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?