Charter school cap and PAC payroll deduction prohibition on legislative agenda this week

Charter school cap and PAC payroll deduction prohibition on legislative agenda this week

While it seems every week has been a crucial legislative week for education, this next to the last week of session before the holiday break may see some major bills move out of committee or out of chamber.

SB 618, the bill to remove the cap on charter schools, has cleared the House Education Committee and is on the House floor awaiting a vote. That could happen this week if the House can recruit the necessary 55 votes to pass the legislation. As of last week, there were some Republicans who were not supporting the bill.

Last week, President Cook sent a letter to state representatives urging them to vote "no" on SB 618 and reaffirming our opposition to the bill. Continue contacting your state representatives and urge them to support what research says will yield the greatest results for our children--small class sizes, more and better teacher training, greater parental involvement and adequate resources for student learning.

NOTE: Please remember to contact your legislators on your own non-work time and equipment.

The House Education Committee is scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. on Tues., Dec. 6 and Wed., Dec. 7 at 9 a.m. They could be taking up another piece of the Senate’s so-called education reform package: cyber schools.

It's expected that the House Redistricting and Elections Committee will be taking up HB 5085 and 5086 at its meeting on Tues., Dec. 6. HB 5085, sponsored by Rep. Mike Shirkey (R-Clark Lake), prohibits school districts from the payroll deduction of political action contributions for employees. HB 5086, sponsored by Paul Opsommer (R-DeWitt), allows employees or community members to sue the school district if they violate the law.

In a Dec. 2010 case, Michigan Education Association v. Secretary of State, the state Supreme Court ruled that a school district could use a payroll deduction system for PAC contributions. But in June 2011, after a change in the makeup of the Supreme Court, it reversed its earlier decision and decided such PAC payroll deductions violated the Michigan Campaign Finance Act.

Bill sponsors claim the legislation will "codify the court’s ruling for the future."

MEA is reviewing the legislation.

The Senate Education Committee is also scheduled to meet Wed., Dec. 7.