Feature

Legislature considering school voucher bills during lame duck

In the final weeks of the legislative session, state lawmakers are considering bills that would strip away local communities’ ability to guide education policy, by creating a statewide "takeover district."

Legislators 'extremely confused' about proposed state takeover district

Members of the state House Education Committee were "extremely confused" about legislation to create a statewide takeover district during a committee hearing Monday, according to the Gongwer News Service -- another sign that they should not attempt to pass such radical school overhauls in the lame duck session.

The panel was hearing testimony on House Bill 6004, which would expand the authority of the interlocal agreement between Detroit Public Schools and Eastern Michigan University that created the Education Achievement Authority.

The legislation would expand the EAA to the entire state, allowing it to absorb schools deemed by arbitrary and flawed ratings to be in the bottom 5 percent.

Legislature poised to jam through bills to create statewide takeover district

Legislation that would eliminate a local community's ability to guide education policy by creating a statewide "takeover district" appears to be headed for quick action in the Legislature after the Thanksgiving holiday.

House Bills 5923 and 6004 expand the authority of the interlocal agreement between Detroit Public Schools and Eastern Michigan University that created the Education Achievement Authority, a virtual school district. The legislation would expand the EAA's current reach from Detroit to the entire state, allowing Lansing bureaucrats to assume many of responsibilities currently entrusted to local school board members, parents and educators.

This statewide takeover district would oversee schools deemed by arbitrary and flawed ratings to be in the bottom 5 percent. Creating a cold, impersonal statewide school district would eliminate time-honored "neighborhood schools," further eroding the public school system.

Message from MEA President Steve Cook about Election 2012 results

 


 
Dear MEA members,
 
There's no way to sugar-coat last night's loss on Proposal 2 enough to make it easy to swallow. But I will preface my comments with this -- I have never seen this organization so engaged and united. And I've never been more proud of our Association than I have been these past few months. We organized thousands of members to volunteer throughout this campaign, and that organizing will not be in vain so long as we keep our members engaged in the fight for our schools and our rights. I can only say thank you, but it doesn't seem like enough.
 
The failure to pass Proposal 2 is a bitter disappointment felt not only by you and me, but the other Protect Working Families coalition members as well. Suffice to say, the coalition simply was not able to overcome being outspent by corporate special interests who did everything they could to convince voters that Proposal 2 was about everything but collective bargaining. 
 
But the battle to protect collective bargaining is not over--it's never over.
 
 

 

VOTE TUESDAY - Be informed; the decisions are up to you

What’s your voting plan for tomorrow? Do you know where you vote? Will you vote before or after work? Do you have plans for child care or are you taking your children with you? Will you have a copy of MEA’s recommended candidates with you? Are you allowing yourself enough time to read and mark the entire ballot?

We’re all busy, but having a plan to vote means you’ll be more likely to actually go to the polls and cast your ballot. Be an informed voter. Take a voter guide with you to make sure you know which candidates and which ballot proposals support working families. Using a guide will also save you time.

The Michigan League of Responsible Voters is dedicated to educating voters with the most updated election information. On their website, www.leagueofresponsiblevoters.org, you can download a practical guide to the ballot proposals that provides background information on each proposal, explains what each proposal does, lists those groups both supporting and opposing the proposal, and the League’s recommendations.

For a listing of MEA recommendations for federal, state and local races and to find your polling location, log in to the Members Only area

We’ve said for months this election is critical -- who gets elected matters and the decisions are all up to you. Vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6!

PTA responds to 'below the belt' attack by Proposal 2 opponents

The Michigan PTA is slamming back against accusations that it violated its tax-exempt status when it endorsed Proposal 2 to protect collective bargaining and the voices of working families.

MPSERS election window still open

If you've already selected your retirement options with the Office of Retirement (ORS), you can make changes to your elections, according to the ORS website today. The election period deadline for MPSERS members to make their retirement choices came and went at 5 p.m. last Friday. The Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) issued against the state and its enforcement of the Oct. 26 deadline remains in effect until the Supreme Court acts on the Attorney General's Emergency Motion for Stay.

The Court will have to issue a new deadline and that could come at any time. There may be no advance warning, so be prepared. If you've already made your choices, you can log in to your miAccount to review them. If you're still deciding, go to the ORS website to learn more about the options. Seek advice from your financial planner. If you don't have one, contact MEA Financial Services (800-292-1950) for advice about the best option for you. Once you're sure of your choices, make your retirement elections.

Go to www.mea.org/retirement to keep updated on the latest news and information.

MPSERS election window still open

If you've already selected your retirement options with the Office of Retirement (ORS), you can make changes to your elections, according to the ORS website today. The election period deadline for MPSERS members to make their retirement choices came and went at 5 p.m. last Friday. The Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) issued against the state and its enforcement of the Oct. 26 deadline remains in effect until the Supreme Court acts on the Attorney General's Emergency Motion for Stay.

The Court will have to issue a new deadline and that could come at any time. There may be no advance warning, so be prepared. If you've already made your choices, you can log in to your miAccount to review them. If you're still deciding, go to the ORS website to learn more about the options. Seek advice from your financial planner. If you don't have one, contact MEA Financial Services (800-292-1950) for advice about the best option for you. Once you're sure of your choices, make your retirement elections.

Go to www.mea.org/retirement to keep updated on the latest news and information.

TRO still in place delaying Oct. 26 deadline

Today was the deadline set by the Legislature for school employees to make their decisions regarding what retirement options or retiree health benefits they want. So far, there’s been no decision from the Supreme Court, so the temporary restraining order (TRO) preventing the ending of the election period remains in effect.

If you’ve already made your choices, the TRO allows you to change those elections while the election period remains open and gives you the opportunity to rescind or change them if PA 300 is found to be unconstitutional.

The Michigan Office of Retirement website has also changed its message to read, “The court has issued two temporary restraining orders. The practical effect of these orders is that the window remains open until the courts take action.”

Things could change quickly. Be prepared. First, make sure you have an miAccount number. Go to www.michigan.gov/ors to set up your account if you don’t already have one.

Keep connected to www.mea.org/retirement for the latest news and information.

MPSERS election deadline this Friday, despite restraining order

Members have until 5 p.m. this Friday--Oct. 26--to make their decision regarding what retirement options or retiree health benefits they want. Right now, even though a temporary restraining order (TRO) is in place pushing back the deadline for MPSERS members, MEA is recommending members still make their choices by the Oct. 26 deadline because the Michigan Supreme Court is still considering whether the Oct. 26 deadline will apply.

In her ruling on the TRO, Michigan Court of Claims Judge Rosemary Aquilina stated that any choices members made could be rescinded or changed if the law is found to be unconstitutional. It's now up to the Supreme Court to decide the deadline.

Remember that in order to even be eligible to make a retirement choice, you must have an miAccount number. Go to www.michigan.gov/ors to set up your account.

MEA will keep you updated on any court decisions. Go to www.mea.org/retirement for the latest news and information.

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