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  • NEA-RA "Soaring Cost of College Plan"

  • MEA-Retired members attend the NEA-RA in Houston

  • MEA-Rired members attend the Michigan Caucus at the NEA-RA

  • MEA-Retired delegate Al Beamish attends his 50th NEA-RA

  • MEA-Retired Members at the NEA-RA in Houston

Action needed to support additional state education spending

Oct 12, 2019

Budget conversations in Lansing have picked back up after Gov. Whitmer’s efforts to jump start negotiations last week.  Now, MEA members need to contact their lawmakers to advocate for supplemental budget bills that fund various priorities cut because of the lack of a comprehensive solution to the budget.

In particular, these areas need to be funded to provide students with the educational opportunities they deserve:

•             $7 million for isolated school districts (HB 5093/SB 575).

•             $350,000 on a pilot program to train 60 providers on autism treatment (HB 5082/SB 552).

•             $10.5 million for the state to cover the full cost of tripling the number of literacy coaches, rather than splitting the       costs with ISDs (SB 577).

•             $110 million to fund the first two years of Michigan Reconnect program (SB 577).

•             Plus additional funding for at-risk education programs, providing additional resources for some of our students who need it most.

These areas – plus many more – would have received funding through Gov. Whitmer’s budget proposal this spring.  However, real negotiations with GOP legislative leaders didn’t happen over the summer months leading to the governor using line-item vetoes to bring everyone back to the table.  MEA continues to support the need for real revenue solutions to fully invest in Michigan education and infrastructure, while also meeting the need for this essential funding for Michigan students.

Please contact lawmakers and urge them to negotiate and provide schools and students with this necessary funding.

MPSERS Fall Education Schedule

Oct 01, 2019

Presentations                                          Learning Center

10:00 am – 10:10 am      Introduction                      9:00 am -  12:30 pm

10;10 am – 10:40 am      Delta Dental                      Ask specific questions about

10:40 am -  11:05 am      Eye Med                           your coverage and explore

11:05 am -  11:20 am      Break                                online tools and wellness

11:20 am -  11:55 am      OptumRx                           resources available to you.

11:55 am -  12:30 pm      Blue Cross                        *  Representative will be available
                                                                               until all questions are answered

This fall the Michigan Public School Employees' Retirement System (MPSERS) educational seminars schedule have been announced.  This is an opportunity for members to learn more about your 2020 retirement system health plan. Each seminar will feature information to help you stay informed and understand your plan, get the most value from your plan, and connect you to helpful tools and resources. Seminars will include presentations about each component of your retirement system health plan. In addition to the presentations, representatives from Blue Cross® Blue Shield® of Michigan, Delta Dental®, EyeMed and OptumRx® will be available in the Learning Center to answer specific questions about your coverage. Registration is not required to attend. See the schedule below and choose the seminar that is most convenient for you.  This only applies to members who have Blue Cross PPO health insurance.

8-Oct                    Marquette
                             Holiday Inn Marquette
                            1951 US 41 West
                            Marquette, MI 49855

9-Oct                    Escanaba
                             Island Resort & Casino
                             W399 Highway 2
                             Harris, MI. 49845

10-Oct                  Bay Harbor
                             Great Lakes Center of the Arts
                             800 Bay Harbor Drive
                             Bay Harbor, MI. 49770

11-Oct                  Gaylord
                             Treetops Resort
                             3962 Wilkinson Road
                             Gaylord, MI. 49735

14-Oct                  Lansing
                             Eagle Eye Golf Club
                             15500 Chandler Rd
                             Bath Twp, MI 48808

15-Oct                  Midland
                            Great Hall Banquet Center
                            5121 Bay City Road
                            Midland, MI 48642

16-Oct                  Kalamazoo
                             Delta Hotels Kalamazoo Conference Center
                             2747 South 11th Street
                             Kalamazoo, MI. 49009

17-Oct                  Holland
                             DoubleTree Holland
                             650 East 24th Street
                             Holland, MI. 49423

21-Oct                  Flint
                             Holiday Inn Gateway Centre
                             5353 Gateway Centre
                             Flint, MI 48507

23-Oct                  Livonia
                             Laurel Manor Banquet & Conference Ctr.
                             39000 Schoolcraft Rd
                             Livonia, MI 48150

24-Oct                  Ypsilanti
                             312 EMU Student Center
                             Eastern Michigan University
                             Ypsilanti, MI. 48197

25-Oct                  Novi
                             Four Points Novi
                             27000 South Karevich Drive
                             Novi, MI. 48377              

29-Oct                  Sterling Heights
                             Wyndham Garden Sterling Heights
                             34911 Van Dyke Ave
                             Sterling Heights, MI. 48312              

6-Nov                   Tucson
                             Hilton Garden Inn Tucson Airport
                             6575 S. Country Club Road
                             Tucson, AZ 85756

7-Nov                   Scottsdale
                             DoubleTree Scottsdale-Paradise Valley
                             5041 N Scottsdale Rd
                             Scottsdale, AZ. 85250              

10-Dec                 Ocala
                             Holiday Inn & Suites Ocala Conference Center
                             3600 SW 38th Ave
                             Ocala, FL. 34474

11-Dec                 St. Petersburg
                            Holiday Inn St Petersburg-Clearwater Airport
                            3535 Ulmerton Road
                            Clearwater, FL. 33762

12-Dec                 Sarasota
                             Holiday Inn Sarasota Airport
                             8009 15th St. E.
                             Sarasota, FL 34243

13-Dec                  Fort Myers
                              Holiday Inn Ft. Myers Airport
                              9931 Interstate Commerce Drive
                              Fort Myers, FL 33913

Number of Long Term Subs Grows in Michigan

Sep 05, 2019

In case you missed it… Last week Bridge magazine published  a series of articles detailing one of the concerning consequences of our state's teaching shortage—uncertified substitute teachers filling long-term and permanent roles in our schools.

Please share this important information with friends, family members, and your community: Our students pay the price for failures of leadership on the issues of teacher retention and recruitment.

According to the analysis of state data from Bridge, last school year more than 2,500 Michigan classrooms were led by long-term substitutes who weren’t certified teachers – a stunning tenfold increase in just five years that threatens to hobble efforts to improve the state’s K-12 public education system.Nu

Last year at one charter school in rural north central Michigan, 44 percent of its teachers were uncertified full- time substitutes — more than the region’s six traditional school districts combined,  according to state data.

In this Q&A, the dean of University of Michigan’s School of Education argues the situation should concern everyone in the state.
 

Whitmer Pushes for Real Budget Solutions at Jackson School Visit

Sep 02, 2019

MEA Capital Comments

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ventured into the Jackson County turf of Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) on Thursday to illustrate the struggles schools are facing without a state budget and press Republican leaders to put real solutions on the table.

At Jackson High School, the school year started with two administrators at the helm instead of the four needed in a building of 1,200 students, Superintendent Jeff Beal said. The district recently hired two new administrators “on good faith,” who won’t start until next month to save money.

“We know we need more boots on the ground to be able to provide for our students, but we delayed that expenditure,” Beal said he told Whitmer.

Superintendents across the county are reporting delayed hiring and technology and equipment purchases based on the uncertainty of operating without knowing how much money will be available, he added.

“We also talked about not messing with pensions,” Beal said. “We’ve got lots of folks who anticipate when they retire that their pension is going to be there for them. I don’t want the government taking out a credit card consolidation loan with our pension money.”

Whitmer has proposed a budget that would tap new revenue for road repairs and produce the largest education spending increase in 24 years, but Republican leaders in the House and Senate have responded with more shell games and half measures, Whitmer said.

According to the capitol news service Gongwer, Shirkey favors a plan to bond and reamortize the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS) to pay for road repairs – an idea Whitmer has labeled a non-starter.

She restated her opposition to the “pensions for potholes” scheme on Thursday.

“This is a competitive issue for us as a state, and that’s why I’m determined to get it right and not to take money out of teacher pensions to fill potholes,” she said.

Learn more about the irresponsible “Pensions for Potholes” schemes at www.PensionsForPotholes.com — and contact your lawmakers to oppose them!

Whitmer noted she submitted her budget in March – including $507 million in additional education spending to rebuild student supports, literacy services, and career-technical education, among other initiatives. The Legislature left for the summer in June without approving a spending plan for the first time in nine years — they returned to work this week.

Continue reading . . .


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