Michigan Education Association

Michigan Education Association signs on to Race to the Top

Collaborative effort results in much stronger application for second round of federal funds

EAST LANSING, Mich., May 10, 2010 – The Michigan Education Association today issued a letter of support to the state’s second Race to the Top application, signing on to a plan that has the potential to improve the quality of education for every student in Michigan.

“This second application process was markedly different from the first, “said MEA President Iris K. Salters. “The outcome reflects a much more collaborative, useful plan for schools to implement, should they so choose.”

Local school districts and local education associations will make their own decisions about whether or not to sign Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs), but MEA is recommending that its local units give careful consideration to supporting this application.

“Many of the concerns we had with the first application have been addressed because we, along with other professional organizations, were able to participate in the crafting of the RTTT plan,” Salters said. “This meant that the voices of the dedicated employees who work in our schools—and know best what our students need—were heard and valued.”

This collaboration resulted in a much stronger application, which will place Michigan in a much more competitive position in this second round.

“Still, we must remember that although any federal funding awarded through Race to the Top will help our schools in these tough economic times, it will not solve our long-term budget problems,” Salters said. “It is imperative that Michigan lawmakers work to fix the fundamental flaws in the way public education is funded in order to ensure the highest quality education for every student.”

Local associations have until May 20 to decide whether to sign off on the state’s Race to the Top application.

Contact:  Kerry Birmingham, MEA Media Relations Specialist, 517-337-5508