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Happy Valentine’s Day Bargaining MSPAT

One of our newest locals, The Michigan School of Psychology Alliance of Teachers, AFT 6618, opened their first day of bargaining with Valentine’s donuts and cards of support on a sunny Valentine’s Day bargaining launch party.  The bargaining team, who have worked since this past summer on a draft contract, came prepared and gave management most of their non-economic proposals that morning. Congratulations on a job well done to MSPAT officers, bargaining team, and activists!

New Episode of the AFT Michigan Podcast Drops!

On this episode of the AFT Michigan Podcast, Dearborn Federation of Teachers President Kathi Martin sat down with AFT Michigan Political & Legislative Coordinator to talk about the upcoming school funding millage that will be in front of Dearborn voters. And whether you’re in Dearborn or not, make sure you get out and vote in the upcoming primary election!

Kathi Martin & Jenell Mansfield, Ep. 3

Highlights of the AFT Higher Education Professional Issues Conference at UCLA

This past weekend, several of our leaders and staff attended the AFT Higher Education Professional Issues Conference at UCLA, which focused on issues connected to the new AFT Higher Education campaign. The opening plenary panel discussed the history of higher education policy in the United States and pointed to some of the most pressing issues where major reform is needed, including the student debt crisis, the erosion of academic freedom, and the plight of contingent faculty.  Workshops helped members learn how they can be part of the solution to these problems at the local, state and national level.  A highlight of the conference was a discussion with SAG-AFTRA about their recent strike and some of the less publicized wins that were very important to their average member. The conference concluded with a discussion of how AFT and AAUP are stronger together and ready for this fight.  

Governor Releases 2024-2025 PreK-12 and Higher Education Budget Proposal

Governor Whitmer released her PreK-12 and Higher Education budgets focusing on her continued efforts to fund preschool for every four-year-old across the state and a “community college guarantee” for every Michigan high school graduating senior. The budget includes a 2.5% increase for PreK-12, bringing the target foundation allowance from $9,608 to $9,849 per pupil, including:

  • $300 million for student mental health and school safety needs
  • $251.2 million for literacy grants and coaches
  • $200 million to continue providing universal-free breakfast and lunch
  • $200 million for the MI Kids Back on Track program and before and after school programs
  •  $175 for the MI Future Educator Program (a tuition-free program for college students to become certified teachers and stipend payments to student teachers) and mentorship programs to retain and develop existing teachers through
  •  $159 million for PreK expansion 
  • $127 million to support special education students
  •  $125 million to support at-risk students, English language learners, career and technical education students, and rural school districts
  • $125 million  for transportation costs reimbursements to districts
  • $45 million for additional supports for vocational education, career and technical education 

Universities and community colleges both received a 2.5% increase in base funding in the budget, with the condition that they cannot increase tuition and fees by more than 5% or $781 per student (whichever is greater). The higher education budget proposal also includes:

  • $30 million for the Michigan Achievement Scholarship (includes funding for the “Michigan Guarantee” which ensures every Michigan high school graduate can receive up to $4,820 on tuition each year)
  • $62 million to continue Michigan Reconnect
  • $20 million for increase in the Tuition Incentive Program

The Governor’s proposed budget is the first step in the process. The House and Senate will recommend their version of the budget and then it will enter into negotiations between all three branches. We will continue to advocate throughout the budget process for equitable funding for all our schools, colleges and universities.

AFT’s Retiree Legacy Initiative Black Authors Showcase 

We invite you to join our Retiree Legacy Initiative in a celebration of Black History with a panel of Black Authors we’re connected to, as they share about their journey as authors, literacy and the importance of honest history and sharing our stories.

Please register at , this event is open to all retired AFT members.

Tell the White House to stop the raid on postal workers’ pensions

For more than 52 years, U.S. Postal Service (USPS) workers have unfairly had their retirement funds raided by the U.S. government—resulting in more than $90 billion in unjust expenses to the USPS. We need your help to send a message to the Biden administration to do the right thing for postal workers.

By directing the accounting experts at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to stop the raid on the Postal Service pension fund and implement overdue reforms, the president can safeguard the USPS’s financial stability and honor his promise to the dedicated postal workers who have tirelessly served the nation.

Please help us tell President Biden and his administration to address this historic injustice, fortify the Postal Service’s vital role in our communities and honor the administration’s promise to letter carriers.

Click here to send a letter now.

AFT Michigan Professional Development Workshop 

Strategies for Educators Building, Maintaining and Restoring Self, Peer, and Student Relationships

March 2, 2024

8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. via Zoom

This workshop is designed to help educators develop strategies to build positive intentional relationships with self, students, and peers.  Positive relationships have the ability to enhance student achievement, professional growth, and personal well-being.

Click here to register. 

AFT Upcoming Webinars

Praxis Support Webinar

The AFT remains dedicated to serving our members throughout their careers. In response to a significant decline in the educator workforce, particularly post-pandemic, the AFT is collaborating with ETS to support AFT teacher members in their certification journeys.

Join the AFT and ETS for a test preparation online seminar with a preview to an upcoming Praxis support boot camp, a strategic program aimed at equipping AFT members with the tools needed to confidently prepare for Praxis exams. Register now.

AFT Briefing with Assistant Secretary for Career and Technical Education’s Dr. Amy Loyd on Perkins Program and Funding – Feb 27

In conjunction with Career and Technical Education Month, AFT President Randi Weingarten will host a webinar on the federal career and technical education program—also known as Perkins—with Dr. Amy Loyd, assistant secretary for the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) at the U.S. Department of Education. Join us Feb. 27 from 6 – 7 p.m. EST, to learn from Loyd and OCTAE staff about Perkins funding and rules, uses of the funds, and coordination with other federal programs. Register here.

Wellness Webinar Series

AFT Professional Learning and Share My Lesson have launched a new Wellness 2024 webinar series lasting through May. Each webinar in this series is a stand-alone professional development session; you can watch one or all and in any particular order that suits your needs. Check out upcoming webinars and read more about this series here.

TEACH-ify Webinar Series

Did you attend one of our first two sessions of the TEACH-ify webinars? If you missed the first two, register now for upcoming sessions of this new webinar series—TEACH-ify with AFT: Great Teaching Strategies! These sessions are held from 7 – 8 p.m. Eastern time, with live support until 8:30 p.m. to answer all your burning questions after the session concludes.

Teaching Strategy List of Topics:

  • March 14: Student Engagement
  • May 9: Using Questions to Teach and Learn

Register today for the next session!

Contribute to the AFT Michigan PAC Today

AFT Michigan fights for our members, students and communities all year round and we need your help. Can you donate $1 a week to aid us in this fight? Please visit the AFT Michigan website to contribute and make a big difference in protecting public education and building a better Michigan future! 

In solidarity,

Terrence Martin


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