Sunday, August 29, 2010

PAC Reminder

Our annual PAC drive will once again take place during the social time of our "welcome back" morning, Wednesday, August 31. As you are all aware, this year is as important a year as education has faced in many peoples' lifetimes, perhaps ever. The issues are numerous and have the potential to change education for many, many years to come. We need people in government to hear the concerns of the professionals (us!). Perhaps the BEST way to have a voice is through our PAC. Please consider a contribution. It is for the future of education; our professional future.

To make a donation please come August 31 prepared to:
1) Make a cash/check contribution.
2) Make a credit card contribution.
3) Have monthly contributions electronically transferred from your bank account (you will need your account number/info).

Thank you in advance for your contribution. It is important to education!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Edujobs Money

‘Edujobs’ money will save Michigan school jobs (from MEA Voice Online)

The jobs of an estimated 4,700 Michigan public school employees will be saved this school year, thanks to a $10 billion federal program aimed at stemming unemployment in the states. Nationwide, the jobs of about 161,000 educators will be preserved.

States are busily applying for so-called “edujobs” funds and school employees may have questions about how the money will be spent.

Here’s what we know so far:

How much money will Michigan schools receive from the “edujobs” program?
More than $300 million total.

When will schools receive the funds?
State applications are due Sept. 9. The federal government intends to act on each state’s application within about two weeks after it is received. Governors must make awards to districts on a timely basis after receipt of the funds; Michigan districts will probably receive at least part of the money in their October state aid payment.

When can states apply for the funds?
Applications from states are due by Sept. 9.

How can schools spend the money?
The money can be used for “compensation and benefits and other expenses, such as support services, necessary to retain existing employees, to recall or rehire former employees, and to hire new employees, in order to provide early childhood, elementary, or secondary, educational and related services.”

Up to 2 percent of the funds can be used by the state for administrative costs.

Can the money pay the salaries of non-teaching staff?

Yes. It can pay salaries of many other school employees, including counselors, librarians, secretaries, social workers, interpreters, physical therapists, speech therapists, occupational workers, in-service teacher trainers, nurses, athletic coaches, security officers, custodians, maintenance workers, bus drivers, and cafeteria workers, and more.

Can it be used to pay the superintendent?
No. Expenses related to the operation of the superintendent’s office or the board of education is prohibited, including the salaries and benefits of administrative employees.

How will the money be distributed to schools?
States will decide whether to distribute the money through Title 1 or their state aid formulas.

Can the money be used for purposes such as equipment, utilities, renovation or buses?

Can the state tell local districts how to use the money?
No. States and local school districts will be required to report how they use the money and how it supported personnel.

Can the money be used to pay for outside contractors?

No. The money can, however, be used to pay for services provided by another public school district.

Will colleges or universities receive any funds?

Can the money be deposited into a state’s “rainy day fund?”
No. States cannot “directly or indirectly” establish, restore, or supplement a “rainy day fund.”

What does MEA recommend that districts do with the money?
The money is intended to keep teachers and other school employees on the job this school year. It would be irresponsible and against the spirit of the law for districts to put these new federal dollars into their fund balances when employees have taken pay and benefit concessions and class sizes have increased due to layoffs.