Posted on 08/20/14 at 9:48am

Fallout is still being felt two months after the release of the Detroit Free Press' report on the state's charter schools. The investigative report uncovered a general lack of accountability and transparency in how charter schools spend the more than $1 billion in state taxpayer money they receive.

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.

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 08/26/14 at 6:10pm

Despite claims that charter schools lack financial and academic oversight, 18 new charter schools are opening this fall. With 11 charter schools closing at the end of the last school year, there are now a total of 303 charter schools in the state.

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 08/11/14 at 10:10am

Schools across the state will be starting a new school year in less than a month, but there’s been no further legislative action on the adoption of a statewide teacher and administrator evaluation system. And the MEAP will still be used this school year since no new statewide student assessment has been chosen that will measure student growth—a measurement that will impact teacher and administrator evaluations.

CSR defends middle class in SB 1040 opposition

Prior to the Senate Appropriations Retirement Subcommittee’s day-long hearing on SB 1040, the Coalition for Secure Retirement-Michigan (CSR) held a news conference denouncing the legislation for “undermining the retirement security of current and future school retirees and dramatically increasing employee contributions.” MEA is a member of CSR, which represents active and retired school employees, corrections employees and nurses—the middle class.

No guaranteed replacement for funding lost with PPT elimination

This week, the Senate Finance Committee began hearing testimony on SB 1065-1072, a package of bills that would eliminate the personal property tax (PPT) on industrial equipment collected by local governments.

Muskegon Heights schools gets emergency manager

Governor Snyder has appointed Donald Weatherspoon as Muskegon Heights School District emergency manager effective April 23.

Changes coming to proposed retirement legislation

If you’ve wondered whether contacting legislators or providing testimony or attending legislative sessions was important—then yesterday’s Senate Appropriations Retirement Subcommittee decision to work on a substitute for SB 1040 is proof that your actions make a difference.

Update

Pontiac may lose state aid for failing to reduce debt

Even after two rounds of staff layoffs—the most recent on April 13—the Pontiac school district still hasn’t reduced enough of its $24 million deficit to receive its April 20 state aid payment.

The move by the Michigan Department of Education, who is overseeing the progress of the district’s deficit elimination plan, has questions about the district’s progress.  Not only does the district stand to lose $1.25 million in state aid this Friday, future aid payments will also be withheld.

Forty teachers were laid off last Friday with only two days notice. Substitutes were hired to cover those classes.

Walter Burt, Pontiac’s interim superintendent, is looking to staff to bear the brunt of the deficit elimination plan since they are the most costly. However, mismanagement of funds by the administration is the reason the district is so deeply in debt.

Senators get an earful on SB 1040

The Senate Appropriations Retirement Subcommittee heard six hours of testimony yesterday on SB 1040 from a variety of people—current school employees, retired teachers,  community college employees, a student teacher, and a concerned parent. 

Challenges to PA 4 repeal based on technicalities

Just before yesterday's 5 p.m. deadline to challenge PA 4 repeal petitions, the Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility criticized the drive on technical issues. PA 4 allows the appointment of an emergency manager to municipalities and school districts when a financial emergency exists.

Court of Appeals will make final ruling on immediate effect lawsuit

In the next phase of the continuing House battle over the immediate effect of recent legislation, the Court of Appeals issued a stay on an Ingham Circuit Court decision ordering House Republicans to stop ignoring Democrats’ demands for roll call votes on immediate effect.

Tell legislators what retirement cuts will mean for you

This Wednesday, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Retirement is holding a hearing on Senate Bill 1040. We need your help to make sure the voice of school employees and retirees are heard! SB 1040 is the most sweeping attack on school employee retirement benefits in history. It breaks promises made to both current and active retirees. At the same time, it discourages the best and the brightest from ever entering the profession.

Your voices needed at Wednesday hearing on retirement cuts

This Wednesday, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Retirement is holding a hearing on Senate Bill 1040 -- and we need your help to make sure the voice of school employees and retirees are heard!

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