Meet The New Teachers Union Myths, Same As The Old Ones

New MEA leadership team promote old one’s false narratives in a ‘listening tour’

The Michigan Education Association’s website is reporting on the activities of a new leadership team that started in September. They include the union’s new president, Paula Herbart, along with Vice President Chanddra Madafferi and Secretary-Treasurer Brett Smith.

But the story repeats the same myths and false narratives that the union’s prior regime told for years – teacher shortages and stagnating wages.

The story reports on what the union describes as a “listening tour,” complete with local teachers repeating many of the same myths.

One of these was Leland Public Schools teacher and local union president Keven Pershinske. He said that his district has a looming teacher shortage and that wages there are stagnating.

Yet, actual data from Pershinske’s district refutes many of those claims.

One Leland teacher had a salary of $44,671 in 2013-14, which rose to $49,597 in 2015-16 - an 11 percent increase over two years. Another Leland teacher was getting $51,876 in 2013-14, which increased to $58,009 in 2015-16 – an 11.8 percent raise.

Pershinske’s own salary rose from $66,284 in 2013-14 to $71,601 in 2015-16, an 8-percent increase over two years.

While the article talks about a teacher shortage, applications for teacher positions at Leland don’t support that claim. Leland Public Schools is a small district in northern Michigan with just 529 students and 36 full-time teachers in 2016-17.

The school district posted two teacher openings in 2016-17. It received four applicants for an English Language Learner teacher and 14 applicants for a first and second grade teacher, according to a report received in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

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