Teachers would be rewarded, recruited and revered under a 22-bill package introduced in the Michigan Senate last week.
The bills would provide signing bonuses for new teachers, stipends for student teachers assigned to economically disadvantaged districts, incentives and scholarships for students to enter the teaching profession and student loan debt forgiveness.
"Michigan teachers need our support and our kids simply deserve to have good schools with good teachers," said Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood, D-Taylor, one of the lead sponsors of the legislation.
One of the bills in the package, which faces a tough climb in the Republican-controlled Legislature, would mandate a ratio of one teacher for every 20 students in grades kindergarten through the fourth grade.
Other bills introduced last week:
HB 5437: Expand eligibility for military veterans’ license plates to include the Pueblo crisis. Sponsor: Rep. John Chirkun, D-Roseville.
HB 5438: Expand the definition of coercion in human trafficking cases to include controlling or facilitating access to controlled substances. Sponsor: Rep. Laura Cox, R-Livonia.
HB 5439: Create a psychiatric bed registry. Sponsor: Rep. Mary Whiteford, R-Casco Township.
HB 5440: Prohibit local units of government to pass ordinances or regulations banning the display of the American flag and the state of Michigan flag on private property. Sponsor: Rep. Adam Zemke, D-Ann Arbor.
HB 5441: Prohibit state funding for wolf management plans. Sponsor: Rep. Beau LaFave, R-Iron Mountain.
HB 5442: Reduce the minimum size of wetlands subject to regulation. Sponsor: Rep. Martin Howrylak, R-Troy.
HB 5443: Repeal the Michigan estate tax act. Sponsor: Steven Johnson, R-Wayland Township.
HB 5444: Expand the mandatory reporting requirements for child abuse or neglect to include physical therapist. Sponsor: Rep. Jeff Yaroch, R-Richmond.
HB 5445: Prohibit the termination of employment for medical marijuana patients. Sponsor: Rep. Sam Singh, D-East Lansing.
HB 5446: Repeal state law regarding how pay is set for county officials in counties with a population of more than 1 million people. Sponsor: Rep. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township.
HB 5447: Change the reference to writ of resolution to an order of eviction. Sponsor: Rep. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township.
HB 5448: Expedite the issuance or renewal of a teaching certificate to a military spouse who is assigned to in-state active duty. Sponsor: Rep. Robert Kosowski, D-Westland.
HB 5449: Allow for the electronic return of absentee ballots by military voters and their spouses who are serving outside of their place of residence. Sponsor: Rep. Robert Kosowski, D-Westland.
HB 5450-5452: Modify the criminal background checks for employment in health, mental health and adult foster-care facilities. Sponsors: Reps. Klint Kesto, R-Commerce Township, Jeff Noble, R-Plymouth, Curtis VanderWall, R-Ludington.
HB 5453: Provide a temporary exemption from a local road funding tax for property already subject to a special assessment. Sponsor: Rep. Christine Greig, D-Farmington Hills.
SB 759: Allow education funding to be used for the Michigan Education Corps. Sponsor: Sen. Goeff Hansen, R-Hart.
SB 760: Create fundraising vehicle plates for “I Support Public Schools,” with revenues earmarked for the school aid fund. Sponsor: Sen. Steven Bieda, D-Warren.
SB 761: Create a commission on unsolved civil rights crimes and cold cases. Sponsor: Sen. Ian Conyers, D-Detroit.
SB 762: Provide for the resale of sports and entertainment event tickets at higher or lower prices than face value. Sponsor: Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph.
SB 763: Modify the allowable expenditures from the Natural Resources Trust Fund and the Michigan state parks endowment fund. Sponsor: Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba.
SB 764-782: A package of bills designed to prepare, attract and retain teachers in Michigan’s public schools by creating incentives and scholarships for students to enter the teaching profession; provide student loan forgiveness, bonuses and mentoring for new teachers and stipends for students who do their student teaching at disadvantaged schools; set teacher/student ratios at one teacher for every 20 students. Sponsors: Sens. Morris Hood, D-Detroit, Steven Bieda, D-Warren, David Knezek, D-Dearborn Heights, Ian Conyers, D-Detroit, Bert Johnson, D-Highland Park, Jim Ananich, D-Flint, Hoon-Yung Hopgood, D-Taylor, Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor, Coleman Young II, D-Detroit, Curtis Hertel, D-East Lansing, Vincent Gregory, D-Southfield.
SB 783: Designate the month of April as Sarcoidosis Awareness Month. The disease causes abnormal collection of inflamed cells to form lumps on organs and skin. Sponsor: Sen. David Knezek, D-Dearborn Heights.
SB 784-786: Allow a parent or guardian to execute a do-not-resuscitate order on behalf of a minor child. Sponsors: Sens. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor, Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge.
SB 787: Allow people over the age of 65 to determine their own levels of auto insurance coverage. Sponsor: Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge.
For more information or to follow the progress on bills, go to: www.legislature.mi.gov.