New laws give union bosses power over public schools
House Republican Leader Matt Hall today blasted extreme new laws passed by Democrats that will expand the power of unions over Michigan’s public schools.
The radical changes, passed by the Democrat Legislature along party lines and signed into law today by the governor, eliminate a wide variety of protections for students that ensure union bosses don’t wield heavy-handed influence over key school decisions.
“As they hand out favors and power to their union boss allies, Michigan Democrats are continuing to undermine public education and put the needs of students last,” said Hall, R-Richland Township. “Democrats are dismantling accountability metrics that help parents and teachers keep kids on track. They’re choosing pork over students in their wasteful budget. And now they’re giving union bosses free rein to lord over the most important decisions at our schools. Teacher placement, performance evaluations, and communication with parents are all vital to creating an effective learning environment and fostering good working relationships with families. These calls shouldn’t be made by self-serving union bosses. They should be made by administrators and elected school boards who answer to parents and the local community.”
House Bills 4233, 4354, and 4820, signed into law today, will enable union bosses to bargain over key school decisions and take power away from elected school boards and parents. The bills would repeal provisions of Michigan law that require certain school personnel decisions to focus on retaining effective teachers. Additionally, unions would have a say in teacher evaluations, classroom observations, employee discipline, teacher placement, parental notification about ineffective teachers, and more. The legislation would also let public schools use taxpayer funding to help unions collect dues from employees.
Democrats passed the radical bills in the face of opposition from school leaders and education groups. The Michigan Association of School Boards, Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators, Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators, Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals, K-12 Alliance of Michigan, Michigan Alliance for Student Opportunity, Detroit Public Schools Community District, and many other school districts and organizations opposed HB 4354 — the main bill opening key decisions up to bargaining by union bosses.
“As Michigan struggles to grow, the governor just wants to slap a Band-Aid on our economy while ignoring the deep-seated problems that Democrat policies have exacerbated,” Hall said. “Our state needs to strengthen our economy by lowering our taxes and fostering a fair, reasonable regulatory environment that makes sense for Michigan workers and small businesses.”
“Speaker Tate still refuses to admit that the House is in shared power, but he’s feeling its effects as House Republicans rack up wins each time Democrats move our way. But even as Republicans secure victories, Democrats are blocking progress on the pressing issues facing Michiganders.”