Price to Pay
true maverick and is paying the price.
The Pontiac Democrat until recently was the chair of the House
Education Committee. Traditionally the chair was simpatico to the
teacher labor movement and in some cases they were chair because of
The Michigan Education Association and the Michigan Federation of
Teachers are fond of saying, "We take care of our own."
Melton did not fit the mold…not by a long shot and they took care of
him in another manner.
As a close confidant of the former Democratic Speaker Rep. Andy
Dillon, Melton signed up for the Dillon state run health insurance pool
concept that produced a nasty labor vs. Dillon dust up and when the
dust settled labor won, and Dillon did not.
Melton took some hits too and when they counted votes last November,
the GOP took control of the house. Melton survived but he was no
longer chair of education.
In fact, he woke up one morning and discovered he was no longer on
He privately believes the MEA did everything it could to bounce him
from the panel.
"There is a price to pay," he reflects. "I was a reformer (and)
some of the traditional friends of education did not like that."
But he is not giving up. Melton wants to revamp the teacher tenure
law, continue to change the teacher health care system, and is still a
big fan of Race to the Top/Obama driven reforms.
But he's off the committee that deals with that.
Undaunted he pledges to push on. "I'll be front and center" and
this time he may have the new GOP governor in his corner.
Wonder what those "traditional friends of education" think about