October 29, 2013

Contents of this issue:

  • No campaign finance act violation in Farmington
  • Educators accuse MEA of unfair labor practices
  • Teachers union calls for boycott of EMU student teachers
  • Online learning expands
  • Detroiters owe millions for unused schools

No Campaign Finance Act Violation in Farmington

FARMINGTON, Mich. – Farmington Public Schools and School Board President Howard Wallach have been cleared by the Secretary of State’s elections bureau of charges they violated campaign finance laws by informing voters of an upcoming bond proposal, according to the Observer & Eccentric.

“I knew that I did not violate the law,” Wallach told the Observer & Eccentric. “This was simply another false accusation that has been made against me by the same small group of people over the last several years.”
SOURCES: Observe & Eccentric, “State: No evidence FPS violated campaign finance laws,” Oct. 18, 2013

FURTHER READING: Michigan Education Digest, “Farmington Board President Accused of Violating Finance Act,” Oct. 15, 2013

Educators Accuse MEA of Unfair Labor Practices

PINCKNEY, Mich. – Educators across Michigan have filed unfair labor practice complaints against the Michigan Education Association, claiming they are unlawfully being forced to pay dues, according to the Livingston Daily Press & Argus.

The disagreement is over Michigan’s new right-to-work law, which prohibits forcing an employee to financially support a union as a condition of employment, the Press & Argus reported.

SOURCE: Livingston Daily Press and Argus,“Classroom assistant fights MEA,” Oct. 24, 2013

FURTHER READING: Michigan Capitol Confidential, “Teacher Sues MEA to Escape Union” Oct. 21, 2008

Teachers Union Calls for Boycott of EMU Student Teachers

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Michigan Education Association’s Washtenaw County affiliate is calling for a boycott of student teachers from Eastern Michigan University because the college has partnered with the Education Achievement Authority, a statewide school reform district created by Gov. Rick Snyder to take over failing schools, according to The Ann Arbor News.

EMU is now having trouble placing student teachers for the winter semester, The News reported.
“In many ways, our students and future teachers are caught in the middle of this conversation,” Jann Joseph, dean of EMU’s college of education, told The News. “The result is we’re having some difficulty in placing them.
SOURCE: Ann Arbor News,“Union calls for boycott of Eastern Michigan University student teachers, cites EAA partnership,” Oct. 23, 2013

FURTHER READING: Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “EAA Bill has Problems,” March 22, 2013

Online Learning Expands

LANSING, Mich. – Public school students across Michigan will have more options for taking online classes and fewer hurdles to clear starting in January, according to The Detroit News.

Students in grades 5 through 12 will be able to take two online classes instead of one and will not need to get permission from their school district to do so, The News reported.
SOURCE: Detroit News,“Web classes open up for Michigan students,” Oct. 23, 2013

FURTHER READING: Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “A Virtual Learning Revolution,” March 7, 2011

Detroiters Owe Millions for Unused Schools

DETROIT – Taxpayers in Detroit owe more than $437 million for bonds they approved to renovate some 110 school buildings that are either empty or have been demolished, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Detroit Public Schools voters approved bonds worth a combined $2 billion in 1994 and 2009, the Free Press reported. The district has closed about two-thirds of its buildings in the past 10 years.
SOURCE: Detroit Free Press,“Detroiters on hook for millions used to renovate schools now empty or demolished,” Oct. 27, 2013

FURTHER READING: Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “DPS asks voters for $500 million bond," Aug. 27, 2009