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February 3, 2020

Governor Whitmer Presents 2020 State of the State Address

At her second State of the State address, Governor Whitmer laid out her “Plan B” to get Michigan roads fixed and support public education at all levels.  Macomb Federation of Paraprofessionals President Jeff Whittle attended the speech as the guest of State Representative Kevin Hertel.  I was honored to be a guest of the Governor.  AFT Michigan released the following statement on the speech, “From her first day in office to her second State of the State address and into the future, there’s no doubt Governor Whitmer is committed to education at all levels.  She has championed investments in early childhood education and the Great Start Readiness Program and we applaud her push for a K-12 funding structure that ensures resources reach students based on their needs.  Education at every stage of life is important and she continues to show that with the tuition-free Reconnect Program that will help adults enroll in community college programs that will help them find careers.  Governor Whitmer has the back of educators across Michigan and we look forward to partnering with her to make Michigan a leader in public education across the board.”

Ranked Choice Voting Town Hall: Feb 6

A member at Wayne State passed along this notice that others may be interested in: a town hall discussion of ranked choice voting on Thursday, February 6, 2020, 5:30 pm at Cass Cafe, 4620 Cass Ave in Detroit.

AFT Detroit Locals Kick Off Contract Campaign

On Saturday, the three AFT locals representing approximately 6,000 employees of Detroit Public Schools Community District (DAEOE 4168, DFP 2350, and DFT 231) kicked off their joint contract campaign. Leaders of the three locals presented their shared platform and vision for a district in which fully supported education professionals have the resources to teach and support the whole child in safe and welcoming schools.

Check out coverage in the Detroit News.  

Request Your Absentee Ballot for the March 10 Primary!

Michigan’s presidential primary is only 36 days away and now’s the time to request your ballot to vote by mail, or to request an absentee ballot in person at your local clerk’s office. 

Thanks to 2018’s Proposal 3, voting in Michigan has never been easier. To check your registration, or to print off the form to request an absentee ballot, click here to go to the Michigan Secretary of State’s office.

Survey for Updating State’s Top 10 Education Plan

An online survey is being offered for the public to help review and update Michigan’s Top 10 in 10 strategic education plan.

“We’re asking the public to help shape Michigan’s education focus,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael F. Rice. “It is my expectation, and that of the State Board of Education, that an updated plan will be more streamlined and focused, and will have measures that align with the goals to help us monitor progress toward becoming a top education state.”

The survey will close on February 7, 2020. The link can be found on the MDE website at A draft of the updated plan is expected to be presented to the State Board of Education in late spring of 2020.

Top 10 Survey.pdf

Upcoming Professional Development

Discipline that Builds Responsibility, Relationships & Respect in the Classroom

March 7, 2020

AFT Michigan Office *Change in Location

8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

This workshop provides strategies and techniques for building strong relationships with disruptive learners and countering toxic social circumstances.

Please note that this workshop was previously scheduled to be held at the Macomb Fed of Educators, the new location is at the AFT Michigan office, 2661 E. Jefferson, Detroit, MI 48207.

Click here to register

Helping Students Struggling with Mental Health

May 2, 2020

AFT Michigan Office

8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

This workshop provides interaction strategies that help educators maintain a workable relationship with learners who are experiencing mental health challenges.

Click here to register

In Solidarity,

David Hecker, President

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