In this survey of school district contracts, it is apparent that implementation of the 2011 collective bargaining reforms has been varied, at best. At worst, district officials appear to have worked with their local unions to preserve contract provisions, and perhaps practices, which are prohibited by state law.
At bare minimum, this survey demonstrates the need for further research into this area. Clearly, the passage of a law aiming to change school district collective bargaining does not assure uniform and full compliance. Some amount of review is necessary to determine the actual extent of implementation.
While districts were generally compliant with health insurance spending reforms, there are plenty of instances where compliance with the 2011 collective bargaining reforms was questionable. This certainly is cause for the consideration of financial penalties against districts that are found to be noncompliant.
District personnel decisions, especially concerning the use of teachers, are critically important towards the goal of improving student performance in Michigan’s public schools. If districts are continuing to use outdated methods to make personnel decisions, fewer Michigan students will have the opportunity to be taught by a truly high-performing teacher.