Outsourcing and The Michigan Substitute Teacher Shortage: Part 4 of 6

Like many teachers, I substitute taught before I found a full time teaching position. I was a substitute teacher for about five years, two of which were as a building sub. When I graduated from college in 2008, the outsourcing of substitute teachers was in its early stages. This was in part to save schools … Continue Reading →

Teacher Layoffs Should Worry Parents: Part 3 of 6

Layoffs are hitting more affluent districts like West Bloomfield, Utica and Farmington. Although call backs are always possible as the districts finalize their budgets, check fall enrollment, and consider re-assignments, it is a worry that schools, even in once stable areas, are now resorting to drastic measures to balance budgets. School boards overwhelmingly support their teachers and want … Continue Reading →

Yes, Low Teacher Pay is a Problem in Michigan: Part 2 of 6

One thing seems to be a constant when I speak with teachers from many districts. Salary steps are almost nonexistent as a consistent part the contract. Many teachers in traditional school districts, which typically have a collective bargaining contract, get paid on a salary schedule. It is designed to pay teachers more when they achieve … Continue Reading →

What's stressing our schools: 1st of a 6 part series

Policy and budget changes over the last few years in Michigan have left schools in a more stressful state than before. In this series I plan to lay out perspective of how these changes and other realities impact the quality of education for students. From outsourcing of staff, to unsustainable pay for new teachers, to … Continue Reading →

Fix the roads, but don't put schools at risk

A bill passed by the Michigan House named the Bolger Plan would phase out the current Michigan gas tax to a tax on the wholesale level instead. Part of the current gas tax goes toward funding schools and municipalities, which critics of the bill state funding would be cut. As reported by the Detroit News, … Continue Reading →

Early warning system wrong answer to schools with deficits

A recent release form the Michigan Department of Education says that there are 48 school districts running deficits into the new school year. State Superintendent Mike Flanagan advises there needs to be earlier warning signs so authorities can intervene sooner for districts falling financially behind. What this recommendation fails to address is why school seem … Continue Reading →