The State of Education

Symposium on the Impact of New Legislation for Public School Employees

Unsure about what the future looks like for Michigan public school employees, especially those within unions? This virtual symposium was held on October 28, 2023, with five leading experts on education legislation in the state of Michigan. The symposium covers the present and future of Michigan education policy, followed by a Q&A portion. Our speakers included (listed in the order they spoke): 

Additional Materials

About the Speakers

Regina Weiss

State of Michigan House Representative

State Rep. Regina Weiss is serving her second term representing the 6th House District. As a former educator, Weiss brings with her to Lansing an in-depth, intimate knowledge of the many issues plaguing Michigan’s public schools  and is dedicated to using that knowledge to help improve education policy at the state level.  

Olivia Ponte

MI Department of Education Legislative Analyst

Olivia Ponte is a legislative analyst in the Office of Public and Governmental Affairs at the Michigan Department of Education. She works with legislators, stakeholders, and other state departments to create education legislation and a strong budget that benefits Michigan children.

Dan Centers

Chief of Staff for Senator Dayna Polehanki

Dan Centers has dedicated his career to serving his community. Before his current role, Dan worked as an elementary school teacher, and as an executive with Boy Scouts of America. He currently works as the Chief of Staff for Dayna Polehanki, making higher education more accessible and affordable for students.

Nate Walker

AFT Michigan Attorney & Organizer

Before becoming AFT Michigan's in-house counsel, Nate was a middle-school teacher in Detroit for several years and an organizer for over ten years, helping workers in schools organize unions. Nate is devoted to making public education a more humanizing experience for students and the adults who work with them.

Tammy Daenzer

MEA Lobbyist

Tammy is a union advocate and lobbyist with the Michigan Education Association. Before working with the MEA, Tammy served as a middle school science teacher for twelve years and an education market advisor for thirteen years. She is passionate about education.