David Hecker

David Hecker

David Hecker has served as president of AFT Michigan since 2001. Previously, he was secretary-treasurer of the state federation. A member of the AFT executive committee, Hecker was first elected as an AFT vice president in 2004.


David Hecker: Student teachers deserve to be paid for their work

By: - February 8, 2022

Many of us have fond memories of student teachers from our time in K-12 education. These students and aspiring educators joined our classrooms — and for several months, did the work of a full-time teacher, from planning lessons to managing the class on a day to day basis.  But what many students who have spent […]


David Hecker: Schools need a comprehensive approach to gun violence prevention

By: - January 15, 2022

Last month, a community right here in Michigan was devastated by a mass shooting that took place at a school.  I wish I could say the Oxford High School shooting was an isolated incident, but as we’ve all observed over the past two decades, school shootings have become an all-too-common occurrence. We cannot bring back […]


David Hecker: Public money should go to public schools

By: - December 3, 2021

For decades, the DeVos family and their ilk have crusaded to undermine public schools and funnel money into private schools, and unfortunately, they’re back at it again.  This latest push to defund public schools began in the Legislature, where Republican lawmakers passed bills that would create tax credits for “scholarship funds” that could be used […]


David Hecker: Empower paraprofessionals to address Michigan’s teacher shortage

By: - November 8, 2021

It’s no secret that school districts across Michigan are struggling with a teacher shortage—and both teachers and students are struggling as a result. Without adequate staff, schools are forced to resort to larger class sizes, increasing teachers’ workloads and making it more difficult for students to get the individualized attention they need to succeed. In […]


David Hecker: Rural and urban kids face many of the same challenges

By: - October 1, 2021

If you’re just passing through them, it may not look like rural and urban, including many surrounding suburbs, communities have much in common — and elected officials often pit urban and rural communities against each other in public policy fights.  However, they actually have more in common than some would like us to believe, including […]


David Hecker: Anti-worker policies from the Snyder era are holding Michigan back

By: - September 6, 2021

Labor Day is a time to reflect on the hard-fought victories unions have won for all working people and consider our path forward as we continue our work to defend and uplift workers everywhere.  Usually, union members would be marching together down Michigan Avenue today — but while COVID prevents us from gathering for a […]


David Hecker: Conservative myths about critical race theory hurt students and teachers

By: - September 1, 2021

As educators, we believe in teaching kids the truth about our history and society, even when the truth is not pleasant. But some people across the country are working to infringe on teachers’ right and responsibility to be honest with their students about the history or racism, past and present, in our nation. In keeping […]


David Hecker: We’ve made strides in school funding, but more must be done

By: - August 4, 2021

A few weeks ago, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bipartisan School Aid budget bill, the largest in history, that takes important steps toward fully funding our pre-K-12 public schools. As I remarked at the governor’s press conference, this is what happens when Democrats and Republicans come together in support of our children. As it stands, […]


Column: It’s time for billionaires to pay their fair share of taxes

By: - July 19, 2021

Imagine a world where we aren’t asked to choose between funding our schools and other crucial public services like fixing our roads and bridges, cleaning up our water and ensuring everyone has access to food, shelter, and health care.  Imagine living in a country where our government at all levels works to ensure everyone’s needs […]


David Hecker: Public education must continue to fight ugly truth of racism

By: - June 11, 2021

Michigan can and should be a place where every child, regardless of race or ZIP code, has the opportunity to get a quality public education that will set them on a path to success. But we’re not there yet, and it is incumbent on all of us to do the work necessary to strengthen public […]


David Hecker: COVID-19 shows we need to recommit to economic and racial justice

By: - April 28, 2020

During the meetings I’ve been in as the state has dealt with the fallout of COVID-19, consistent, common themes arise, including: the devastating effects this crisis has on hourly employees who struggle to make ends meet; the disproportionate impact the virus has had on African-American communities; and the digital divide our students face.  “The coronavirus […]


Herbart and Hecker: Don’t gamble with school retirement funds for roads scheme

By: and - July 14, 2019

Some state lawmakers are proposing to dip into state retirement funds to pay for Michigan’s crumbling roads.  This dangerous idea should be rejected because it could undermine the retirement of hundreds of thousands of Michigan residents, drive the state deeper into debt, and saddle taxpayers with massive future costs. Rather than face the fact that […]