on July 18, it's expected the Senate will take up the unfinished business of SB 1040. While the House passed its version of the bill, the Senate adjourned on June 14 before taking any action.

The Senate will take up the House version which includes the prefunding of the retirement system, giving new hires the option of a defined contribution plan, and a freezing of the retirement rate for school districts. All along, there have been Senators interested in forcing all new hires into a defined contribution plan, but at issue is the cost of such a move. The House version calls for a study analyzing the cost benefit.

Small Business Support

Over the past 18 months, politicians in Lansing have made it more difficult for small businesses.  Although promising to reduce regulations and pass incentives to create jobs, they have, in fact, created an environment that reduces jobs and threatens the average worker’s ability to purchase goods and services from small businesses.  Decisions about wages, benefits and working conditions that were once made at the bargaining table between employers and employees have been taken out of their hands, causing workers to have less money available to spend at local businesses.

Just the facts on funding, salaries, pensions

Talk of education reform in Michigan eventually turns to per pupil funding and the salaries and benefits of school employees.  Budget talks this year showed legislators intent on reforming how the state funds its schools and how it pays its teacher. But the data shows that Michigan isn’t leading the pack when it comes to the funding of schools and pensions or teacher salaries.

700,000 voices need to be heard

Citizens Protecting Michigan's Constitution (CPMC) will take their opposition to the Protect Our Jobs petition to court to prevent the issue from being on the Nov. ballot after the Secretary of State (SOS) declined the group’s earlier request.

It must be an election year

Gov. Snyder spent the last several days signing--and, surprisingly, vetoing--legislation that supposedly helps Michigan's middle class and voters. But remember--this is an election year.

Snyder baits school districts again with more money

The stakes are higher and the "carrot" is less enticing this year, but school districts can still get a $52 per pupil reward for completing seven out of eight of the state’s best practices. Last year, schools got $100 per pupil for jumping through Gov. Snyder’s hoops.

Many of the best practices are the same as last year and include: acting as policy holder for health care benefits; bidding at least one non-instructional service; participating in Schools of Choice; measuring student growth twice a year and reporting to parents or providing MDE with a plan for developing the technology necessary to assess student growth; providing dual enrollment; providing online or blended learning opportunities; providing a dashboard for parents and the community; and providing state Board of Education-approved physical education and health classes.

Constitutional amendment to protect collective bargaining

Over the past 18 months, politicians in Lansing have attacked collective bargaining and the rights of workers. In doing so, they have attacked workers’ families and small businesses.  It’s time that middle class families speak out to protect the jobs, wages, benefits and safety of all working people by voting YES on the constitutional amendment to protect collective bargaining.

The constitutional amendment to protect collective bargaining will protect workers by:

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