November 8th, 2021
Legislative Update from MASA
Hornberger Proposes Prohibiting Districts from Paying for Association Memberships
On Tuesday, the House Education Committee heard introductory testimony on HB 5424, a bill sponsored by the Committee Chair Rep. Pamela Hornberger (R-Chesterfield). As introduced, the legislation would prevent districts, ISDs, and PSAs from using public funds to pay membership dues in associations for the following individuals:
- Members of the board or board of directors, as applicable.
- Assistant superintendents.
- Principals or chief administrators, as applicable.
- Assistant principals or assistant chief administrators, as applicable.
- School building directors.
- School building liaisons.
- Central office administrators and staff of the central office administrators.
The bill sponsor testified that educational professionals should pay out of pocket for membership dues. Further, testimony attempted to characterize the services organizations like MASA, MASB, and others provide as equivalent to a labor union — in effort to equate this legislation as solving a fairness issue for teachers and other education professionals. Further testimony characterized the work of these professional communities as political, which is expressly prohibited by federal tax law.
In reality, with educators stretched to the limit, students and staff grappling with mental health issues, and schools struggling to find employees, the supports provided by organizations like MASA, MASB, MSBO, MAISA, MASSP and so many other professional associations and networks are more important than ever.
MASA is asking that you reach out to your House member and urge them to oppose House Bill 5424. Thank you for supporting us, so we can continue to support you.
House Bill 5190:
The committee also voted on HB 5190, legislation that proposes adding a 1/2-credit personal finance requirement and reduce the foreign language requirement from 2 credits to 1-1/2 credits in the Michigan Merit Curriculum. The committee voted 8-4 to pass HB 5190, with all Republican members supporting the legislation. MASA, while supportive of incorporating financial literacy content into the standards (as already happens), does not support the bill that would add another required course to the MMC, squeezing out other options like CTE.
Federal Standard for COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing:
Thursday, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the United States Department of Labor released the much-anticipated Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) covering COVID-19 vaccination and testing for employers with more than 100 employees.
In September, President Biden unveiled the administration’s Path Out of the Pandemic Plan, which included details on “Keeping Schools Open Safely.” The relying on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to regulate workplace safety and enforce the mandate and testing requirement through an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). This applies to federal, state, and local public employees in states with OSHA plans.
As previously enumerated in our legislative updates, Michigan is a state plan state, and under those rules, has 30 days to promulgate rules that “are at least as effective” as the federal ETS.
In yesterday’s email, we indicated that Michigan would have 30 days to adopt a policy, while this is legally true because OSHA included dates specific in the ETS, those dates will govern the law. In conversations with MIOSHA, we have learned that the state does not plan to go any further than the federal standard and will in fact adopt the standard “by reference” so for any guidance on the subject, you can look to the resources from OSHA.
What does this mean for you? First, this analysis is quick, dirty, and not exhaustive. We caution that you should really look closely at the resources above for absolute clarity. Second, it’s important to note that this is not necessarily a mandate that employees be vaccinated, rather, that employees be tested every 7 days for COVID-19 unless they choose to be vaccinated to opt-out of the mandatory testing. There are two dates you need to be aware of – December 6, 2021, and January 4, 2022.
December 6, 2021: By this date, any employer with at least 100 employees (full-time or part-time employees that are directly employed by the employer/district) must have in place policies and procedures to implement the testing or vaccine protocol, this includes the determination of employee vaccine status.
January 4, 2022: This is the date the testing mandate begins.
Included in the materials regarding the ETS, there are many references to collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) that caution that while an employer is not required to pay for testing, face coverings, etc., that the CBA may require them. Further, the ETS allows for employers to adopt a vaccine mandate in lieu of the testing mandate. We advise talking with your legal counsel on which direction makes the most sense for adoption by your district.
Finally, as related to penalties, the State fine per citation is $7,000 with a maximum of $70,000 for willful and repeat violations.
Veteran's Day Program
Bangor Middle and High School students will attend an assembly in the gymnasium to honor local veterans on Thursday, November 11, 2021. South Walnut Fourth Grade contest winners will also attend.
All veterans are invited and asked to arrive at the Bangor High School cafeteria between 8:15 and 8:45 where they will be able to greet other veterans before being escorted into the gymnasium.
During the ceremony, all present veterans will be introduced to the student body. Guest speaker will be SSGT Justin E. Self, currently serving as Recruiter for the United States Marines.
For more information on the November 11, 2021 Veterans Day ceremonies at Bangor High School, please call Stephanie Fletcher at 427-6800 ext. 1101.
**Please Note: Following Bangor Public Schools safety requirements, masks are required.**
Administrators and Supervisors have been given a link to the survey to share with their building members, so that they are given time during staff meetings this week to complete the survey. This survey takes approximately 10-15 minutes to complete.
Van Buren Weekly COVID-19 Data Report (Week of October 28th - November 3rd, 2021)
Cases per 100,000: 347.5
% Positivity: 16.10%
New Hospital Admissions: 7
<16 Receive One or More Dose: 1,487
% Elig. Pop. Fully Vaccinated: 60.60%
Van Buren is at a HIGH level risk because of the weekly cases per 110K of 347.5, over the threshold of 100, and the test positivity of 10% for the week of October 28th - November 3rd, 2021.
Van Buren Health Care Consortium
The following Superintendent's have been appointed to represent the Consortium in helath plan reviews and choices:
Patrick Creagan - Decatur
Deanna Dobbins - Bloomingdale
Ben Bandfield - Lawton
Lynn JOhnson - Bangor
Bangor Fall Sports Awards
Boys Soccer: 1st Team All-Conference SW10
2nd Team All-Conference SW10
Honorable Mention All-Conference SW10
Michigan High School Soccer Coaches Association
Honorable Mention All-State
Cross Country 1st Team All-Conference
2nd Team All-Conference
Tyler CarusoLilliana Alcauter
Fixed Asset reviews** provide professional valuations which in turn help establish a certified record of the districts fixed assets, in turn those values are used for such things as:
- Budget Preperation
- Financial Reporting
- Property Accountability
- Risk Management
- Maintenance Control
Community Relations Specialist
Farah is the new District Community Relations Specialist replacing Bree Lennox (Thank you Bree for all your great work over the past several years).
Farah has brought many great Ideas already on how we can utilize our resources to increase Communication and Stakeholder Engagement throughout the Viking community.