Education, Labor, Michigan, Teachers — June 4, 2011 at 9:30 am

Teacher & union-hating Rep. Bill Rogers to head education reform group in Michigan


Oh, great. Rep. Bill Rogers, the guy who sponsored two bills to diminish, threaten and punish unionized teachers in Michigan is now heading up a group reform Michigan’s entire education system.

State Rep. Bill Rogers, R-Genoa Township, is spearheading an education-reform work group he said will be “proactive instead of reactive” in pursuing changes to education funding and how students learn.

Rogers’ work group was announced Tuesday, less than a week after the Legislature approved deep cuts to Michigan’s K-12 schools and universities.

He said the bipartisan committee will likely discuss the efficacy of the per-pupil K-12 school funding system, school start times, the possibility of year-round school and potential unfunded mandates on districts.


Rogers said his work group will meet throughout the summer, up to three days per week, and has the goal of introducing related legislation in the fall.

But wait. It gets better.

The 13-member panel will be co-chaired by House Education Committee Chairman Paul Scott, R-Grand Blanc. Rogers and Scott together sponsored House Bills 4465-4466, which would broaden penalties against illegal schoolteacher strikes.

I’ve written about H.B.s 4465 and 4466 before:

State Rep. Bill Rogers, R-Genoa Township, on Tuesday introduced legislation creating penalties for public schoolteachers and the Michigan Education Association for inciting or participating in strikes.

House Bill 4466 would fine the Michigan Education Association $5,000 per teacher for each full or partial day public school employees are engaged in a strike or “strike-like activities.”

The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Paul Scott, R-Grand Blanc, also would require school employees to pay a fine equal to one day of pay for every day or partial day they participate in a strike.

House Bill 4465, sponsored by Rogers, would require district superintendents to suspend or revoke teachers’ licenses if teachers are caught breaking existing strike laws.

The version of H.B. 4466 that got passed out of committee was actually even more punitive than first written.

Under the bill, if one or more public school employees strike, their union would be kicked out for five years. A school superintendent or parent could report any strike activity – and, if enacted, a union could be decertified even if no actual strike occurred.

So, the two union-busting, teacher-hating state Representatives responsible for some of the most draconian, anti-teacher legislation in my lifetime are now heading up a task force to reform Michigan’s education system.

We should all pay very, very close attention to the outcome of this group’s efforts — the legislation they will put before the state legislature next fall. Expect widespread outsourcing and privatization of educational-related functions and services to outside, private businesses. Expect further erosion of teachers’ collective bargaining rights and benefits. Because that’s how Republicans roll.