Governor Rick Snyder is a fan of Reading Rocks in Rockford, a Rockford Rotary festival, which just completed its second year. He sent an award of recognition for the reading festival, applauding the effort to promote literacy and the fun of reading in a day-long event with authors, celebrity readers, mascots, games, prizes, acting and more. Pictured is organizer and Rockford Rotary President Sue Bodenner with State Representative Peter MacGregor and Kent District Library’s new director Lance Wener.
State Representative Peter MacGregor
State Rep. Peter MacGregor was acknowledged for his perfect voting record in the first six months of the 2011 Michigan House legislative session. More than 300 roll call votes were taken in the first six months and MacGregor was present for every vote. Voting histories are compiled on the nonpartisan website www.michiganvotes.org for all state lawmakers. “Fulfilling my role as a state representative means being present for the people of my district and our state,” said MacGregor, R-Rockford. “The heavy lifting that has been done the past six months hasn’t been easy, but I was sent here to turn our state around and that involves showing up and making tough decisions. While I appreciate the recognition, I take this responsibility very seriously and am only doing what I was sent to Lansing to do.” In the first six months of this year, the Michigan House enacted a simplified tax structure, ended lifetime benefits for lawmakers and took action to curb government spending. The state budget approved this spring was the earliest a state budget has been completed in 30 years. Residents can contact MacGregor’s office in Lansing toll-free at (855) 347-8073 or e-mail to PeterMacGregor@house.mi.gov.
Time has come for reasonable tenure reform by PETER MACGREGOR State Representative 73rd District One of the first few meetings I scheduled after taking office was with all the school superintendents in my district. Over and over, one of the issues that kept coming up, in addition to budget cuts, was the fact that the tenure process needed reformed. Additionally, I had meeting after meeting and countless e-mails and phone calls from actual educators. Some educators wanted to maintain the status quo, but there were also many who privately conveyed they agreed it was time for reasonable tenure reform. There is an example in almost every district of a teacher who has lost their passion or isn’t really qualified to teach children, but seems to be untouchable because they’ve obtained “tenure.” In fact, there are districts all across this state that have educators who probably need to be removed from the classroom, but it is cheaper for the school to pay their salary to not work at all—and pay their replacement simultaneously—than to go through the long, litigious process of terminating a teacher with the Teacher Tenure Commission. I asked those in the education field, both administrators and teachers, what it typically costs a school district to terminate one teacher and was told estimates anywhere from $100,000 to $250,000 per teacher. It’s no wonder we all have had those experiences mentioned above of someone who taught us or taught our kids, who we all knew shouldn’t be there, yet remained year after year. I am well aware that we have some of the best teachers in the state, probably even in the country, right here in West Michigan. Effective teachers are the most important variable in a student’s success. However, those good teachers should not take offense to the legislation passed this past month on tenure reform. In fact, the legislation that was passed will protect good teachers. No longer is it acceptable to fire a lower seniority teacher to keep a teacher who has more seniority and who may not even teach the subject needed—which is now the current practice. Rather, educators will now be employed based on performance. If the teacher with less experience happened to be a better teacher, they shouldn’t automatically […]
Winning classrooms awarded with pizza parties State Rep. Peter MacGregor recently announced the winners of his elementary school student art contest. MacGregor extended this contest to all elementary school students within the 73rd District and winners earned a pizza party for their entire class. “I am extremely impressed with the talent and creativity of the children in the 73rd District,” said MacGregor, R-Rockford. “Providing my youngest constituents with pizza parties to recognize their hard work is the least I can do. I look forward to displaying their beautiful artwork in my office and showing off the talent of local children to my colleagues.” MacGregor and his staff visited classrooms at Kent City, Cedar View and North Oakview elementary schools on May 13 to congratulate the winners and deliver the pizza for their parties. Contest winners include Kinsey Dever from Kent City Elementary (Claire DeGraaf’s fifth-grade class), Karina Ulloa and Haley Denton from North Oakview Elementary (Carrie Davies’ fourth-grade class), Brooke Harris (Sue Elenbaas’ third-grade class), and Amy Cook from Cedar View Elementary (Craig Gates’ fifth-grade class).