Issues and legislation

Information on the current legislation and legislative news.

Bill Tracker

Retirement Issues and Legislation

Education Reform


 

June 15, 2011 - Senate testimony before the Education Committee on Tenure Reform

MEA General Counsel Art Przybylowicz testifies before the Senate Education Committee on the four-bill tenure package.

Mary Aldecoa, Fowlerville teacher and EA president, provides the teacher perspective on tenure to the Senate Education Committee.

 

MEA fighting anti-collective bargaining bills in Senate

Michigan Senate
Michigan Senate

The Michigan Senate is the next stop for a four-bill package designed to unravel collective bargaining and tenure laws, legislation that would impact all public school employees.

Last week, the GOP-led state House passed House Bills 4625, 4626, 4627, and 4628 with bipartisan opposition after heavy lobbying from MEA members and staff. MEA will have an increased presence at the Capitol beginning Tuesday, with members and staff stepping up efforts to work with moderate senators willing to consider alternative ideas, including MEA-backed reforms to streamline the process of disciplining or discharging ineffective teachers with tenure.

Health care bills up in House committee

The House Oversight, Reform, and Ethics Committee will continue its work this week on legislation dealing with public employee health care. The panel meets Tuesday to consider House Bills 4087 and 4572 and Senate Joint Resolution C.

Q&A: How will these bills impact me?

Answers to common questions about House Bills 4625-4628, including: What is the current status of these bills? Could "good teachers" lose their jobs if these bills become law? Could I be fired for reasons that have nothing to do with job performance?

How did your representative vote on HB 4625, 4626,4627 and 4628?

House Bill No. 4625, entitled

A wolf in sheep’s clothing

Anti-tenure bills would kill collective bargaining, too

A four-bill package pending in the state House to overhaul tenure would actually reach far beyond what some say is the real problem – the time and money it takes to discharge a teacher with tenure.

The legislation – House Bills 4625, 4626, 4627, and 4628 – would, in fact, dismantle tenure AND collective bargaining of most subjects currently decided at the local bargaining table, including placement of employees, evaluation systems, discharge/discipline policies, and more. In an ironic turn, the legislation is backed by Republicans, who usually claim to oppose such intrusions on local control by state government.

Under this legislation, it would be possible for a school district to fire an unmarried, pregnant teacher. Or a tenured teacher who happens to be gay. Or an unpopular employee disliked by the principal. Or veteran teachers who can be replaced with cheaper, less experienced alternatives.

Lawmakers agree to deep education budget cuts

Lawmakers in Lansing have finalized budget cuts for K-12 schools, community colleges, and universities, agreeing to more than $1 billion in overall cuts that will lead to mass layoffs and reduced services for students.

House panel considers health insurance cap

A state House committee is considering legislation to cap the amount public employers, including school districts, pay for employee health care.

MEA Action Day draws thousands to Lansing

Responding to ongoing attacks on public education and the middle class, thousands of MEA members traveled to Lansing on Saturday for MEA Action Day.

MEA responds to legislative attacks

Next big Lansing protest is Saturday

Several dozen MEA members, leaders, and staff were at the Capitol today to talk with legislators about votes this week affecting public employee wages and health care.

On Wednesday, the Senate passed House Bill 4152 (to freeze step wage increases when a contract expires) and Senate Bill 7 (to require public employees to pay at least 20 percent of the cost of their health insurance) and the House Education Committee approved bills to dismantle tenure and collective bargaining laws. Those votes compelled the educators to visit Lansing -- to hold accountable the lawmakers who supported these measures, and to thank those who did not.

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