Posted on 10/20/14 at 2:59pm

The Michigan Public Schools Partnership (MPSP) has launched InspirED, a newsletter featuring the innovative and inspiring stories happening every day for Michigan's 1.5 million public school students. 

Posted on 10/20/14 at 2:57pm

Michigan is one of 16 states that will probably be looking for flexibility from No Child Left Behind (NCLB) standards that call for using student test scores in teacher evaluations. The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) is offering to give states that already have an NCLB waiver even longer to create new assessments. Currently, the state still doesn't have an assessment that measures student growth.

Posted on 10/20/14 at 2:56pm

According to a report released last month by the National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE), nearly 1.26 million homeless students in primary and secondary grades across the country were enrolled in the 2012-13 school year. 

Posted on 10/14/14 at 9:53am

MEA members can now access MEA information and news via a new mobile app for iPhones and Android devices. You can link to the app or go into the iPhone "App Store" or Android's "Google Play" and search for "Michigan Education Association."

Posted on 10/14/14 at 9:04am

Amanda Erspamer-Berry, an MEA member and teacher in Marquette's Alternative High School, is one of 15 finalists for a $100,000 grant in Farmers Insurance "Dream Big Teacher Challenge." The grant is challenging educators from across the country to submit innovative proposals that would help students. Winners will be chosen based on the number of votes they receive. Your vote can help make Amanda's vision become a reality for her students.

Posted on 10/14/14 at 9:08am

NEA President Lily Eskelsen has finished her Back-to-School Tour and talks about "What I Saw, Who I Met and What You Should Know About My Back to School Tour" in her blog at LilysBlackboard.org.  She talks about her visit to Northwestern High School in Flint where students and staff worked hard to move the school off Michigan's Priority Schools list. Read what she learned from members across the country.

House committee debates a variety of education issues

In the midst of budget discussions last week, the House Education Committee heard testimony on legislation that revises graduation requirements spelled out in the Michigan Merit Curriculum and does away with school accreditation. 

Higher education budget rewards some, punishes others

Higher education will get a 3 percent increase over last year, but there are plenty of strings attached—some of them reflecting legislators’ bias on social issues and a dislike for university autonomy.

House passes school budget; Senate expected to follow suit

House Republicans put the “School bus” budget—the omnibus bill consisting of K-12, higher education, and community colleges—on the road last week with a 58-51 party-line vote. But unfortunately, the supposed increase still doesn’t put enough gas in the bus to make it go very far down the road. The Senate is expected to pass the budget this week.

Urge NO vote on SB 1040 in House this week

The Legislature reconvenes Tuesday for what could be its final week before their summer break and indications are that SB 1040 – the unprecedented assault on school employee retirement – will be on the agenda.

Many State Representatives are still unsure how they will vote on this bill that attacks the retirement security of future, current and retired school employees across the state.  Contact them today!  Urge them to vote NO on SB 1040.  It’s not a fix for a long-term problem—one that school employees didn’t create. It merely shifts the financial burden from school districts to current and retired school employees who are already paying more than their share.  Let them know that taxes on pensions, salary cuts and increased costs for health insurance are robbing you of the ability to support yourself and your family. 

House meets on budget today; SB 1040 still awaits action

SB 1040 saw no action in the House yesterday, but Representatives are meeting at noon today--probably to complete the budget. Regardless, we need to keep the pressure on Representatives to vote NO on the bill that puts the burden of paying for retirement on the backs of current, future and retired school employees.

 
Contact your Representative today. Let them know that taxes on pensions, salary cuts and increased costs for health insurance and retirement are robbing you of the ability to support yourself and your family. 
 
We will keep you updated on any developments.

SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE ALERT: House may take up SB 1040 today

We've gotten information that the House may be taking up SB 1040 today--the plan to gut school employee retirement. The House made several changes to the Senate version, but some of the most damaging portions are still in place, such as forcing retirees to pay 20 percent of their health care.

It's critical that you contact your Representatives and urge them to vote NO on SB 1040. It's not a fix for a long-term problem--a problem that school employees didn't create. It merely shifts the financial burden from school districts to current and retired school employees who are already paying more than their share.

 

Statement from MEA President Steven Cook on Muskegon Heights School Restructuring Plan

EAST LANSING, Mich., Wed., May 30, 2012 – The following statement can be attributed to MEA President Steven Cook in response to Muskegon Heights Emergency Manager’s plan to turn the school district into a charter school district.
 

Pontiac teachers ratify contract

Pontiac teachers overwhelmingly ratified a tentative agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement, last Thursday evening.  Teachers accepted a two year contract containing wage reductions, increased out of pocket costs for health care, one and a half unpaid work days and a loss of step increases and longevity pay.

Has StudentsFirst contacted you?

StudentsFirst, the so-called education reform group led by Michelle Rhee, is contacting Michigan teachers with the message, "Tell your Representative to support 401(k) plans for teachers."

EM turns Muskegon Heights schools into charter district, terminates staff

Statement from MEA President Steven Cook on Muskegon Heights School Restructuring Plan

There will be school in Muskegon Heights this fall, but it will look very different.

Late last Friday afternoon, Don Weatherspoon, Muskegon Heights’s appointed Emergency Manager (EM), announced his plan to turn the school district into the first charter school district in Michigan. He is taking bids from private companies and is expected to award the job on June 6.

Earlier in the week, teachers were notified they were being laid off and could reapply for their jobs. Now, however, they’ve been told they are terminated and their jobs sold off to the lowest bidder.

“Our teachers had no advance knowledge of the Emergency Manager’s plan to convert the school district into a charter school system. We have been left out of the planning process. The staff, students and community are paying the price for the district’s financial mismanagement that they had nothing to do with creating,” said Muskegon Heights EA President Joy Robinson.

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