I am writing to inform you that due to your efforts, and the efforts of other supporters of the Michigan Public Schools Employees Retirement System, the Senate today has decided not to vote on Senate Bills 102, 1177 & 1178 during the remainder of the current legislative session! The decision … Read More › about Executive Director’s Blog Post – MPSERS reform package dead in lame duck but debate is far from over
MARSP members and friends, Yesterday the Senate Appropriations Committee passed new pension reform measures in a 9 – 8 vote. The bills, SB 102, 1177 & 1178 have now moved to the full Senate for possible action today. I am asking you to take action to stop these bills from moving forward. … Read More › about Executive Directors Blog Post: URGENT: MPSERS reform update, contact your Senators
MARSP strongly agrees with 2016 Michigan Teacher of the Year, Rick Joseph. Public school pensions are a critical component to quality education. And, additional pension “reforms” will actually increase the expense to Michigan taxpayers! Share this article as widely as possible. It speaks the truth … Read More › about Executive Director’s Blog Post: Additional pension “reforms” will actually increase expense to Michigan taxpayers
Study confirms House passed DPS bills doomed to fail. Let’s hope the Senate rejects this irresponsible plan and supports quality education for ALL Detroit students. Which Districts Get Into Financial Trouble and Why: Michigan's Story The irony of this study being released on the same day the … Read More › about Executive Director’s June Blog Post: Study confirms House passed DPS bills doomed to fail
Very interesting to see that 43 Michigan school districts’ credit ratings have been downgraded recently by Moody’s Investors’ Service (Detroit News article Aug. 31, 2015). The article does a great job of explaining why so many districts find themselves with a lower credit rating and, not surprising … Read More › about Executive Director’s September Blog Post: Pension costs not a major factor in school districts credit ratings being downgraded
Proposal 1: A Dismal Failure or Creating New Opportunities? By now, anyone interested in the outcome of Proposal 1 is well aware of its overwhelming defeat on May 5th. MARSP did take a position in support of the Proposal because it increased funding for education which strengthens the retirement … Read More › about Executive Director’s May Blog Post: Proposal 1: A Dismal Failure or Creating New Opportunities?
We recently sent out a very short survey asking our members their thoughts on Proposal 1. While MARSP supports the Proposal, we also recognize our members are independent thinkers and ultimately make their own decisions when it comes to casting their votes. The results of the survey were … Read More › about Executive Director’s April Blog Post: Whatever happened to trusting the Legislature?
Please click to read my latest opinion article from today’s Lansing State Journal: Let’s see a positive attitude in Legislature. … Read More › about Mark Guastella: Let’s see a positive attitude in Legislature
The Sept. 18 Detroit News editorial, “Teacher pensions still need reforming” included some untruths and misrepresentations that I’d like to clear up. The editorial discussed the financial condition of the pension plan but failed to mention that the hybrid plan for active employees, which The News … Read More › about Detroit News’ pension editorial missed the mark
Please click to read my most recent opinion article from today's Detroit News: Why the teacher pension system exists. … Read More › about Letter: Why the teacher pension system exists
Check out my op-ed that ran in the Detroit Free Press on August 10, 2014 regarding charter schools. … Read More › about Give Michigan public schools some of the freedoms enjoyed by charters
I followed the recent series on Michigan’s Charter Schools in the Detroit Free Press and thought their reporters did an exceptional job researching the issues, both positive and negative. I was very impressed with the depth and balance presenting both sides of the issues. The charter system … Read More › about July Blog Update: Charter school series in Detroit Free Press
Election surprises and unintended consequences Election season is upon us and this year could be a doozie. It will be interesting to see how the recent unexpected loss by incumbent Eric Cantor, the House of Representatives Republican majority leader and seven-term Congressman from Virginia, will … Read More › about June Blog Update: Election surprises and unintended consequences
Funding priority or political football? If education funding is truly one of the state’s most critical priorities, funding for it should keep up with inflation. As I looked into the Senate Fiscal Agency records recently, I found that funding increased on average 1.47 percent per year for the 14 … Read More › about May Blog Update: Funding priority or political football?
EAA expansion a concern As representatives in the state House consider an expansion to the Education Achievement Authority (EAA), we’re following the discussion with interest. Right now the EAA affects only 15 schools in the Detroit area, but proposed legislation would allow as many as 50 schools … Read More › about February Blog Update: EAA expansion a concern
It would be my guess that many citizens of Michigan have noticed how easily numerous changes have pushed their way through the Legislature over the last few years. Quite a number of the changes have placed a large financial burden onto our public school retirees and seniors in general, while easing … Read More › about December Blog Update: Time to hold legislators accountable
Medicaid expansion will benefit retirees It was a several months in the making, but the Legislature’s passage of the Medicaid expansion is welcome news for Michigan public school retirees. Although we would have preferred that it take effect in January rather than April, we’re happy that more … Read More › about October blog update: Keeping our eyes on Detroit
It was wonderful to see so many of you and hear firsthand about your commitment to MARSP during our June Leadership Seminars in Kalamazoo, Gaylord, Auburn Hills and Escanaba. More than 250 chapter leaders and future leaders attended. An excellent turnout! Thanks to all who took the time to … Read More › about July blog update: Leadership Seminars a success!
Pension funding in the news Pension funding has been in the news lately and makes for some interesting reading. Check out the Fox Business article, “Why pension funds are eating your 401 K lunch,” (fxn.ws/12LmT9Q via @foxbusiness) which notes that pension funds are outperforming 401(k) plans year … Read More › about Mark’s June Blog Update: Have spaghetti? Will travel.
Seeking the lost art of compromise Lawmakers finding common ground and reaching consensus on difficult issues has become so rare it makes the news when it does occur. In recent years, as legislators grapple with controversial or challenging topics, the art of compromise seems to be practiced less … Read More › about May update: Seeking the lost art of compromise
I was invited to testify before the House Committee on Education on Sept. 12 on a bill that affects retired teachers who want to substitute teach or perform other work for a public school entity. HB 5261was introduced by Sen. Holly Hughes (R-Montague) in January to allow retired teachers to work as … Read More › about MARSP supports bill affecting retirees who substitute
Executive Director, S Mark Guastella, will be using this blog to keep members updated on important MARSP happenings! Stay tuned for more information in the upcoming weeks! … Read More › about Welcome to MARSP’s new blog!
Legislative Reception well attended by guests and members As we greeted our Michigan legislators this week on a chilly and somewhat snowy early morning for our annual MARSP Legislative Reception, we were pleased with not only the great turnout by senators and representatives, but also the strong … Read More › about Mark’s February Update