Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Late this evening the following Legislative update was sent out by our MEA Lobbyist, Dave Stafford. The Senate and House have made it clear that they have taken up legislation that SERIOUSLY AFFECTS TEACHER EVALUATIONS AND THE TENURE ACT. It is very important that we contact our legislators today (Dec. 2nd) as it looks as if they will be working all day and into the night!

FROM DAVE STAFFORD (MEA Lobbyist): “The Senate passed an amended version of HB 4410, a bill to change the School Code by inserting almost four pages of language to micro-manage the evaluation process for teachers and administrators. Included in this language is a requirement that at least 45% of the evaluation must be based upon student growth in academic achievement and using standardized test scores when possible. This amended version of HB 4410 was sent back to the House of Representatives where efforts are underway to buy or otherwise convince members to support this bill.”
Note: The Race To the Top Bill will already require schools to amend their evaluation process, but it allows for LOCAL BARGAINING and LOCAL Associations to bargain what is good for their district!!!!! We need to retain our LOCAL ABILITY to bargain the teacher evaluation process!

“There is also a bill attacking tenure rights that passed the Senate nearly a year ago and is currently in the House of Representatives. Part of the dealing that is going on involves the House amending that bill, SB 638, passing it and sending it back to the Senate. We haven’t seen a copy of the proposed House amendments, but we know they are already drafted and that they will probably involve taking away tenure from employees with no effective recourse against such action; and some form of additional hoops for probationary employees to jump through on top of their current four year probationary period.”
Note: The State controls what is in the Tenure Law, but they are functioning on very poor information. If your tenure is revoked, you should have the ability to pursue recourse for such action! Probationary teachers' evaluation timelines were already increased from 2 years to 4 years. The number of classes they need to take and the costs involved in meeting all of their certificate requirements have tremendously increased over the last 10 years. We should ask our legislators, are "more hoops" really needed, and what is the true agenda behind the tenure changes?

Please call or write your state representatives TODAY!!!!! Urge them to vote NO on HB 4410 and SB 638 if they come up for a vote. Representative Contacts Below!

Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop
Phone: 517-373-2417
Fax: 517-373-2694

State Senator Nancy Cassis
Phone: 517-373-1758
Fax: 517-373-0938

State Senator Gilda Jacobs
Phone: 517-373-7888
Fax: 517-373- 2983

State Representative Vicki Barnett
Phone: 517-373-1793
Fax: 517-373-8501

State Representative Lisa Brown
Phone: 517-373-1799
Fax: 517-373-8361

State Representative Hugh Crawford
Phone: 517-373-0827
Fax: 517-373-5873

State Representative Eileen Kowall
Phone: 517-373-2616
Fax: 517-373-5843