Looking back on 2014, liberty succeeded on several fronts in Michigan.
An administrative law judge ruled in favor of four Saginaw teachers (represented by the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation) who sued the Saginaw Education Association and Michigan Education Association over the restrictive “August window” opt-out period. That same ruling said the “August window” was illegal. Over the summer, the Mackinac Center led a successful informational effort to make more MEA members aware of the opt-out period.
Prior to the ALJ decision, the MEA allowed two teachers represented by the MCLF, Ray Arthur and Miriam Chanski, to leave the union despite missing the “August window.”
The landmark Supreme Court decision Harris v. Quinn prohibited the forced collection of dues or fees from home health care providers in Illinois and several other states. Former Gov. Jennifer Granholm helped orchestrate a similar scheme in Michigan, which the Mackinac Center litigated over, and it eventually ended. After the Supreme Court decision, MCLF clients Steven Glossop and Patricia Haynes received checks from the Service Employees International Union in the amount of dues that had been taken out of the checks that were supposed to go to caring for their loved ones.
Three Dearborn city workers triumphed over Teamsters Local 214 after the union tried to discriminate against those who had exercised their worker freedom rights.
2014 ushered in a new era of government accountability with the Mackinac Center’s mobile app VoteSpotter. And it’s expanding. Users can now evaluate Congressional votes, and Illinois voters can now weigh in on their state elected officials’ votes.
These are just some of freedom’s victories and accomplishments this year.
In this issue of IMPACT, you’ll read about another legal victory involving a Brighton High School teacher whose union and district agreed on a contract that violated his rights. Thanks to the Mackinac Center, the district and union are now following the law.
Michigan’s governor’s race brought the issue of education funding to the forefront and whether it had been increased or decreased. But prior to the heat of the political race, Michigan Capitol Confidential showed how funding had increased. CapCon quoted some school district officials who also confirmed that education funding is higher now.
Michigan parents want school choice, but they face battles to make Michigan a more choice-friendly state. The Mackinac Center is following the developments with Livonia Public Schools. LPS shut down its successful charter school Hinoki International. Parents are wondering why.
We hope you enjoy this holiday season and have a chance to pause and reflect on how freedom makes everything better. Thank you for your interest in the Mackinac Center and commitment to make Michigan a freer state.