What do teachers really think?

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At a party this weekend I found myself at a table chatting with one of the guests — a Michigan state representative NOT from Livingston County.

Everyone at the table was interested to hear about the machinations of the current budget negotiations in Lansing. The conversation then veered to the Michigan Citizens United recall petition, which was just approved for circulation.

“How many teachers are there in Michigan?” I asked the rep.

“About 100,000,” the rep said.

“That’s short of the 800,000 signatures they need on the recall petition,” I said.

Michigan Citizens United needs to get 807,000 votes in 90 days to get the recall on the November ballot.

The rep went on to say that while the teachers union opposes any changes to teacher pay and benefits packages, it’s a different story with union members.

“When you talk to teachers one-on-one, they all say something needs to be done,” the rep said. “They know changes need to be made.”

I fully understand that this one rep — a Republican — doesn’t speak for all our state legislators. And I fully understand that the MEA doesn’t represent the personal opinion of all teachers. But, still, the conversation left me wondering: Could the MEA be out-of-step with its members? Could legislators be out-of-step with teachers?

About Maria Stuart 211 Articles

Journalist Maria Stuart lives in Howell. She worked at The Livingston County Press/Livingston County Daily Press & Argus as a reporter, editor and managing editor from 1990-2009. She is often spotted holding court at Uptown Coffeehouse. You can check out her website by clicking here.