LANSING — State Rep. Tim Sneller (D-Burton) 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.

“A great education gives students the freedom and the tools they need to be successful. That starts by having the best teachers in the classroom, and it is critical that we do everything we can to make their jobs easier,” Sneller said. “I am proud to be part of a bill package that ensures our teachers have the support and recognition they deserve.”

Sneller’s bill would increase the number of Teacher of the Year awards to 13 from each of the state’s prosperity regions. Each of the teachers would receive a $1,000 award to be used toward professional development, receiving further accreditations or purchasing classroom materials. The Department of Education would then choose one teacher out of the 13 to be nominated for a national Teacher of the Year award.

“Many of our state’s educators go above and beyond their typical job expectations. In doing so, they become some of the most important figures in our young folks’ lives, and for that, they ought to be commended,” Sneller said. “Many of us wouldn’t be here without an influential teacher recognizing our potential and encouraging us to continue working toward our dreams. Now it’s our turn to recognize them for all that they do to prepare the future leaders of tomorrow. This recognition could not be more deserved.”