Posted on 04/14/14 at 1:36pm

This year, MEA awarded a total of 45 scholarships to honor exemplary public school students from across the state who will be attending a Michigan public university next fall. The recipients were chosen from 905 applicants.

Posted on 04/14/14 at 1:37pm

If the Legislature provides the funding, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) will implement a new plan to help school districts with budget deficits. The plan is part of Gov. Snyder’s budget recommendations. Currently, there are 46 school districts with budget deficits.

Posted on 04/14/14 at 1:39pm

The Michigan School Safety and Bullying Prevention Summit will be held at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing on Monday, April 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Posted on 04/14/14 at 1:40pm

If you’re looking to get involved in a community event that promotes safety and a healthy habit, consider signing up for the National Bike to School Day on Wednesday, May 7. In Michigan, the event is sponsored by the Michigan Fitness Foundation to make communities more walkable and “bikeable.”

Posted on 04/07/14 at 11:21am

MEA’s Professional Development/Human Rights Department is hosting a series of WebEx trainings on professional practice portfolios, an alternative approach to teacher evaluations.  The first training, “Introduction to the UTF Professional Practice Portfolio (P3)” is now available for viewing. *

Posted on 04/07/14 at 11:27am

Michigan students aren’t keeping pace with other states when it comes to showing improvement in areas of reading and math, according to a report by Education Trust-Midwest, a Royal Oak-based education advocacy and research organization. The group used 10 years’ worth of data on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) given to fourth, eighth and 12th graders.

Workgroup to review quality of charters and all public schools

Quality and accountability were key issues during the debate on SB 618 to lift the cap on charter schools. The only amendment to pass dealing with the issues created a bicameral, bipartisan workgroup focusing on “improving the educational quality in all public schools for all pupils.”

Appeals court rules therapists can’t be privatized

By a 2 to 1 majority, the Michigan Court of Appeals has upheld a Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC) decision that occupational therapists and physical therapists are not subject to the privatization provisions of PA 112, which makes bargaining over the privatization of non-instructional employees a prohibited subject. Court of Appeals Judges William Murphy and Donald Owens offered the majority opinion with Judge Kathleen Jansen offering the dissenting opinion.

Right to Work may surface as Labor Freedom Act

Look for the Labor Freedom Act to surface in January if the Michigan Freedom to Work (MIFTW) group has any say. Their goal is to turn Michigan into a right-to-work state and they are encouraging Republicans to take up the legislation.

Changes to school retirement among legislative goals

Changing the retirement health benefits of school employees is one of the legislative goals House Republicans have set for this year.

More changes to public education in Snyder’s new proposals

Last year’s legislative onslaught of so-called education reform proposals shouldn’t have come as a surprise. In his April 2011 special message on education reform, Gov. Snyder gave marching orders to legislators to lift the charter school cap, overhaul teacher tenure, tie teacher evaluation to student performance, encourage unchecked growth of cyber schools and tie funding to student achievement.

Now, eight months later, Snyder has updated his list of education reform proposals to reflect legislative changes. He’s also added some new initiatives which give us a glimpse into this year’s political agenda. His emphasis is still on alternative forms of education—especially cyber schools—which dismantle public education and sell it off to private companies.

No education funding cuts next year?

Given the legislative attacks of the past year, it's hard not to be skeptical when we get news that Gov. Snyder says that his next budget won't include funding cuts to public schools and universities. He wants to roll out his budget proposal sometime in Feb.

Snyder signs SB 618 into law

On Tuesday, Gov. Snyder signed SB 618 into law lifting a 150-cap on university-sponsored charter schools.  The bill is now Public Act 277.

The original bill was modified so that the cap is gradually lifted until 2015 when there will be no limit. Next year, the limit is 300 new charter schools and grows to 500 in 2014.

MEA opposed the bill on the grounds that lifting the cap robs traditional public schools of needed resources. The bill also lacked strict accountability standards for newly-created charter schools.

51st S & R recommends Losey

The MEA Screening and Recommending Committee in the 51st District has chosen Steve Losey from Linden as its candidate to replace the recalled Rep. Paul Scott.

Michigan loses out on RTTT grant again

For the third time, Michigan has missed out on federal Race to the Top funding—this time for early childhood development programs.

No retirement contribution refund for public school employees

As of right now, public school employees will not be getting a refund of their 3 percent retirement contribution that state employees are getting. We are still awaiting a decision on our issue from the Michigan Court of Appeals who heard oral arguments on Oct. 19.

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