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December 9, 2019

Gov. Whitmer Supports Lawsuit Opposing Public Funding of Private Schools

Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Michael Rice filed a brief in the Michigan Supreme Court opposing public financing of nonpublic schools, a violation of the Michigan constitution. “When we partner to ensure a great education for our kids, we must do so in compliance with the Michigan Constitution,” said Governor Whitmer. “As governor, I take an oath to uphold the constitution of our state. As always, I am ready to continue working to ensure every child, no matter their community, can get a quality education that puts them on a path to a good job, and will work with everyone who wants to reach that goal.”

Public funding for private schools was passed by the Republican legislature and signed into law by Governor Snyder in 2016.  AFT Michigan has supported the law suit challenging this legislation since its inception.

Public Education Groups to Host Top Democratic Presidential Candidates at 2020 Public Education Forum

AFT and 10 other public education groups, including education unions, civil rights organizations and community groups, will host top Democratic presidential candidates at the “Public Education Forum 2020: Equity and Justice for All” on Saturday, Dec. 14, in Pittsburgh. MSNBC will moderate and exclusively livestream the forum focused on public education issues. 

Ali Velshi, host of “MSNBC Live,” and Rehema Ellis, NBC News education correspondent, will serve as the forum’s moderators, together interviewing candidates on priority issues facing students, educators and parents in public education today. The event will be streamed live on NBC News Now, and NBC News Learn, and will be featured across MSNBC programming.

Currently, eight major Democratic candidates who qualified for the October debate or who are currently elected to statewide office have confirmed participation: Sen. Michael Bennet, Vice President Joe BidenSen. Cory Booker, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Bernie SandersTom Steyer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Topics to be discussed will include school investment, student services, special education, student debt and teaching conditions, as well as key education equity and justice issues facing America’s students and public schools.

Among the more than 1,000 educators, students, parents and community members at the event will be political action coordinators from three AFT Michigan locals: Caleb Smith of the Macomb ISD Federation of Teachers, Isaac Pickell of the WSU Graduate Employees Organizing Committee and Sue Ladach of the Dearborn Federation of Teachers.

New Faces at Union-Building Institute

It was great to see so many people I hadn’t met before (as well as everyone returning of course!) Saturday at UM-Dearborn for our second Union-Building Institute of the year.  A special shout out to the Utica Federation of Teachers, who brought approximately half their members to the event as they get ready for bargaining. People were really taking advantage of the opportunity to expand their skills – either taking one of the Core Courses outside their normal area or doing one of the advanced workshops in Creative Actions or Organizing Structures.

Our final UBI of the school year will be February 8, so please mark your calendar and plan to join us.       

Join the Metro Detroit AFL-CIO for a Free Movie

Join PARTICIPANT, NEW ECONOMY INITIATIVE, AFL-CIO, MICHIGAN REGIONAL COUNCIL OF CARPENTERS, QUICKEN, JUAN & LISA WINANS, DETROIT SCHOOL OF ARTS, SALONNIÈRE and other local Detroit champions as we bring the critically acclaimed film AMERICAN FACTORY 美国⼯ ? to the Detroit community to talk about a more equitable future of work.

Please RSVP below. Seats are limited and on a first-come basis.


*VIVIO’S EASTERN MARKET will offer food/drink specials and
holiday music by Juan and Lisa Winans @ 8PM directly following the film

Please reserve your ticket by December 9, 2019

AMERICAN FACTORY 美国⼯? — the new film from Academy Award®–nominated directors Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert is a Netflix documentary presented by Higher Ground Productions (President and Michelle Obama’s production company) and Participant. It documents the revitalization of once long shuttered factory in Dayton, Ohio. The film paints a portrait of what’s happening in people’s lives and workplaces across the U.S., the world, and at home here in Detroit.

Upcoming Professional Development

Strategies to Design Learning That Taps Into the Power of Emotions

January 11, 2020

Dearborn Fed of Teachers Office

15250 Mercantile Dr., Dearborn 48120

8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

This workshop shares brain research that shows that emotion plays a key role in learning and how to apply the findings in day-to-day interaction with students.

AFT Michigan members will receive 6 SCECHs after completion of this workshop.

Click here to register.

In Solidarity,

David Hecker, President

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