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News From the Capitol, May 26, 2023
May 26, 2023 by MASB's Government Relations
  • House Committee Approves PERA Changes
  • Education Committee Sends Two Bills to House Floor
  • Governor Signs A-F Repeal
  • A Chance to Serve—Apply for a MASB Committee  

 

House Committee Approves PERA Changes

On Thursday, the House Labor Committee approved the package of bills to repeal some of the prohibited subjects of bargaining currently in the Public Employment Relations Act. These bills, House Bill 4354 and House Bill 4356 would repeal teacher placement, layoff and recalls, teacher evaluation, employee discharge or discipline, classroom observations, merit pay, how to notify parents about ineffective teachers, and privatization of noninstructional support services. Removing these items from the prohibited subjects list means they would then be mandatory subjects of bargaining when working on a collective bargaining agreement. 

MASB and MASA testified in opposition to the package (beginning at 30:08), explaining our opposition to the bills, particularly repealing teacher placement, layoff and recall, and discipline and discharge. We spoke to the job of administrators to take  whole building and district views of staffing and the needed flexibility to address student and classroom needs. We expressed concerns with the return to seniority-based placement and layoff systems that would further hamper the recruitment of new teachers. We also stated we didn’t have an issue with the other items repealed in the bill.

The committee approved the bills on a party line vote and they are now before the full House for  consideration. 

Thank you to those that have reached out and shared your stories and concerns with your representatives. We continue to push for conversations with the unions and the bills’ sponsors on potential compromises, but they have not yet come to fruition. Your voices help back us up, slow the bills down, and get those concerns raised in Democratic and Republican Caucus meetings.  

If you haven’t already, we urge you to add your voice to this effort and share the effect these bills will have on your district, the ability to make sure the right teachers are in front of the right students, and collective bargaining as a whole. We have an alert on our website you can use to find talking points and contact your legislator. 

Education Committee Sends Two Bills to House Floor

On Tuesday, the House Education Committee approved two bills, sending them to the full House for consideration.

The first, House Bill 4279 modifies the requirements of taxes levied to allow an intermediate school district to contract with another intermediate school district for career and technical education programs. This would give more flexibility for ISDs to offer programming to their districts.

The second, House Bill 4549 changes the requirements for individuals to be substitute teachers. An amendment was adopted in committee addressing the concerns MASB had raised with requirements becoming too loose.  The bill now states that a person would have to be a high school graduate, at least 21 or enrolled and supervised in an approved educator preparation program, and cannot sub in the same position for more than 10 consecutive school days. It also clarifies that unless the person qualifies under state and federal laws to teach special education, they shall not be used to sub in a special education classroom.  

Governor Signs A-F Repeal

On Monday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed House Bill 4166 repealing Section 1280g of the Revised School Code, known as the A-F rating system for schools. MASB, and most education organizations, support the bill to remove the A-F system and maintain the accountability system and parent dashboard currently in place.

The repeal, Public Act 34 of 2023 will go into effect 90 days after the legislature adjourns for the year.

A Chance to Serve—Apply for a MASB Committee  

Are you looking for a way to be more involved in your Association? Do you want to share your expertise and perspective statewide? Serving on MASB’s Government Relations Committee may be the right opportunity for you!  

MASB committees bring together school board members from around the state to discuss vital issues and help shape your Association’s positions and actions. The Government Relations Committee monitors state and federal legislation and budgets pertaining to public education and school districts.   

To apply, contact Cheryl Huffman at chuffman@masb.org or 517.327.5915 with your interest by June 30, 2023. More information on this and the two other open committees—Resolutions and Bylaws and Legal Trust Fund—is available on the MASB website. You can apply for any of these committees by contacting Cheryl.  

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