DETROIT — Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, would support a “right-to-teach” law in Michigan, under which educators wouldn’t be required to join a union in order to get or keep a job, The Detroit News reported.

Richardville earlier indicated he wasn’t interested in broad right-to-work legislation in Michigan, but that was before the Michigan Education Association donated $25,000 toward a campaign to recall Rep. Paul Scott, R-Grand Blanc, head of the House Education Committee, according to The News.

That move angered many Republican lawmakers, The News reported.

Richardville sees right-to-teach as part of broader education reforms now before the Legislature, his spokeswoman, Amber McCann, told The News (see related item in this week’s Michigan Education Digest). McCann said she expects a right-to-teach bill will be introduced this fall, The News reported.

Doug Pratt, MEA spokesman, said in a statement that Richardville is “seriously misguided in his proposal to attack school employees,” The News reported. The MEA objects to an array of recently passed legislation that gives more authority to emergency financial managers in financially stressed school districts and cities, requires school employees to pay a larger share of health insurance costs, and eliminates a tax exemption on pension income, Pratt told The News.

SOURCE:

The Detroit News, “Michigan Senate leader supports ‘right to teach;’ MEA leader fires back,” Sept. 9, 2011

Michigan Capitol Confidential, “Senate Leader Supports Right to Work for Teachers,” Sept. 9, 2011

FURTHER READING:

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Freedom to Teach,” Sept. 9, 2011

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