Developing Compliance Guidance

This survey has identified 57 school districts, employing more than 10,000 teachers, whose implementation of Michigan’s Public Act 349 raises significant questions. These teachers union contracts represent close to one-quarter of all the contracts that were signed after Public Act 349 became law.[*]

The variety of district responses to Public Act 349, in addition to previous research showing varied compliance with other state laws, suggests that there is need for better guidance about how school districts can comply with state laws. This guidance could take the form of a detailed compliance document that each district would have to submit to the Michigan Department of Education or the Michigan Employment Relations Commission. An opinion issued by the Michigan Attorney General may also help clarify some of the questions about separate agency fee agreements, delayed and split effective dates and modified contracts. Additional legislation that clarifies the current language may also be of use.

[*] This is based on teacher contracts available on school district Web sites in the spring of 2014, and does not include contracts that may have been approved after that period.