Opinion: Keep loan-forgiveness promises to educators

January 15, 2020 By PAULA HERBART/President – Michigan Education Association Stefanie Sedlar was forced to put her plans to start a family on hold to pay off nearly $100,000 in student loan debt. A special education teacher for Mount Pleasant Public Schools, Sedlar is one of countless dedicated teachers and other public school employees who start…

Union Bargains Improvements in Flint

Five years after accepting dramatic concessions to help pull Flint Community Schools out of deficit spending, the district’s teachers have overwhelmingly approved a contract that raises pay, lowers class sizes, and restores MESSA health care benefits, among other improvements. In addition, added provisions aim to create a new educator pipeline through a tuition reimbursement plan for long-term substitute…

Opinion: To address literacy, understand link with poverty

December 18, 2019 By PAULA HERBART/President – Michigan Education Association Some of us remember the old “Reading is Fundamental” ad campaign, which encouraged parents to read to their children. Today, that fundamental is even more critical, especially in light of how poverty and lagging literacy levels intersect. Too often, lawmakers look for “silver bullet” solutions…

My View: Three—‘Read or Flunk’ Rules Inspire Fear

“I know my child struggles in reading, but will she pass third grade?” These gut-wrenching words were tearfully repeated many times to me during parent teacher conferences this October. I tried to encourage parents to focus on inspiring a love of reading in their child. I tried to share where benchmark scores, classroom observations, and assignments indicated…