'A sad day for Michigan students'

Anti-collective bargaining, anti-tenure bills hurt children 

EAST LANSING, Mich., June 30, 2011 -- Michigan lawmakers who voted today to strip collective bargaining rights from public school employees and dismantle teacher tenure will be held accountable for actions that hurt school children statewide. 

Senate passage of House Bills 4625-4628 will force good teachers out of the classroom, lead to high staff turnover, and stifle the creativity and voices of educators. On top of devastating budget cuts that have cost the jobs of about 15,000 public school employees to date, today's actions by the GOP-led Legislature continue an unprecedented assault on the middle class.

"This is a sad day for Michigan students," said MEA President Iris K. Salters. "Whenever the working conditions of Michigan school employees are threatened, the learning conditions of students are deeply affected."

Following anticipated House passage of these bills, they will go to Gov. Rick Snyder, who is expected to sign them into law.

"These bills do not ensure that students have access to great schools or the strongest teachers," Salters said. "These bills do not ensure that schools have adequate resources to provide the type of education our students need. These bills are nothing but a partisan attack on teachers and public school employees."

Michigan voters must now hold the Legislature – and Gov. Rick Snyder – accountable for their decisions on these bills.

"We will do everything in our power to fight back," Salters said.

Contact: Doug Pratt, MEA Director of Public Affairs, 517-332-6551