Supporting our Kids
There is no better investment than the wellbeing of our children. That’s why the state budget makes a historic increase in per-pupil funding, bringing it up to $9,608. This budget also supports the MI Kids Back on Track program to address pandemic-related learning loss, while also including greater support for at-risk students. By increasing support to before- and after-school programs, we are helping kids make good choices and become happy, healthy adults.
Teacher Evaluation Reform
House Democrats passed legislation that make several key changes to teachers evaluations. One of these changes include, enabling unions to bargain over evaluation terms and incorporating metrics beyond standardized test scores. This means that teachers will be evaluated on more than just how their students standardized test scores, allowing teachers to focus more on the curriculum rather than teaching for a test.
Simplifying the School Rating System
House Democrats eliminated a duplicative and punitive law related to school performance. Prior to the enactment of House Bill 4166, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) would be required to release an A to F grading scale on schools based on their performance. This was redundant and in addition to the MDE’s school index score. Having the two ranking systems was confusing for families, by removing this extra rating, we are simplifying our school ranking systems.
- Repealed collective bargaining gap provisions.
- Allowed public school employers to collect union dues by payroll deduction.
- Permits inclusion of certain topics in negotiations during collective bargaining for public school employees.
- Repeals provision that makes contracting out non-instructional services a prohibited subject of bargaining.
- Changes default retirement plan for new teachers in public schools from 401(k) to Pension Plus Plan.
Gun Reform Legislation
To help combat the issue of gun violence in Michigan, I supported three different policies that would reform how we deal with guns. The reforms would require universal background checks on all gun sales, create secure storage laws, and establish extreme risk protection orders (ERPOs).
Universal background checks, as passed by the Michigan Legislature, would require an individual to have a license or federal national instant background check to purchase, carry, possess or transport a firearm. This helps to close the dangerous gaps in our background check system that can have deadly consequences.
Protecting our children is a top priority of mine. That is why I’m proud to have supported legislation that would make it more difficult for children to get a hold of guns by backing safe storage requirements.
Finally, by establishing ERPOs, we can ensure that guns remain out of the hands of individuals that are a danger to themselves and others.
Free Lunches For Public School Students
Providing free breakfast and lunch for all public school students wasn’t just a necessity, it was the right thing to do. No child should ever have to learn on an empty stomach, and in Michigan, they no longer will have to. By providing free breakfast and lunches for all public school students, we are ensuring that students can focus on their studies and not on their empty stomachs. In addition to this, we also paid off outstanding lunch debts.