Capitol Insider

February 17, 2017



            First let me remind you that the session is almost half way through.  That means nothing is in concrete yet.  We do have some reason to celebrate!

            Remember SB534 Special Ed Scholarship Account (a.k.a. Ed Savings Accounts –ESA – a.k.a. vouchers)?  The bill was in Senate Ed this week.  Chairman Kruse announced at the beginning of the hearing that the bill would not move.  If people wanted to testify, he’d hear that, but no vote would be taken.  Thank you, Sen. Kruse.

            Then there was the anti-union bill that would have required union membership percent be posted on the IEERB web page and if membership were less than 51%, IEERB was to provide training on how to disaffiliate.  Well, SB407 was voted down in the same Sen. Ed committee.

            House Speaker Bosma announced that the session will end one week earlier (April 21 maybe) since a large convention is coming to Indy and all hotel rooms are taken.  That news is a mixed bag.  In what already seems like a marathon session, speed will pick up to meet the earlier deadline – but it will be over earlier!



Weingarten speaks on the future of public education

In a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., AFT President Randi Weingarten juxtaposed two approaches for education that would have vastly different consequences for America's students. Either build on the bipartisan consensus of the Every Student Succeeds Act to provide all families with access to great neighborhood public schools, or promote the dangerous, destructive approaches that Donald Trump's education secretary nominee advocates to undermine and privatize public education.


Trump fails a crucial test

In her latest column appearing in the New York Times, AFT President Randi Weingarten writes about Donald Trump's education policies amd how they would devastate our public education system.


Michigan Legislature lashes out at Detroit schools

The Michigan House of Representatives, ignoring fierce opposition from the Democratic minority, passed a dead-of-night financial aid package for Detroit Public Schools that had been twisted into a partisan screed against Detroit teachers and school employees.


How the teacher shortage could turn into a crisis

In her latest column appearing in the New York Times, AFT President Randi Weingarten writes about the looming teacher shortage our public schools face and how we can address the challenge before it turns into a crisis.