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announcements

  • NEA-RA "Soaring Cost of College Plan"

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

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

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

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

At NEA Representative Assembly, Educators Prepare to Make an Impact in 2020

Jul 11, 2019

National Education Association NEA.Org
"Galvanized by the historic mobilization of public school educatorsthat caught the attention of the entire nation, educators converged on the George E. Brown convention center in Houston, Texas on July 4 for the 98th National Education Association Representative Assembly (RA) and 157th Annual Meeting. The theme of the 2019 RA was Our Democracy. Our Responsibility. Our Time! After four busy and exciting days, the more than 6,000 delegates left Houston ready to carry the momentum of the #RedforEd movement into 2020 and play a pivotal in choosing the next president.

“This movement has created something better for millions of students and educators, but it’s bigger than that,” NEA President Lily Eskelsen García told delegates in her keynote address. “We’ve created something better for communities—for this country that we love.”

And that unnerves people like Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and the army of billionaires who are funding the school privatization schemes that drive her agenda. But if we are to bring real change, Eskelsen García said, we need to look to the top.

Electing a new U.S. president in November 2020, she said, should be a priority of anyone who cares about public education. And public school educators should not shy away from working toward that goal."

July 15ht is the Last Day to Respond to Verification of Coverage Survey.

Jul 11, 2019

The 2019 Verification of Coverage survey should have arrived in the mail to all retirees and using the Medicare Advantage PPO plan and Part D plan. Many of our members report they have already received their Verification of Coverage package.  You must complete this form for yourself and anyone else who is covered by your health care plan. If your response is not received by July 15, 2019, your prescription drug coverage will be canceled effective September 1, 2019, and your medical coverage will be cancelled effective October 1, 2019.  You must respond to the survey, even if you don’t have other coverage.

The Verification of Coverage survey asks you to identify any other health coverage you or your dependents might have in addition to your retirement system coverage. The information is used to determine your eligibility in the retirement system’s health plan.

Questions about the Verification of Coverage survey?

Check out the Verification of Coverage survey webcast at www.bcbsm.com/mpsers. To view the webcast, click on the For Members tab, then click Webinars.

Latest NEA data on teacher salaries provides another #RedForEd Reality Check

May 16, 2019

MEA.org Capitol Comments
"Recently the, NEA released this year’s edition of its Rankings and Estimates report, a well-respected and anticipated national “by-the-numbers” look at public education.  This year’s data continues to tell a scary story about the state of educator pay in Michigan:

  • After adjusting for inflation, average teacher salaries in the United States have fallen by 4.5% over the last decade.  Over the same period and with the same adjustment, average Michigan teacher salaries have fallen by 12% – fourth worst in the nation.
  • The average starting teacher salary nationwide in 2017-18 was $39,172, up 1.44% compared to the previous year.  However, in Michigan, the average starting salary was $36,309, up just .8% from the prior year. Michigan ranks 32nd in starting salary.
  • Nationwide, 37% of districts have a starting salary of at least $40,000.  In Michigan, just 12% of districts hit that level.

 This salary data lines up with other research from MSU, which shows Michigan is last in the nation for education funding increases over the past 25 years, and the School Finance Research Collaborative’s study which concluded Michigan’s schools are underfunded by at least $2,000 per pupil.
 
All this points to the critical need for Gov. Whitmer’s proposed education funding increases to become law.  That’s why MEA is engaged in our #RedForEd plans, including sharing Reality Checks with the general public.  Learn more about these efforts – which lead up to events at the Capitol in June – and what you can do to help at www.mea.org/redfored."

MEA calls on governor to sign “snow day” bill – and on schools to do right by hourly workers

May 12, 2019

MEA.org Capitol Comments

In a news release today, MEA called on Gov. Whitmer to sign the newly passed HB 4206,  which will allow schools to forgo making up days from this winter’s record-cold emergency days.  However, President Paula Herbart also called on school districts to do the right thing and pay hourly employees for lost wages for these newly forgiven days.
 
“The fact is, school districts don’t need the Legislature to tell them what is right – they can make that choice for themselves,” Herbart said. “With this legislation, districts will be receiving the same level of funding they were otherwise expecting – which means they have the money to pay these hourly workers what they would have made, without any budgetary impact. MEA is calling on all school districts to do the right thing for these workers and their families.”
 
While some hourly employees are paid for days when school is called off for weather and other emergencies, others are not.  With some districts experiencing more than 20 snow days this winter, that could mean weeks of lost pay. Language that would have required hourly school employees be paid for these extra emergency days was stripped from the bill by Senate leadership.  To help employees financially impacted by HB 4206, MEA has developed a draft letter of agreement that would make hourly workers whole for the time not being made up – and will be working with districts to adopt that LOA as soon as possible.
 Read more. . .

Survey: Quarter of Michigan teachers say schools aren't ready to help retained students

May 02, 2019

Detroit News, March 20, 2019
"Nearly a quarter of Michigan educators say their schools are not ready to provide any additional support for students who are held back after next school year under Michigan's controversial third-grade reading law, according to statewide educator survey results released on Wednesday.

The survey by Launch Michigan, which gathered opinions from nearly 17,000 educators across the state, found that number rises to more than 4 in 10 in some urban districts, especially those with high-poverty and low per-pupil spending.

The full survey report, available at www.launchmichigan.org/news, was paid for by Launch Michigan, a partnership of business, education, labor, philanthropy, civic leaders and parents.

While a majority of teachers say their school libraries and classrooms have enough reading material for students, more than 3 in 10 do not — particularly in the same high-poverty and lower-spending urban districts, said Emma White, principal of Emma White Research, which fielded the online survey from Feb. 4-19."  Continue Reading.  Detroit News, March 20, 2019


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