Wednesday, December 29, 2010

MEA Scholarship

Looking for some help with the cost of your child's education? Check out the MEA Scholarship. Last year 24 public high school students and 12 returning college students were awarded scholarships totaling $30,000. MEA sent 10 copies of the application for distribution to Class A and B public high school counseling centers and 5 copies to Class C and D public high school counseling centers. The application is also available at under Conferences and Awards. The application must be postmarked no later than Friday, February 11, 2011. No fax or e-mail applications will be accepted.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


The Lame Ducks in Lansing are at it in the time they have left. Dear Staff,
The following note is from Dave Stafford at MEA. Please read it and PLEASE contact your legislators to voice your opinion whether it be positive or negative. We are sending you this note to keep you informed.

However....1. Do not use Groupwise/Kentwood District Email, use your personal emails.
2. Do not use KPS Telephones, use your home or cell.

For easy email contact information please use the links to the left, these are the Lame Duckers and the list will be updated shortly.

From Doug Stafford, Wednesday, December 1.
Late this afternoon members of the Senate and House of Representatives made public their plans to attack teacher and administrator evaluations and the teacher tenure act. 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.

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.

As they stand, these two bills closely mirror tenure and evaluation bills about which we sent you a notice before Thanksgiving. In this “lame duck” session they are trying to use HB 4410 and SB 638 to accomplish the same thing as the earlier bills.

Please have your members call their state representatives and urge them to vote NO on HB 4410 and SB 638 if they come up for a vote. Point out to your representatives that:

1) Evaluating and maintaining a professional teaching force is a complex matter. A two day “lame duck” session where late night deals are rammed through the Legislature is not the way to address these critical issues. That requires time, hearings, input from all sides and careful deliberation.
2) Right now, to get votes, all kinds of deals, earmarks and back-room enticements are being offered. This kind of “politics as usual” is not the way to secure and maintain the kind of professional teaching force our children deserve.
3) We believe that these bills will actually slow down the process of removing unsatisfactory teachers and also add substantially to the cost of the process, something that does not benefit the students, the schools, the state or educators.