LANSING — State Rep. Kristy Pagan (D-Canton) introduced legislation today as part of the “Teachers for Michigan” education plan — a 21st-century overhaul of the state’s K-12 schools — designed to prepare the best, attract the brightest and retain the finest Michigan educators. House and Senate Democrats held a press conference today to announce the bills.
“Ensuring our students succeed starts with ensuring they have great educators in every classroom. Making Michigan a top-10 education state, and supporting and advocating for the best teachers in our classroom is one way to do that,” Pagan said. “Instead of demonizing teachers for doing their job, we are ready to support them and attract the best and brightest to the profession.”
Pagan’s bill would require that all charter schools contribute to the Michigan Public School Employee Retirement System (MPSERS). Currently, charter schools are exempted from MPSERS because of the educational management company that oversees them. This change will save the School Aid Fund an estimated $170 million annually.
“House Republicans recently passed legislation allowing charter schools to capture regional enhancement millage dollars with supporters claiming it was fairness issue,” Pagan said. “While I didn’t agree with that legislation, I do agree we need to make our education system fair across the board. Let’s make sure every school, traditional public or charter, contributes to the teachers’ retirement fund. Every educator, no matter where they teach, should end their career with a secure and dignified retirement. Ensuring that charter schools are contributing their fair share will help level the playing field and take some of the financial pressures off our traditional public schools.”