Monday, January 30, 2012

House and Senate Bills that are still "out there"

The following House and Senate bills are still not "dead". Some of them were proposed last winter and spring, but remain in committee. This does not mean they can not be revived.

Although many bills have been passed that have been harmful to our profession and NOT AT ALL about better education, the efforts of our members to contact their legislatures have helped to modify some of the most damaging parts of some of this legislation, including the removal of the teacher privatization language that was part of the original charter schools bill. Your contacts have also helped to stall the progress of other legislation.

We can not give up yet! I include the list below as a an opportunity for you to tune your ears into legislation that may require you to again act!

As always, thank you for your work through emails and phone calls in lobbying for what is good for Michigan schools, children, and employees.

HB 4306 – Pending on House Floor
Requires school districts to solicit bids to outsource certain support services.

SB 729 – Pending in Committee
“Right to Work for Less” for MEA members only.

Senate Joint Resolution B – Pending in Committee
Calls for salary reduction and temporary pay freeze for public employees.

HB 4140 – Pending in Committee
Allows for statewide public employee health care plan.

SB 593 – Pending in Committee
Creates a defined contribution retirement plan for all school employees hired after 7/1/2011.

HB 4420 – Pending in Committee
Removes community colleges from the MPSERS retirement system.

HB 4052 – Pending on the House floor
Ban use of taxpayer funded equipment and facilities for union or political activities.

HB 4059 – Passed House, Pending in Senate Committee
Prohibits public employer contracts that pay union officials for conducting union business.

HB 4466 – Pending on House Floor
Changes provisions concerning striking public employees (increased fines, group rather than individual fines).

HB 4929 – Passed House, Pending in Senate Committee
Prohibits public employers from collecting union dues.

HB 5023 – Pending in Committee
Expands the list of employees subject to penalties for striking.

HB 5024 – Pending in Committee
Prohibits mass picketing and sets fines on individuals and unions for violations

HB 5025 – Pending in Committee
Requires annual authorization by employees to have union dues deducted from their paychecks by the employers.

HB 5026 – Pending in Committee
Repeals the prohibition against advertising for strikebreakers (scabs).

SB 619 – Passed the Senate, pending in House Committee
Removes all controls and caps on cyber schools.

SB 620 – Pending on the Senate floor.
Creates “conversion charter schools.”

SB 621 – Passed the Senate, pending in House Committee
Expands list of schools that can provide service to students in private schools and receive state aid.

SB 622\SB 623 – Passed the Senate, pending in House Committee
Removes all limits on ability of students to attend college level courses while in high school

SB 624 – Pending in Senate Committee
Bill mandates schools of choice.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cyber School Bill - ACTION NEEDED!!

Attention Members,

On Wednesday, Jan. 18 @ 9:00 AM, it appears that the House Education Committee will be voting on SB# 619, which proposes unlimited cyber schools. If this bill is passed out of committee, it goes to the House floor. SB#619 has already passed the Senate. It is one of Governor Snyder’s NUMBER #1 priorities for 2012!

Michigan has 2 cyber schools which have just completed 1 yr. of a 2 year "experiment." Neither of these 2 schools passed AYP -Adequate Yearly Progress. In fact, the Michigan Virtual Academy received a warning letter that they were far below AYP.

Other states that have already implemented unlimited cyber schools are beginning to report that laws allowing caps to be lifted on these online schools are appearing to be nothing more than a giant siphoning of public money by corporations who back the cyber enterprises. And, just as Michigan is finding, the results of the instruction are not acceptable.

WRITE or CALL the House Education Committee TODAY and tell them to vote NO on SB 619 that lifts the cap on Cyber Schools.

Tell them that:
1) Cyber schools are not proving to be effective education
2) Cyber schools are just a way for corporations to take public money meant for public schools
3) While computer instruction is a great tool of education, it needs to be utilized as an addendum of a live teacher’s instruction;

WRITE OR CALL NOW! Please use your own phone and home email!

Tim McMillon – R - House Education Chair
Phone: (517) 373-1773
Toll Free: (866) 969-0450

Thomas B. Hooker – R – Majority Vice Chair
Phone: (517) 373-2277
Toll Free: (855) 866-4077

Kurt Heise – R – Plymouth
Phone: (517) 373-3816
Toll Free: (855) 737-5878 [855-REP-KURT]

Lisa Brown (D) is this area’s representative on the House Education Committee.