MEA - Retired
House Budget Spends on Private Schools Without increasing Higher Ed Funding
Lawmakers in the House passed their version of an education budget for next year that includes money for private schools and an earmark to purchase software that would be used to evaluate teachers.
Budget negotiations are expected to continue through late spring to bridge differences between the House, Senate, and Gov. Rick Snyder. The core of the House education budget calls for an increase for K-12 ranging from $120 per pupil for districts at the lowest foundation allowance to a $60 increase for those at the top.A Senate budget has not been passed yet.
In House budget voting this week, a majority of Democrats unsuccessfully opposed an item to give $1 million to private schools as reimbursement for the costs of complying with state mandates.
"You have blatantly broken the constitution by putting money into this to fund private schools," said House Minority Floor Leader Sam Singh (D-East Lansing).
Meanwhile, the House budget failed to increase higher education funding to levels sought by Gov. Snyder in his budget recommendation. Snyder would like to restore funding levels for colleges and universities that were in place before 2011 cuts.
At the same time, the Republican House majority continues to fully fund cyber charter schools at the full foundation allowance - despite their large student-teacher ratios, lack of facilities, and poor record of educating students.
MEA Announces 34 Public School Scholarship Winners
The Michigan Education Association today announced the recipients of the 2016 MEA Scholarships, honoring exemplary public school students from across the state who will be attending a Michigan public university next fall.
Among the 438 applications submitted for scholarship awards this year, the MEA Scholarship Fund Trustees chose 19 new award recipients who will each receive $1,200. In addition, 15 repeat winners who are already enrolled in college will receive $500 each.
The MEA Scholarship Fund is financed through voluntary contributions of members, staff and friends of the Michigan Education Association. To view a list of scholarship winners click here.
List of Critical Shortages in Schools Shows Opportunities for Retirees
The Michigan Department of Education recently released its list of documented education-related employee shortages, clearing the path for retirees qualified in those disciplines to return to work in schools without jeopardizing their pensions.
The law allowing retirees with in-demand skills to return to work in schools was signed by Gov. Rick Snyder last December. Under the law, the MDOE is responsible for compiling a list of disciplines in short supply based on reporting from school districts.
The Academic Year 2016-17 Critical Shortage Disciplines for Employment of Retirees includes substitute teachers in all disciplines, bus drivers, career and technical education teachers and paraeducators, world language teachers, pre-K teachers and paraeducators, and communications arts teachers.
In addition, districts experiencing regional shortages can submit a written request to the Superintendent of Public Instruction to add a discipline to the listing. Questions about implementation of the retiree benefit provisions of the legislation should be directed to the Office of Retirement Services. From MEA Voice