Stateside: Trade deals and tariffs; long-term substitute teachers; Rep. Levin on PFAS disposal | Michigan Radio

Stateside: Trade deals and tariffs; long-term substitute teachers; Rep. Levin on PFAS disposal

Jan 16, 2020

Today on Stateside, a Democratic congressman is proposing new regulations for safe disposal of PFAS. Plus, schools around the state are increasingly relying on long-term substitute teachers. We talk about what this means for students, and strategies for getting more certified teachers into classrooms.

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below.

New North American trade deal ensures continuity for auto industry, says expert  

  • The U.S. Senate has overwhelmingly approved a new North American trade agreement that rewrites the rules of trade with Canada and Mexico. It would replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, better known as NAFTA. Kristin Dziczek, vice president for Industry, Labor, and Economics at the Center for Automotive Research, explained how this new deal will affect Michigan's automotive industry. 

Michigan agri-business leader hopeful new China deal will bring trade back to status quo

  • President Trum's "Phase 1" trade agreement with China is expected to reduce tensions in a trade dispute that has slowed global growth, hurt American manufacturers, and weighed on the Chinese economy. The deal calls for China to purchase $200 billion of U.S. goods and services over the next two years, with an emphasis on agricultural products. Jim Byrum, president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association, talked about what this means for Michigan farmers hit hard by the trade war with China. 

Majority of Michigan residents think rise in number of long-term substitute teachers is a problem

  • Kids in Michigan schools are spending more and more time with substitute teachers. Last year, Bridge Magazine reported substitute teachers were leading thousands of classrooms on a long-term basis. Some of them are not certified and unqualified for the subjects they teach. Alexandra Schmidt, public engagement reporter at Bridge Magazine, discussed a recent survey which found that a large majority of Michigan residents oppose the use of uncertified substitute teachers in classrooms and want to see action to address the issue. 
  • Chris Wigent heads the Michigan Association of Superintendents and School Administrators. We talked to him about the teacher shortage experts say is fueling the use of long-term substitutes and discussed possible solutions. 

Rep. Levin pushes for EPA standards on PFAS disposal

  • The state of Michigan filed suit this week against 3M, DuPont, and 15 other defendants, claiming they deliberately concealed the dangers of PFAS chemicals. Lawmakers from Michigan have been sounding the alarm in Washington D.C. as well. Last week, the U.S. House passed a bill to regulate PFAS and their disposal. Democratic Congressman Andy Levin represents Michigan's 9th Congressional District, and is one of the lawmakers working on the issue. He joined us to talk about what proposed regulations would do to ensure safe disposal of the so-called "forever chemicals."

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