July 8, 2014

Contents of this issue:

  • Michigan Education Association embraces outsourcing
  • Milan school district balances its budget
  • Michigan school districts ask for more money
  • National Education Association sees membership drop again
  • Northville brings tenure charges against kindergarten teacher
  • Education candidate forum in Detroit on July 8

Michigan Education Association Embraces Outsourcing

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Education Association recently outsourced the collection of dues from MEA members, according to a video published by Billhighway.

Patricia Brand, MEA finance director, told Billhighway that “Our members have come to rely on us for taking dues on a monthly basis, and the system we had in place was not reliable, and was inaccurate.”
According to Billhighway, the MEA outsourced the collection of dues from more than 100,000 members.
“Doing things yourself…trying to come up with our own systems to provide the financial viability of the organization, that’s something you want to deal with experts on,” Doug Pratt, MEA member benefits director, told Billhighway.

SOURCE: Billhighway, “Michigan Education Association (MEA) Success Story,” March 7, 2014
FURTHER READING: Michigan Capitol Confidential, “MEA Embraces More Outsourcing,” June 27, 2014 

Milan School District Balances its Budget

MILAN, Mich. – After cutting $1.8 million from its budget, the Milan Area School District ended the 2013-14 school year with a budget surplus, according to The Milan News-Leader.

The News-Leader reports that the district cut close to 7.5 percent of its budget, including making layoffs.
Milan Superintendent Bryan Girbach told The News-Leader that the district is not asking teachers to make concessions for this coming school year.
The Milan district is anticipating declining student enrollment, and has budgeted accordingly, according to The News-Leader. Girbach told the News-Leader that the increase in state funding for schools will help ease the loss of per-pupil revenue.

SOURCE: The Milan News-Leader, “Milan Area Schools finishes year in the black,” July 7, 2014
FURTHER READING: Michigan Capitol Confidential, “Conservative Budgeting Helps Some Teachers Get Cash Back,” Nov. 26, 2013 

Michigan School Districts Ask for More Money

LANSING, Mich. – Despite receiving an increase in per-pupil funding, some Michigan school districts want more, according to WILX 10.

Districts are receiving $50 to $175 more per student for the 2014-2015 school year, WILX 10 reports. The districts that already have the highest level of funding are getting $50 more per student, while the lowest-funded school districts are receiving up to $175 per student, according to WILX.
Lansing school district officials, WILX reports, are not happy with the $50 they are receiving, because retirement costs are increasing. 

SOURCE: WILX 10, “Some Michigan School Districts Want More Funding,” July 1, 2014 
FURTHER READING: Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Districts Asking for More Money Already Getting It," Feb. 12, 2014 

National Education Association Sees Membership Drop Again

DENVER – The National Education Association’s membership dropped below 3 million in 2013, according to the Education Intelligence Agency.

EIA reports that, as of the end of the 2012-13 school year, the NEA had 2.98 million members, of which approximately 2.6 million were active members.
This year, according to EIA, total membership has declined by another 15,655 members. EIA reports that the total decline was lessened somewhat by an increase in retired members. 

SOURCE: Education Intelligence Agency, NEA Convention 2014: Fewer Than 3 Million Bodies,” July 4, 2014 
FURTHER READING: Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Former MEA Local Prez: Union May Lose 40% of Members – Including Him – if Teacher Right to Work Passes, June 24, 2014

Northville Brings Tenure Charges Against Kindergarten Teacher

NORTHVILLE, Mich. – A Northville kindergarten teacher is facing tenure charges brought by the Northville school district, according to the Observer & Eccentric.

Northville Superintendent Mary Kay Gallagher told the Observer & Eccentric that the charges brought against the teacher note less than effective performance despite two consecutive years of work to improve the teacher’s performance.
The district is asking the State Teacher Tenure Commission to dismiss the teacher, according to the Observer & Eccentric.
“Northville Public Schools remains committed to providing an education of excellence for every student within our District,” Gallagher told the Observer & Eccentric, “and [pursuing this dismissal] reflects that continuing commitment.”

SOURCE: The Observer & Eccentric, “Northville: School District pursuing tenure charges against elementary teacher,” July 3, 2014 
FURTHER READING: Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Breaking Bad: Dearborn Gives Four Problem Teachers $197K to Go Away,” July 7, 2011

Education Candidate Forum in Detroit on July 8

DETROIT – The Great Lakes Education Project, Detroit Parent Network, Excellent Schools Detroit and other groups are co-hosting a Detroit-area legislative candidate forum on July 8.

Candidates from Senate districts 2, 4 and 5 will be participating, as well as candidates from House districts 3, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11.
The event will be held at Madison-Carver Academy, 19900 McIntyre St., Detroit, from 6-8 p.m.
For more information, visit www.DetroitEdForum.Eventbrite.com.