Saturday, September 25, 2010

NEA Town Hall Meeting; Questions for the President and new websites to check out!

I am forwarding you today a message from the NEA regarding a media push that will begin this Sunday and Monday (September 26th & 27th). There are also opportunities to PARTICIPATE in the town hall meeting and submit questions to President Obama. Check out the new connections on Twitter and Facebook!

FROM THE NEA (National Education Association):
We expect a great deal of national focus on education as NBC hosts its Education Nation initiative ( across all its properties and Waiting for Superman is released. We appreciate the collaboration with affiliates to challenge wrong ideas. and advance a pro-public education message. Here are just some of the actions underway. And see below how you can join the effort to Speak Up! to make sure your voice and the voices of our members are heard.

· Participate in MSNBC’s virtual Teacher Town Hall on Sunday September 26th from 12 -2p EST To sign up, click on this link - TEACHER TOWN HALL

· Ask President Obama a question about how we can make a great public school for every student on the Today Show Monday, September 27th. To submit a question for President Obama, click on SUBMIT A QUESTION

· Watch President Van Roekel during his LIVE MSNBC interview with Contessa Brewer at noon EST on Monday, September 27

· Watch President Van Roekel during his LIVE CNBC Power Lunch interview at 1:30 pm EST

· Watch President Van Roekel’s panel during Education Nation: 4:45-6 pm EST “Good Apples: How do we keep the good ones, throw out the bad ones and put a new shine on the profession” broadcast LIVE on

· Watch President Van Roekel on Monday evening during his 7:30 pm EST LIVE interview on New York’s Evening News with Chuck Scarborough

· Follow us on Twitter and tweet using the hashtag “#stopteacherbashing". Click on NEA TWITTER

· Become a “fan” of Speak up for Education and Kids on Facebook – a community of educators and concerned citizens – now more than 37,000 strong. Click on SPEAK UP FOR EDUCATION AND KIDS ON FACEBOOK

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"Budget Move Shortchanges Our Children"

"Budget Move Shortchanges Our Children" -
The title from today's editorial in the Livingston County Press......Livingston County tends to be pretty conservative and almost wholly Republican (except for a few of us), and THEY even get that the Legislature's and the governor's (notice I don't call her "our" governor anymore) actions were a total disservice to the children in Michigan.

I've reprinted part of the editorial below and have provided a link to the entire editorial at the bottom of today's posting.

"..........If that sounds cynical, then what else to make of the state's so-called budget solution that is crafted by transferring — swiping — $208 million from the state's K-12 education fund?
The only reason the education fund has a surplus is because some state revenue came in higher this year than projected, a rarity in light of the cuts that have been forced on K-12 education funding. Rather than give the money to schools already adjusting to budget restrictions, the state decided to hold on to the surplus to provide a cushion against further cuts as the state's downtrodden economy refuses to recover.
It wasn't a bad idea, until the state's dysfunctional government hijacked the money to help cover up the fact that it has continually failed to effectively balance the state's budget. This, despite the fact that the federal government has poured into state coffers hundreds of millions of dollars that it doesn't have.
Swiping the money from the education fund might even violate the state's constitution, although it is unlikely anyone in Lansing has the backbone to tackle that fight."

For the entire editorial click below:
The entire Livingston County Press Editorial

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

On Your Next Pay Check......

As Walled Lake Educators you will be receiving your first paycheck on September 10th, 2010. When you do you will notice the new/additional 3% retirement tax being taken from your pay. It will be listed after the title, “Health Care Fund” at the bottom right corner of your pay stub.

Below is a summary of the MEA’s lawsuit against MPSERS drafted by the MEA general counsel. This was sent today by Lu Battaglieri, the Executive Director of the MEA.

MEA is pursuing a lawsuit challenging the legality of the additional 3% contribution that school employees must make to the Michigan Public Schools Employees Retirement System (MPSERS) on wages earned beginning July 1, 2010. This additional contribution, which is going to be used to pay for the retiree health insurance of current retirees, was included in legislation passed earlier this year. The lawsuit, brought by five MEA members in the Michigan Court of Claims, alleges that the legislation breaches contractual rights of school employees and violates various provisions of the Michigan and United States constitutions.

At the beginning of the lawsuit, Court of Claims Judge James Giddings issued a preliminary injunction requiring that MPSERS place the 3% contribution in a separate interest-bearing escrow account and stopping MPSERS from using that money until further order of the court. By issuing the preliminary injunction, the court is ensuring that school employees will be able to receive a refund of the additional 3% contribution, if the lawsuit is ultimately successful.

Both sides agree that the lawsuit does not present factual disputes that would require a trial. On August 26, Judge Giddings heard oral arguments on the case. He will be issuing a written decision on the legal issues raised in the lawsuit. While a decision is pending, MEA is proceeding with the court procedure for having this case certified as a class action lawsuit.

Although a decision from Judge Giddings is expected in the near future, it is also anticipated that the case will be appealed by the losing party, so the case will most likely continue for a considerable period of time.