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February 25, 2020

Educators Identify Key Factors in Michigan’s Educator Shortage

Last week AFT Michigan, the Michigan Education Association, Middle Cities and Public Policy Associates released a report identifying key factors in Michigan’s shortage of K – 12 public school teachers, support professionals and other educators. The study also addressed the need to have further diversity among the educator corps.  The findings, based on a series of sessions with educators held throughout the state, included a series of solutions to the shortage problem.

Solutions include:  greater educator input on working conditions and education reform; reducing standardized tests; improved pay and benefits; improving induction and mentoring programs; diversifying experiences and paid internships for aspiring educators; equity based funding for school districts; recruiting bonuses; and hiring more support personnel, among others.

Find the complete report at

DeVos Raises $800,000 to defeat Senator Peters

The DeVos family has contributed $800,000 for a super PAC established to defeat U.S. Senator Gary Peters.  As a State Senator, Congressman and U.S. Senator Gary has been rock solid on issues of education, labor and a variety of other issues.  That the DeVos’ are going all out to replace Senator Peters with John James is yet another reason to do everything possible to re-elect Gary.  Chances are good that the DeVos’ $800,000 is just their first contribution to defeat Senator Peters.

“While I assume nobody reading this email can come up with $800,000, if we all pitch in a little, it adds up: Can you contribute $5 or $10 a month to the AFT Michigan PAC at” 

5 SCECHs for K-8 Teachers Who Complete Read by Grade Three Survey

The Education Policy Innovation Collaborative (EPIC) at Michigan State University has launched their first ever statewide Read by Grade Three survey for current K-8 teachers and principals.

EPIC has worked with the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) to offer 5 hours of State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECHs) for completing this approximately 25-minute survey. By completing the survey, teachers are also eligible for a $100 Visa gift card drawing. Schools that reach a 65% response rate for their building will be entered into a raffle for $500 deposited in the school’s Scholastic account.

Complete the survey here:  

Teachers will need their PIC to complete the survey and be awarded SCECHs, but your responses will be kept strictly confidential and all responses will be summarized such that no individuals or schools can be identified.  The results will be used to inform policy and practices.

AFT Share My Lesson Virtual Conference

The 2020 AFT Share My Lesson Virtual Conference is now OPEN for registration. You are invited to an all-new conference lineup of 40 free, for-credit professional development webinars running March 24-26.

These high-quality sessions span several topics from organizations like Discovery Education, the U.S. Census Bureau, StoryCorps, NASA and the Folger Shakespeare Library (to name a few). Topics include:

Be the first to sign up for our March 24-26 webinars. Tell a friend! And while you’re at it, join the Share My Lesson Virtual Conference community. We’ll be posting updates about the conference and sharing ideas with fellow conference attendees.

2020  Rollie Hopgood Future Teachers Scholarship Award Applications Now Available Online!

AFT Michigan has three eligibility categories of the “Rollie Hopgood Future Teachers Scholarship Award” for individuals whose future goal is to become a teacher.

The categories are:

  1. Graduating senior of an AFT Michigan high school with the goal of becoming a teacher;
  2. AFT Michigan PSRP dues paying member enrolled (full- or part-time) in a teacher certification program at a college or university; and
  3. AFT Michigan dues paying member’s son(s) and/or daughter(s) who is a graduating senior with the goal of becoming a teacher.

Click hereto download the applications.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Linda Moore at

Upcoming Professional Development

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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