State Rep. Christine Greig (D‐Farmington Hills) hosted a May 9 panel discussion during an education town hall held at the Maxfield Education Center in Farmington.
The event was slated to coincide with Teacher Appreciation Week, and around 35 people attended to take part in a conversation about what Michigan can do to recruit and retain top teacher talent.
“No matter what education choices parents make for their kids, they all have one thing in common: every parent wants to see their child reach their full potential and become a successful adult capable of achieving their dreams,” Greig said. “All of that begins with a great education, and having great teachers is at the heart of that. We must do everything we can to make sure Michigan attracts, trains and retains the best teachers possible.”
Greig is one of several state Democratic representatives and senators co-sponsoring legislation in the “TeA+chers for Michigan” package that would, among other things:
- Establish an Underrepresented Teacher Recruitment Program to assist educational institutions in the recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups
- Provide stipends for student teachers serving at economically disadvantaged schools where at least 60 percent of students are enrolled in free, or reduced, lunch programs — with a stipend not to exceed $1,000 per academic year · Allow for up to 10 years of student loan debt forgiveness for teachers who are in their first three years of teaching
- Provide a one-time bonus of $3,000 to $5,000 for newly hired teachers, or a one-time relocation bonus for teachers moving into a district
- Award an annual bonus of $1,800 to math, science, and special education teachers
- Establish mentor teacher pay of $500 to $2,000 per year to experienced teachers who mentor new teachers in their first three years of teaching
- Set a teacher-student ratio of one teacher per every 20 students for kindergarten through fourth grade, or one to 25 if there is a full-time paraprofessional also working in the same classroom
“For so long, teachers have been left out of education policy discussions in Lansing. TeA+chers for Michigan includes the creation of a teachers council to ensure those who are actually teaching are part of creating meaningful, effective education legislation,” Greig said. “It’s impossible to have great education in Michigan without having great teachers. I hope the conversation that started at this town hall will continue, and I look forward to being a part of it.”
To receive notifications about Greig’s upcoming events, sign up for her e-newsletter at housedems.com/greig.