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The wolves are circling The fight to stop vouchers is near
winter 2012 | ATPE.org
It’s more than a website. It’s a movement. 2013 ATPE Political Involvement Training and Lobby Day Feb. 10–11, 2013 Hilton Austin Downtown and the Texas State Capitol
« Meet face to face with your legislators. « Learn how to effectively advocate for public education. « Hear legislative leaders discuss what’s at stake this session. « Get answers to your questions about public education policy. « Show your support for public ed during the ATPE-PAC Live Auction.
Learn more and register at www.atpe.org/Advocacy/LobbyDay by Jan. 17. Registration for this event is free, and your local unit could be eligible for travel assistance. ATPE will schedule your meeting with your senator, but you will need to call your representative to set up an appointment. ATPE will provide a shuttle between the Hilton Austin Downtown and the Capitol.
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© Stage Fright Legs/istockphoto/Thinkstock; Legislative illustration by john kilpper; cover story illustration by erica fos
24 The wolves are circling
28 Your Association
ATPE celebrates paying its mortgage off—and names building after retiring Executive Director Doug Rogers · Enjoy a new discount at Office Depot · Congrats to ATPE/TCEA Let’s Get Mobile grant recipients · Save on holiday travel · Apply for ATPE awards by March 4 · ATPE Foundation scores a hole-inone at annual golf tournament · Tenet focus: Collaborative · Kudos · Family Album · ATPE-PAC Honor Roll
cover story Get ready: The biggest fight yet to stop private school vouchers in Texas is just around the corner. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has affirmed his support for private school vouchers and appointed Sen. Dan Patrick, an outspoken voucher proponent, to the chairmanship of the Senate Education Committee. This comes amid speculation that Gov. Rick Perry will designate vouchers an “emergency” issue. It’s time for public school advocates to loudly and proudly proclaim why public schools are crucial to our country’s future.
40 Your protection benefits Save this claims procedure information and summary of the professional liability insurance policy.
15 Beneath the surface
4 Editor’s Message
10 Education Curation
Sometimes, a worry is more than a worry, and educators
12 Tech Support
6 News Briefs
are in a unique position to recognize the signs of anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. Learn how anxiety manifests itself and which laws might apply if you’re working with a student who has an anxiety disorder.
18 Preview of the 83rd Legislature School finance, changing the structure of the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) and funding TRS-Care (health insurance for retired educators) are all expected to be hot-button issues during the upcoming legislative session.
8 In the Classroom
columns 13 Legal Opinions A PSA from the ATPE Member Legal Services Department
apitol Comment 14 C It’s halftime for team public ed
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president’s editor’s message
The official publication of the Association of Texas Professional Educators
Remember those old commercials asking NFL players where they were headed after winning the Super Bowl? “I’m going to Disney World!” the newly minted champion would say. Well, that’s what I did a few days after planning this issue of ATPE News. I went to Disney World. Not that planning this magazine is anything like playing in a Super Bowl, of course—though I did realize as we planned the issue that it would be a big challenge to cover the upcoming legislative battle over private school vouchers. I knew it would be tough, but I planned to take my vacation and give nary a thought to vouchers while spending time with Mickey. The subject of vouchers could wait. Not so fast, Johanns. As I rode the Spaceship Earth ride at EPCOT (that’s the ride inside the iconic “golf ball” structure), I heard Dame Judi Dench, the ride’s narrator, proclaim the ancient Greeks to be “great inventors of the future.” Dame Judi goes on to say that the Greeks’ greatest invention was the public school. And so my thoughts immediately went to vouchers. How is it possible, I thought, that a public school can be so core to the heart of the American experience that it’s proclaimed a “great invention” on a ride at Disney World— a stamp of moral approval to be sure—while at the same time be demonized by so many politicians and Hollywood? (See Waiting for Superman.) When I got back to work, I began to tackle the challenge. The voucher issue is daunting because I know that implementation of even a pilot program would open the door for complete privatization and dismantling of public schools. And for someone who believes strongly in public schools, that’s a startling prospect. But what finally helped me conquer my writer’s block was deciding that “The Wolves Are Circling” (page 24) was not ATPE’s only shot on this issue; it’s simply our opening shot. If this essay does not inspire you to take action, then I hope that something we publish in Essentials, on the Legislative Alert Network or on TeachtheVote.org does. If you have an idea for getting educators fired up and spurring action on this issue, let me know. It’s going to take all of us working together to protect our public schools. And if—no, when—we defeat vouchers this time, we will have won public education’s Super Bowl. I’ll see you at Disney World.
Deann Lee Ginger Franks Richard Wiggins Cory Colby Cheryl Buchanan
President, Paris (8) Vice President, Nacogdoches Co. (7) Secretary, Boerne (20) Treasurer, Willis (6) Past President, Ballinger (15)
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Amancio Garza Edinburg (1) Jackie Hannebaum Corpus Christi (2) Jan Womack Goliad (3) Ron Fitzwater Alvin (4) Bill Moye Warren (5) Judi Thomas Willis (6) Janie Leath Nacogdoches (7) Rita Long Mount Vernon (8) Kristi Daws Jacksboro (9) Jackie Davis Garland (10) David Williams Keller (11) Julleen Bottoms Corsicana (12) Greg Vidal Pflugerville (13) Tonja Gray Abilene (14) Sarah Beal Coleman County (15) Shane Whitten Amarillo (16) Lynette Ginn Hale Center (17) Teresa Griffin Stanton (18) Socorro Lopez San Elizario (19) Vacant Sandra de Leon Region Northside 20 (20)
Doug Rogers Executive Rogers Executive Director Alan Bookman Deputy Bookman Deputy Executive Director Laura Sheridan Associate Executive Director
ATPE NEWS STAFF
Doug Rogers Executive Rogers Executive Editor Kate Johanns Communications Manager/Editor John Kilpper Senior Kilpper Senior Graphic Designer Mandy Curtis Senior Curtis Senior Copy Editor/Writer Erica Fos Graphic Designer/ Advertising Coordinator Alexandria Tacy Stephens Johnson Copy Copy Editor/Writer
ATPE News (ISSN 0279-6260) is published quarterly in fall, winter, spring and summer. Subscription rates: for members of the association, $3.32 per year (included in membership dues); non-members, $10 per year. Extra copies $1.25 each. Published by the Association of Texas Professional Educators, 305 E. Huntland Drive, Suite 300, Austin, TX, 78752-3792. Periodical Postage Paid at Austin, Texas and at additional mailing ofﬁces. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ATPE News, 305 E. Huntland Dr., #300, Austin, TX, 78752-3792. Advertising rates may be obtained by sending a written request to the above address. Opinions expressed in this publication represent the attitude of the contributor whose name appears with the article and are not necessarily the ofﬁcial policy of ATPE. ATPE reserves the right to refuse advertising contrary to its purpose. Copyright 2012 in USA by the Association of Texas Professional Educators ISSN © ATPE 2012 0279-6260 USPS 578-050
Kate Johanns Editor, ATPE News
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December 24–31 ATPE state office closed for winter break
January Consider sending your school board a subscription to ATPE News. www.atpe.org/ LeaderCentral/ MyTools/atpeNews Order.aspx
School Board Recognition Month
1–4 ATPE state office closed for winter break 5 Region 1 meeting (McAllen) 7 ATPE state office reopens after winter break
8 83rd Legislature convenes
9 TCEA webinar—Web 2.0 Tools for Everyone 12 Region 3 presidents’ meeting (Victoria); Region 10 meeting (Garland)
17 Preregistration deadline for ATPE’s Political Involvement Training and Lobby Day
21 Martin Luther King Jr. Day (state office closed); Inauguration Day
26 Region 14 meeting (TBD); Region 18 meeting (Kermit)
31 Last day to join ATPE via payroll deduction
Find out more about this free-to-ATPE-members webinar series. www.atpe.org/Resources/ ProfessionalDevelopment/ index.asp
© capitol dome, online education, books and bank/istockphoto/Thinkstock; man on computer/Brandx/jupiterimages/thinkstock
Learn what’s in store and register today. www.atpe.org/ Advocacy/LobbyDay
1 Beth Ann Rogers Literacy Initiative grant application deadline
4–8 National School Counseling Week 7 ACTIVE Life webinar—Coping with Stress 8–9 ATPE Board of Directors meeting 10–11 ATPE Political Involvement Training and Lobby Day 16 Region 20 meeting (San Antonio)
20 TCEA webinar—Writing With a Purpose
23 Region 1 meeting (McAllen); Region 12 Convention (TBD)
28 Last day to join ATPE via online credit card application
Apply for one of seven $1,500 grants to be given to Texas public school libraries. www.atpefoundation.org
4 Entry deadline for the Ben Shilcutt Plus Club, Educator of the Year, Local Unit of the Year, Campus Representative of the Year, and the Sam Houston Award
Visit the Resources and Leader Central sections of atpe.org for more information. www.atpe.org/resources and www.atpe.org/ LeaderCentral
for Political Involvement; Region 9 Convention (TBD)
4–8 Texas Public Schools Week 6 TCEA webinar—iOS Apps for Educators
8 Deadline for 83rd Legislature to file bills 15 State officer nominations and proposed bylaws amendments and resolutions due in state office
Stay plugged in before, during and after the legislative session. TeachtheVote.org
call (800) 777-ATPE to be put in touch with your region officers red dates indicate atpe deadlines
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Nominate Texas’ best educators today Several Texas associations, including Texas PTA and ATPE, have collaborated to ensure that the state’s educators receive public recognition for their hard work and devotion to their students. The goal of the collaboration is to collect nominations for Texas’ best educators and to recognize no fewer than 100,000 of them by the end of the 180-day academic year. Any Texan who would like to nominate a teacher, librarian, principal or superintendant for recognition can do so by visiting www.texasbesteducator.org.
Accounting for early childhood development The impact of early childhood programs on the cognitive, social and emotional development of preschool children is well-documented—such programs have been shown to put children in poverty on equal intellectual footing with their peers and to close achievement gaps before they can open. These programs are now receiving more attention for their economic returns, however, according to Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke. In a July 2012 address at the Children’s Defense Fund National Conference, Bernanke said: “Economically speaking, early childhood programs are a good investment, with inflation-adjusted annual rates of return on the funds dedicated to these programs estimated to reach 10 percent or higher. Very few alternative investments can promise that kind of return. Notably, a portion of these economic returns accrues to the children themselves and their families, but studies show that the rest of society enjoys the majority of the benefits, reflecting the many contributions that skilled and productive workers make to the economy.” You can watch a recording of Mr. Bernanke’s address at www.youtube.com/ watch?v=WTa7mZOqqnE. Source: Education Week, http://blogs.edweek.org
Bullying against LGBT students in decline Results of The 2011 National School Climate Survey, the only national study to consistently examine the school experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students over the course of the past decade, shows that in-school bullying of LGBT students has decreased significantly in the past several years. Based on responses from about 8,600 LGBT students from all 50 states, the survey finds that reports of verbal harassment, physical assaults and other forms of victimization based on sexual orientation have decreased in the past year and that all register at their lowest levels since the first Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) survey in 1999. Despite this visible progress, the survey notes that LGBT bullying is still an epidemic problem and reports that: • Nearly 82 percent of LGBT students still experience harassment based on their sexual orientation. • More than 63 percent of LGBT students report feeling unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation. The survey also finds, however, that LGBT students in schools offering an inclusive curriculum that incorporates positive representations of LGBT people, history and events were less likely (43.4 percent) to report feeling unsafe and also felt more connected to their schools. In addition, having school personnel who support LGBT students is linked with higher GPAs (3.2 versus 2.9), better school attendance rates and a greater likelihood of continuing to post-secondary education. Source: GLSEN, www.glsen.org 6 | atpe.org
Exercise does a body and a mind good Having a healthy heart and a hardy pair of lungs is the strongest predictor of good math and reading scores for middle school students, according to new research that challenges school policies that limit physical education programs for children. The study, presented at a recent American Psychological Association convention, examined the physical fitness, selfesteem, social supports and body composition (controlling for family poverty and perceptions about academic abilities) of 1,211 Texas middle school students one to five months before they took standardized tests in math and reading. Among the factors studied, cardiovascular and respiratory health were found to be the strongest indicators of future success in math and reading—stronger even than the level of social support students received at home and in school. Having a strong social support network was, however, linked with higher reading scores for middle-school boys. For girls, a higher body mass index correlated with better results on reading tests. Source: The Huffington Post, www.huffingtonpost.com
Digital citizens come of age Today’s students are tomorrow’s voters, and the ways these students use the Internet will likely redefine what it means to be politically active. A report produced by The MacArthur Research Network on Youth and Participatory Politics (YPP) examines how online media such as Facebook, Twitter and personal blogging have transformed the way young people engage in politics and civic life. The YPP report examines online “participatory politics,” which is defined as “interactive, peer-based acts through which individuals and groups seek to exert both voice and influence on issues of public concern.” The report found that: ore than 40 percent of young people report engaging M in at least one act of participatory politics during the previous year. oung people who engaged in at least one such act were Y nearly twice as likely to report voting in 2010 as those who did not.
© Super Teacher, rainbow, heart, political icon/istockphoto.com/Thinkstock; teacher and toddlers/getty images/comstock/Thinkstock
lack youth are the most politically engaged—only 25 B percent report no engagement in any form of political behavior, compared with 33 percent of whites, 40 percent of Asian Americans and 43 percent of Latinos. These findings show that new media have amplified the voices of young people at the margins of political debates— particularly young people of color—and have given them an outlet to shape their collective political identity. Source: MacArthur Research Network on Youth & Participatory Politics, http://ypp.dmlcentral.net
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in the classroom
by Kate Johanns, editor
Teaching digital literacy to digital natives How can educators help students learn how to critically evaluate information? Defining digital literacy The University of Illinois Library offers this definition of digital literacy on its Digital Literacy portal (www.library. illinois.edu/diglit): “the ability to use digital technology, communication tools or networks to locate, evaluate, use and create information.” In an August 2012 interview with SmartBlog on Education, Columbia University professor Ernest Morrell explained that teaching digital literacy is helping students learn how to “decode and deconstruct” messages. “The available communications tools at our disposal have changed what it means to be literate,” Morrell told SmartBlog. “A digital literacy education will help our youth to become better consumers and producers of information in the digital age. … we have to teach students to ‘read’ media such as magazine covers, songs, films, television shows and Internet sites. Our youth are forming
“Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.” —Zora Neale Hurston
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views of themselves and the world based on information they receive via the media, so literacy educators have to help them understand how to decode and deconstruct these messages.”
First stop: Google These days, whether you’re embarking on a research project or looking for a plumber, your first stop will probably be Google—and, coincidentally, Google is also a great first stop for digital literacy education resources. Google calls digital literacy “search education,” and at www. google.com/insidesearch/searcheducation, you’ll find webinars on topics such as judging website credibility, writing effective search queries and exploring search results beyond the first five delivered. Also available are beginner, intermediate and advanced lesson plans on search education, “power searching” guides to improve your own digital literacy and “Google a Day” challenges for use with students. One “Google a Day” challenge starts by asking students a question in German, so first they need to figure out how to obtain a rough translation for the question. Once they’ve determined what the question is asking them to find— the population density of Germany’s largest city—they can figure out the answer. In another challenge, students must calculate how many U.S. dollars they would have if they came home from a trip abroad with 150 South African rand, 350 Kuwait dinars and 200 Japanese yen.
© School Library-Research Online/ iStockphoto/Thinkstock
n 2006, researchers at the University of Connecticut asked 25 seventhgraders to review a hoax website about a fictitious endangered species. All 25 students, upon reviewing www. zapatopi.net/treeoctopus, believed in the existence of a “Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus,” and all but one rated the site as “very credible.” When told the website was a hoax, most students could not find proof that it was false, and some of them refused to believe the tree octopus was a myth. The University of Connecticut experiment shows that while today’s students— so-called “digital natives”—are adept at using technology to find information, they are not necessarily good at discerning the quality of the information they’re finding. And in the modern world— where the first 2012 presidential debate inspired more than 10 million tweets— that information is coming at us faster and faster. The importance of digital literacy continues to grow.
Diving deeper A quick Google search does not equate to exhaustive research, nor do Google’s resources exhaust the list of quality digital literacy resources available to educators. Here are a few more to explore, especially for use with high school students: • The Teachers’ Corner of www. procon.org offers 15 lesson ideas for incorporating information presented on the independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit website, which offers pro-and-con examinations of 43 controversial issues ranging from standardized testing to euthanasia. At www.procon.org/how-schools-areusing-procon.php, you can see how educators of students at all levels are incorporating the website in digital literacy projects. • PolitiFact Texas, a project of the Austin American-Statesman and the Pulitzer Prize-winning www.politifact.com, rates political statements on hot issues as “true,” “mostly true,” “half true,” “mostly false,” “false” and “pants on fire!” In its examination of statements, www.politifact.com/texas demonstrates how much research and analysis are necessary to evaluate a claim. • The University of Illinois Library’s Digital Literacy channel on YouTube (www.youtube.com/user/DigitalLiteracy) offers short videos on finding and evaluating information. A How are you teaching digital literacy to students? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to share your experiences.
High SES status doesn’t preclude being “at-risk” Through the ATPE Book Circle, the association’s flagship professional learning program, Texas educators have studied many books during the past two years on working with students from low socioeconomic status (SES) homes. Many educators tend to focus their efforts on bridging the achievement gap between poverty-stricken students and those from affluent families; students from poverty are definitely in need of extra efforts taken by educators to make sure they aren’t “left behind.” But the ATPE Book Circle is currently studying another group of students—the “privileged”—by reading Madeline Levine’s The Price of Privilege, in which Levine argues that students from high SES homes also deserve and need educators and parents to take another look at how they are negatively affected by “parental pressure and material advantage.” Levine asserts that children from high SES homes should not be automatically dismissed from the “at-risk” category of students. She argues that teenagers from affluent families are “experiencing epidemic rates of depression, substance abuse and anxiety disorders—rates higher than in any other socioeconomic group of American adolescents.” Levine’s conclusions about the culture of the affluent (drawn from more than 100 studies on child development and 25 years of experience as a psychologist and parent) are that high SES children need serious interventions to help them grow into “autonomous, moral, capable and connected adults.” She states: “Quite simply, we can no longer afford to ignore the epidemic of serious emotional problems in our well-manicured backyards.” Check out the Book Circle’s discussion of The Price of Privilege on the ATPE Idea Exchange, http://atpe.websitetoolbox.com. (Look for ATPE emails about future Book Circle studies.) —Kris Woodcock, ATPE professional learning coordinator
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by Mandy Curtis, senior copy editor/writer
In this new ATPE News department— Education Curation— we’ll be sharing ideas and images of interest to the various types of educators who make up ATPE’s membership. In this issue, we’re featuring images of great library displays in appreciation of the school librarians who work hard to help students develop a love of reading.
Have fun with holidays Photo by Region 15 ATPE Director Sarah Beal
Excite non-readers with action http://bit.ly/oneexplosion
Photo by Elaine Pearson
Group books by theme Photo by Region 15 ATPE Director Sarah Beal
Judging a book by its display Great library presentations create more intrigued readers
Show that books are better than movies http://bit.ly/moviebooks
Photo by Katie Salo
Have students recommend their favorite books http://bit.ly/studentfav
Photo by Jennifer Elbert
more great library display ideas and
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Take it viral (and use technology!) http://bit.ly/readmemaybe
Photo by Carrie Wilson
For more great library display ideas, check out our library displays board on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/atpe/library-displays. Do you have a great display in your library or at your school? Send a photo to email@example.com.
From Coleman County ISD Posted at Library Displays, http://schoollibrarydisplays.blogspot.com/ Posted at Book Blather, www.bookblather.net Posted at Teaching with a Smile, http://teaching-with-a-smile.blogspot.com From the DeSoto branch of the Johnson County Library system, Kansas.
Cheers to the Season!
Receive cash back when you purchase gifts through the ATPE Online Mall Shop the ATPE Online Mall—a portal that offers ATPE members special deals and limited-time promotions at more than 600 participating online retailers—before you make your purchases this holiday season, and you could earn up to 20 percent in cash-back rebates.
Expedia Land’s End
Access the ATPE Online Mall at www.atpe.org/Resources/ ServicesandDiscounts. To log in, you’ll need the Member ID found on your ATPE membership card.
Walmart And many more!
by Mandy Curtis, senior copy editor/writer
Linking up with LinkedIn Joining the professional social network In March 2012, LinkedIn was the fourth largest social network (based on the number of users) behind Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Although the network might not be the biggest, it is one of the most influential when it comes to job hunting and professional networking. And with nearly 1 million educators currently on the site, LinkedIn is a great place for educators to connect with peers from all over the world.
Getting started Signing up for LinkedIn is easy—simply visit www.linkedin.com and follow the instructions on the front page; you’ll need to provide your first and last name and email address, as well as create a new password. Once you’ve created an account, you can log in and set up your profile. You’ll be asked to input information regarding your employment history, job skills, volunteer experience and more. It’s important to take the time to fill this out carefully and thoroughly—the more information you enter about your professional self, the better you’ll be able to use the site. Once you’ve completed your profile, you can then perform searches for colleagues and friends whom you can add as “connections” on your LinkedIn network. These individuals will be able to view your profile, see mutual connections, send you messages and even “endorse” (see Tech Term, below) your listed skills.
Why join? LinkedIn, unlike other social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, is dedicated
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to professional networking. This means that there are no games to play on the site and no photo albums to peruse. The network’s potential lies in its ability to create connections between individuals with similar interests or employers looking for potential employees. In a May 2012 article, education technology website EdNews Daily (www. ednewsdaily.com) published a list of reasons why educators must have a completed LinkedIn profile. The reasons include: • Being noticed by a potential employer (even if currently employed). • Being found when recruiters are typing in “keywords” while looking for talent. • Staying current, up-to-date and active in the education field. • Reaching out to professionals all over the world. • Mentoring others or finding a mentor. • Joining or starting various groups of interest. (More on LinkedIn groups can be found below.) (Read the entire list at www. ednewsdaily.com/teachers-why-youmust-have-an-active-linkedin-profile.)
Educator groups Another great part of the LinkedIn experience is the ability to join groups. These groups are created by LinkedIn users to bring together people with similar jobs or interests. A variety of educator
groups already exist on the site; a quick search for the term “education” brings up more than 30,000 results. Education blog EmergingEdTech (www.emergingedtech.com) posted a list of its top eight groups for educators in February 2012 at www.emergingedtech. com/2012/02/8-great-linkedin-groups-foreducators. The list included: • Teacher’s Lounge, a group for K–12 teachers looking to network and share ideas with educators from around the world. • Technology Integration in Education, a group for educators and business people wishing to connect and discuss ways to integrate technology into the classroom. • E-Learning 2.0, a group that focuses on the latest news in e-learning techniques. ATPE even has a group you can join to receive updates on ATPE events as well as connect with fellow ATPE members and ATPE staff members. Find us at http://linkd.in/T0N73E.A
LinkedIn gives users the ability to endorse their connections’ skills; essentially, this shows that connections know and approve of a user’s skills from personal experience.
By Lori Robinson, ATPE staff attorney
Why the Legislature deserves your attention A PSA from your ATPE Member Legal Services Department
Educators need to know that many of the benefits they might take for granted— contracts, planning time, a minimum guaranteed salary—are benefits granted by the Legislature. As such, they are benefits the Legislature can take away.
Two days before Election Day, a video of a 4-yearold girl crying because she was tired of hearing about “Bronco Bamma” and Mitt Romney had more than 9.5 million views on YouTube (watch it at http://youtu.be/OjrthOPLAKM). As a country, we had a serious case of political fatigue. But now the elections are over, and we’ve all had a few weeks to recoup. As a member of the ATPE Member Legal Services Department, I need to interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to encourage you to turn your attention to the Texas Legislature. What happens at the Capitol this spring will shortly determine much in your day-to-day professional life. I know that you turn to Legal Opinions in each issue of ATPE News in order to find insights into the law, so you might be wondering why I’m filling this space with a public service announcement on political involvement. After all, isn’t that why we have ATPE Governmental Relations? Yes, it is, and our lobby team does a fine job of reminding you why education advocacy is so vital to your professional well-being. But I want to share the message from a different perspective. A lobbyist deals with the law as it might be; a lawyer deals with the law as it is. Often, educators forget that the law is, to a large extent, set by the Legislature and therefore subject to change by the Legislature. Too often, ATPE members learn about changes in education law when it’s too late—that is, when they’re talking to a lawyer about what the law is. They then learn that if they had kept abreast of legislative developments while they were happening and communicated with their lawmakers, they might have influenced legislation in such a way that made passed bills more workable and beneficial to educators. By the time they’re talking to my colleagues or to me, it’s too late; we can only work within the framework of the existing law. ATPE Governmental Relations does an extraordinary job advocating for educators, and our lobby team has been very successful in preventing bad legislation from becoming law. But without help from you, ATPE lobbyists can’t prevent bad
legislation from being passed or pave the way for good legislation to succeed. Your lawmakers need to hear from constituents like you so they can understand how laws will affect you in real life.
Only you can prevent bad laws One example of a bill detrimental to educators is Senate Bill (SB) 8, passed during the 82nd legislative session. This bill extended the deadline for districts to notify educators of a proposed contract nonrenewal, thus making it easier for districts to terminate teachers’ employment. It also made significant procedural changes that reduced the due process protections educators enjoy; again, this made it easier for districts to terminate teachers’ employment. The Legislature took these actions because lawmakers had heard from many district representatives who claimed that pre-SB 8 statutory protections were just too burdensome. But did your legislators hear from you, telling them how important these protections were to ensuring fairness for educators? Educators need to know that many of the benefits they might take for granted—contracts, planning time, a minimum guaranteed salary—are benefits granted by the Legislature. As such, they are benefits the Legislature can take away. We already know that the upcoming legislative session will include challenges that warrant your attention. For example, the Senate Education Committee has already met to consider extending the school day. Extensions to the school year are also under discussion. At this time, lawmakers are only studying the impact of extended learning time on school success. This is not yet a bill, nor has any definitive decision been made either way. However, this is just one example of a potential legislative action that would affect you in a very real way. You might have to go to work earlier or stay there longer—perhaps with no additional compensation. Again, this would be up to the Legislature. It is essential that your representatives hear your voice as a constituent when issues like this are debated and decided upon during the session. Continued on page 44 atpe.org | 13
By Brock Gregg, ATPE Governmental Relations director
Halftime for team public ed Who will carry the banner for students during the second half?
We must become a community of educators that walks the talk. If we don’t, plenty of other political groups and business interests will gladly have things their way.
The results are in, and voters have chosen their teams for the Texas House and Senate. We have the partisan results: 19 Republicans and 12 Democrats in the Senate, and 95 Republicans and 55 Democrats in the House. We have the same legislative and gubernatorial leaders as last session. With the teams set, now is the time for educators to work together to find starting lineups that will make clutch plays for our team. We must also determine how to give our MVPs the facts, guidance and fortitude they need to make public education the Legislature’s priority.
Three questions we must answer With the election over, it is basically halftime until the 83rd Legislature convenes Jan. 8. We need to take a breather, stretch, hydrate and, most importantly, make necessary adjustments. Here are three hard questions we must answer quickly to ensure students end up victorious: •W ill we do the hard work necessary to build a bipartisan majority on these teams and prove that public education does not have to be a partisan issue? Each day, we live what we believe: that survival in a global economy is only possible with a strengthened public education system, and that educators as public servants are the most dedicated, accountable and reliable change agents. Time and again during past sessions, we have persuaded lawmakers to join our coalition, and we must do it again. How can we persuade a majority of lawmakers and their constituents back home to join us in protecting public schools from vouchers? •C an we find legislators who have the guts to do whatever it takes to fund public schools in a way that places every Texas student on a trajectory to meet state goals? We must find leaders who will step forward to defend equal opportunity and funding and defeat the private interests who view public institutions as moneymaking opportunities. Similarly, we must find leaders who will take a stand for retired public educators. These retirees have given their lives
to Texas students and are only asking that the state fulfill the defined benefit promise made to them for their golden years. • Do we have the guts to drive home the fact that rising poverty is our state’s true enemy? We must point to school performance data and recommend solutions that will help Texas adjust to the tremendous demographic and cultural changes occurring statewide. We must answer these questions in the affirmative, find our key players and then put aside our differences as educators, partisans and identity groups. We must become a community of educators that walks the talk. If we don’t, plenty of other political groups and business interests will gladly have things their way. If we can’t assure the elected officials in our starting lineup that we indeed have their backs and that our issues are more important to our state’s future than party, profits or political scheming, then we all will lose. We will lose if we allow the partisans, the powerful and the political animals to continue getting rich by capitalizing on scare tactics intended to divide us by race and religion, presented with a side of fearmongering about government being public enemy No. 1. Ultimately, our kids will lose.
What are our odds? Do we have a chance? Absolutely—but only if we can remember that we own our government and take action based on our beliefs. Take a look at the election results. True, redistricting “worked” if you look at the partisan breakdown. But we can also see that public education had wins in the 2012 elections. ATPE used our new website, TeachtheVote.org, to place information about candidates’ education views directly in voters’ hands. We did our best to ensure voters had the information necessary to elect Democrats and Republicans who make public schools their priority. Texas Parent PAC (www.txparentpac.com) is a good bellwether for us. Candidates endorsed by Texas Parent PAC generally support public Continued on page 44
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Beneath the surface Recognizing when a childhood worry might be more than just a worry by Mandy Curtis
hildhood is supposed to be relatively carefree. Mom and Dad buy the groceries, not doing chores won’t get you fired (although it might get you grounded), and bikes and skateboards don’t need thousand-dollar transmission replacements. Unfortunately, however, childhood is not always full of only sunshine and rainbows—particularly in the current era of high-stakes testing and social media. Today’s children are increasingly affected by societal pressures. These pressures can cause the normal stresses of growing up—worrying about an upcoming test, struggling with physical changes during puberty, etc.—to develop into larger issues, some of which might rise to the level of necessitating help from a mental health professional. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), one in eight children is affected by some sort of anxiety disorder. Educators who work closely with children might be able to spot the signals of such disorders and therefore be able to assist students in getting the help they need.
Types of anxiety What is anxiety, exactly? A 2001 Jacksonville State University (JSU) paper, “Understanding Adolescent Anxiety Disorders: What Teachers, Health Educators and Practitioners Should Know and Do,” describes it as “an unrealistic fear resulting in physiological arousal and
accompanied by the behavioral signs of escape or avoidance.” There isn’t just one type of anxiety, however, and the symptoms of the many forms vary.
Most often an issue between the ages of 18 months and 3 years, separation anxiety causes children to worry when they’re left in a new place without their parents. They might cry or take some time to calm down before they interact with their new surroundings. Children with separation anxiety disorder, a version of the above anxiety that more commonly affects kids ages 7 to 9, can experience similar symptoms on a more extreme level. Their misery at being separated from their home or family can cause them to feign health problems and avoid social interactions.
The most frequent phobias faced by children fall into two categories: specific and social. Specific phobias are irrational fears of objects or situations; in children, the most common phobias include fear of animals (especially dogs), blood, the dark, heights, medical procedures, storms and water. Social phobia, or social anxiety disorder, is the fear of being judged or humiliated by others in social and performance situations. According to the ADAA, social anxieties can begin at the age of 13, and sufferers often have symptoms for 10 or more years before they are treated. Children with social
anxiety recognize that the fears they feel are unreasonable, yet they feel powerless to overcome them.
Panic ATTACKS attacks PANIC
Panic disorder is a form of anxiety that can lead to more serious issues such as depression and alcoholism if not treated. Panic disorder can occur at any age but, according to a 1998 study, most often occurs in adolescents. The JSU paper says that although panic disorder symptoms are similar to mild anxiety, they can also include a smothering sensation, faintness, choking, stomach pain, fear of dying, rapid heartbeat and more. Sufferers will often seek solitude during an attack in order to calm themselves and overcome their fear.
Generalized GENERALIZED anxiety ANXIETY disorder DISORDER
Children seen as “perfectionists” might be at risk for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), the symptoms of which include unrealistic anticipation of impending disaster, exaggerated tension, nausea, irritability and trouble sleeping. According to the JSU paper, children with the disorder will often worry to an excessive point about grades, sports and relationships; they might also seek constant approval or reassurance from authority figures.
Obsessive-compulsive Obsessive-compulsive disorder disorder
The ADAA describes obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) as being “characterized by unwanted and intrusive thoughts
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Posttraumatic POSTTRAUMATIC stress STRESS disorder DISORDER
The modern understanding of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) began in the 1970s when soldiers returning home from the Vietnam War showed signs of mental trauma. Now used to categorize the anxiety and stress that comes from witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event, PTSD can affect people of all ages. According to the ADAA, children who witness a traumatic event or who suffer such an event directly are most at risk for PTSD. Lacking a strong support system or experiencing violence at home can also increase a child’s risk of developing the disorder.
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All of these anxieties can also lead to other issues such as: •D epression, a feeling of discouragement, hopelessness or sadness. • Cutting or self-mutilation to ease the pain of emotions or relieve emotional pressure. • Eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia. • Body dysmorphic disorder, which the Mayo Clinic describes as “a type of chronic mental illness in which you can’t stop thinking about a flaw with your appearance—a flaw that is either minor or imagined.” • Trichotillomania, a compulsive hairpulling behavior that results in hair loss.
Classroom implications Children who suffer from anxiety disorders can quickly become frustrated with the task at hand and can therefore have trouble completing assignments on time or at all. Their fear that they won’t do something right can also lead them to avoid starting a project or to give up quickly. The Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health offers tips for helping students with anxiety in a set
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America’s website, www.adaa.org, features a variety of resources and links to articles featured in the association’s Depression and Anxiety Journal. The National Institute of Mental Health has an entire portion of its website devoted to educational resources; access it at www.nimh.nih.gov/educational-resources/index.shtml. The Texas Department of State Health Services website, www.dshs.state.tx.us, provides information on finding mental health providers and services in Texas.
of “Mental Health Fact Sheets for the Classroom,” the entirety of which can be viewed at www.macmh.org/wp-content/ uploads/2012/08/MHFactsClass.pdf. These tips include: •A llowing students to work with you to arrange flexible deadlines for assignments that worry them. •M aking modifications to assignments to better suit a student’s learning style. (Read “Anxiety and the Law” on page 17 for more on this.) •P osting a daily schedule in a visible location so that all students know what to expect for the day’s work. •R educing school work or homework when possible. •M eeting with parents to learn what adaptations they might have made at home. • Using technology to increase student interest and motivation. Although not all educators are trained counselors or mental health professionals, it’s important to understand the symptoms of anxiety disorders in order to recognize them; children are not always able to put a name to the feelings they are experiencing. As an educator, it’s important to be able to assist your students in getting the help they need.A
The KidsHealth website, www.kidshealth.org, has a large amount of resources covering childhood stress and anxiety. The site, created by Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, is divided into separate portals for parents, kids, teens and educators. Read the entirety of the JSU paper, “Understanding Adolescent Anxiety Disorders: What Teachers, Health Educators and Practitioners Should Know and Do,” at www.aahperd.org/aahe/publications/iejhe/ upload/01_W_Hey.pdf.
© girl in crowd, stage fright legs/istockphoto.com/Thinkstock; girl peeking/creatas/Thinkstock; pencils/jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Thinkstock
(obsessions) and feeling compelled to repeatedly perform rituals and routines (compulsions) to try and ease anxiety.” The disorder is often diagnosed in children at around age 10, but outwardly visible symptoms such as repeated handwashing and counting can begin as early as age 2. It’s important to note that not all OCD compulsions are visible; some are mental only, such as excessive rumination or the silent repetition of a word or phrase. The onset of the disorder differs by gender—although girls often develop OCD after puberty, boys are more likely to develop it prior.
Anxiety and the law By Paul Tapp, ATPE managing attorney Although there are no laws dealing specifically with student anxiety, there are several significant laws that can apply in certain anxiety-related situations. The most relevant laws you need to consider if you recognize or suspect that a student is struggling due to anxiety are those relating to sharing information about the student and those relating to modifying a student’s academic demands or expectations.
Sharing information All educators know that there are rules that regulate what student information can be shared and with whom it can be shared. If you suspect that a student is struggling with anxiety, it’s certainly OK to speak to the student’s parents, the school counselor, an administrator and—to the extent that there is an academic purpose to the discussion—with other teachers. Please make note of that last distinction: The law allows information to be shared with other educators only if there is a legitimate academic reason to do so. Talking to another teacher about whether he noticed the same struggles and if he had any strategies for helping the student would likely be completely acceptable. Simply gossiping about the student’s struggles would not. If you have reason to believe that a student’s anxiety is the result of an abusive situation, you should also be aware of your duty to report the suspected abuse to the appropriate authorities within 48 hours of when you become aware of it. Report abuse to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services at www.txabusehotline.org or by calling (800) 252-5400.
Modifying academic demands Anxiety is not only emotionally hard on a student, but also it can affect her academic performance. Educators should remain aware that anxiety can sometimes rise to the level of a disability, and, if it does, it might require accommodations. Both Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provide for possible accommodations. An anxiety-related disability is more likely handled under Section 504 than IDEA. Section 504 provides that a student who has a condition that creates a substantial limitation of a major life activity might have a disability and, therefore, the district might have an obligation to accommodate the disability. Common accommodations include modifications to academic expectations, such as providing extended time or a quiet environment for testing. A teacher who believes that a student’s anxiety might rise to the level of needing accommodation should communicate this to the appropriate administrator to initiate a conversation about the consideration the law requires. Although moving a student to another area of the room or some other minor change would not require administrator involvement, any change that would affect academic requirements or provide one student an advantage over another should be communicated with the administration first in order to avoid claims of favoritism or violations of grading or academic procedures. And, of course, no change can be made to standardized testing procedures unless it is called for in the testing materials.A
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We can’t forget the kids
Vouchers aren’t the only hotbutton education issue on the 83rd Legislature’s agenda. Lawmakers are also expected to address the state’s ever-present school finance dilemma, the funding of TRS-Care—health insurance for retired educators—and whether to change the structure of the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) pension fund to a 401(k)-type structure.
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With TRS-Care and TRS, the rhetoric will likely frequently center on “entitlements,” but it is crucial that both active and retired educators remind elected officials how important the continued stability of these programs is to the state’s ability to attract and retain quality educators. After all, it’s about what’s best for kids, and what’s best for kids is
attracting the best and brightest to the education profession and keeping those educators in the classroom. Educators are public servants; no one enters the profession expecting to get rich. But we have to assure educators that entering the profession doesn’t mean sacrificing their ability to take care of themselves during their golden years.
illustration by John Kilpper
Another make-or-break session for public schools is on the horizon
Preparing for the session
ne of the reasons that you joined ATPE is to ensure that your voice is represented at the Capitol. In addition to employing a team of lobbyists that fights for you and your students, ATPE also provides advocacy tools you can use to stay informed and get involved: • The Legislative Alert Network (LAN) is a free email service that helps you communicate directly with lawmakers on the issues that matter to you. When you sign up for the LAN, you’ll receive two types of emails: issue updates, which explain legislation and education debates, and action alerts telling you when it’s time to go to the phone and call your legislator. Sign up at www.atpe.org/Advocacy/LAN/ lanpromo.asp, and encourage your fellow ATPE members to do the same. • TeachtheVote.org is ATPE’s newest advocacy resource. Hopefully you used Teach the Vote to research candidates’ education stances before you voted in the 2012 elections. Teach the Vote is about to get a makeover just in time for the legislative session; we’re converting candidate profiles to officeholder profiles, and we’re adding a Legislative Update blog where we hope to see some great conversation occurring among passionate educators. Look for these added site features in early 2013. • The 2013 ATPE Political Involvement Training and Lobby Day will take place Feb. 10–11 at the Hilton Austin Downtown and the Texas State Capitol. This is an opportunity for you to increase your political involvement skills and meet face to face with your legislators. Registration for this event is free, and your local unit could be eligible for travel assistance. Find more details on the inside front cover of this magazine and at atpe.org.
At any time before, during or after the session, please don’t hesitate to contact ATPE Governmental Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 777-ATPE to ask questions or share concerns.A
3 hot-button issues 1
Maintaining TRS’ defined benefit structure
Texas’ school finance system
How to stabilize TRS-Care, the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) health insurance program for retirees, will be a top issue. With current design and funding levels, the program will run out of funds sometime during the next biennium unless the Legislature takes action to prevent it. The TRS Board of Trustees has spent much of the past year working to find solutions to TRS-Care funding problems. The board recently adopted a new Medicare Advantage plan as an option for retirees and made changes to the prescription drug plan offered through TRS-Care. These changes are designed to maintain or enhance benefits for retirees while increasing the long-term financial stability of TRS-Care. It is crucial that both active and retired educators continue to remind elected officials that TRS-Care is a vital tool in attracting and retaining quality educators and that the state should increase funding to stabilize the program.
Talk of converting the TRS pension plan from a defined benefit plan (DBP) to a defined contribution plan (DCP) has been going on for years. A DBP guarantees participants a certain benefit for meeting eligibility requirements. This is how TRS currently works. A DCP works more like a 401(k) or 403(b); member contributions are invested and subject to market fluctuations, and benefits are paid out of investment returns. The TRS Board of Trustees was instructed by the Texas Legislature to conduct a study during the interim on the actuarial and fiscal impact of potential changes to the TRS pension plan, including the creation of a hybrid plan that includes DBP and DCP features, such as a two-part or a cash balance plan. This is evidence that the Legislature is giving serious consideration to making such a change. ATPE strongly opposes the idea of converting TRS to a DCP, even partially, and will fight against any attempt to do so. (Read more about this issue in the Summer 2012 ATPE News cover story, available at www.teachthevote.org/content/resources/Summer_2012_ ATPE_News_TRS.pdf.)
The decades-long debate over how to finance Texas public schools will continue during the next session. The state is still reeling over the more than $5 billion cut from the state’s education budget during the 82nd legislative session, and legislative leaders are already calling for further cuts. Meanwhile, the fixes to the school finance system devised by the Legislature in 2006 are failing, and the latest massive lawsuit on school finance—involving more than two-thirds of the state’s school districts—began Oct. 22 and is expected to continue through January. School finance is a major issue that could result in substantial legislation and extend to a special session.
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ATPE Legislative Program
The ATPE Legislative Program, the member-written-and-approved statement of ATPE’s positions on education issues, will guide ATPE’s efforts at the Capitol during the 83rd legislative session. (1) Teacher recruitment and retention ATPE supports mandatory state-funded and research-based mentoring programs for beginning educators. ATPE recommends that the state compensate mentors and give them sufficient training and resources to be successful. ATPE recommends that the state fund programs to reduce the financial burden on teachers pursuing certification and to recruit and retain educators in shortage areas. ATPE recommends that the state provide full health insurance benefits for educators after 20 years of service as an incentive to retain experienced educators. ATPE supports a state-funded buyback or reimbursement plan for accumulated state personal leave. ATPE supports providing an increase in the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) multiplier for educators who remain in the profession beyond their eligibility for full retirement.
Such measures should: (1) Hold all participants accountable for their roles and responsibilities. (2) Support majority representation by certified teachers on SBDM committees. (3) Establish an appeals process to the local school board. (4) Require SBDM committees to determine the use of contract days beyond the days of instruction and advise the school board.
(3) Collective bargaining ATPE supports Texas’ remaining a rightto-work state. ATPE opposes collective bargaining and the exclusive representation of employees being granted to only one employee organization in a school district. ATPE supports the adoption of inclusive consultation policies by local school districts.
(4) Certification and assignment (2) Collaborative working environment ATPE supports a governance structure for schools that encourages a collaborative working environment between educators and local school board members. ATPE recommends that districts/the state: a. E stablish ethics standards for all local school board members. b. Require full public notification when a local district considers or requests waivers. c. Strengthen the site-based decision-making (SBDM) process to ensure that state SBDM laws are effectively implemented.
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ATPE supports a state certification process that ensures educators are appropriately trained and certified exclusively by the state. ATPE opposes mandatory national certification. ATPE supports a requirement for a review of any recommendation or decision that would deny an educator certification if such a review does not already exist. ATPE recommends that the state: a. Standardize teacher preparation programs to include policies and practices designed to ensure that new teachers receive adequate mentoring and support.
b. R equire comprehensive pedagogical training, including classroom and discipline management, child and adolescent psychology, and methods courses. c. Require coursework in the areas of reading, special education, gifted/talented, ESL and computer literacy. d. Require districts to assign all certified educators to teach in their certification area(s). e. Require administrators to have at least five years of classroom teaching experience.
(5) State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) ATPE supports the maintenance of a separate, independent state board that allows educators to govern their own profession and enforce the Educator Code of Ethics. ATPE recommends that a majority of the board’s voting members be public educators elected by the profession. ATPE supports laws requiring criminal background checks of public school employees so long as public school employees are not responsible for the cost of such checks and appropriate safeguards are in place to protect the confidentiality of results.
(6) State Board of Education (SBOE) ATPE opposes any legislation that would make the entire board subject to appointment by the governor. ATPE supports legislation to allow board members to elect their own chairman and to require that the chairman have a background in public education. ATPE recommends that all board members have public education experience.
(7) Safe schools ATPE supports measures to ensure all educational settings are safe environments where students, school employees and volunteers can be productive. ATPE recommends that school districts/ the state: a. Make personnel standards and curriculum for all disciplinary alternative education programs commensurate with K–12 public education requirements. b. I mmediately remove any student who threatens or physically assaults a school employee, volunteer or another student to an alternate placement as determined by district policy. The student’s parent or guardian should be notified immediately. c. U tilize resources to deter or recover students from gang involvement and/or substance abuse. d. Require accurate coding and reporting of incidents at schools. e. Require comprehensive training in Chapter 37 (relating to student discipline) as well as annual notification of and/or updates on campus-level procedures regarding compliance with Chapter 37.
(8) Class size ATPE supports reduced class sizes and caseload limitations that are mandated and enforced by the state for all grade levels and instructional settings to allow for optimal learning environments. ATPE recommends that the state limit class-size waivers and require full public disclosure of requests for class-size waivers.
education programs, including e-learning programs. b. Require one year of mandatory attendance in an accredited kindergarten program in order for students to be eligible to enter first grade. Children entering kindergarten should be 5 years old on or before July 1. c. Expand and fund career and technology programs. d. Provide English Language Learners (ELLs) with adequately trained personnel and the most appropriate placement to meet their needs. e. Recommend that any changes to graduation requirements be made with full consideration of the need for a wellrounded curriculum and student choice. f. Ensure that the State Board of Education incorporates educator input whenever the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills or graduation requirements are revised. g. Make personnel standards and curriculum for all alternative education programs commensurate with K–12 public education requirements. h. Support pre-algebra being counted in the minimum high school plan. i. Provide current instructional materials to teachers and students.
(10) Grading policies ATPE supports school district policies that give deference to an educator’s professional discretion in assessing the progress of his or her students.
(11) Testing (9) Curriculum ATPE supports comprehensive instruction in all grade levels that prepares Texas students for success throughout their public school years as well as in higher education, career and technology opportunities. ATPE recommends that school districts/ the state: a. Allow teachers and administrators to determine the appropriate content and/ or methodology of curriculum and
ATPE supports a testing and accountability system developed with educator input that maximizes student learning and helps educators meet the individual needs of students. ATPE opposes the use of high-stakes tests as the sole measure of student achievement. ATPE recommends that the state: a. Provide all manipulative instruments and necessities mandatory for the completion of statewide assessments at the beginning of each school year.
b. Allow appropriate modifications and/or accommodations on statewide assessments for English Language Learners (ELLs), special education students and students served by Section 504. c. Not require all students to take the ACT or SAT. d. Support state and locally developed alternative assessment instruments provided that teachers are afforded additional and adequate resources to undertake assessment development. e. Ensure that any online testing for state assessments is fully funded by the state, tested and operational for each school district and allows appropriate modifications and/or accommodations for students. f. Support a set schedule for releasing all implemented state-required assessments in even-numbered years. g. Allow for flexibility in determining when ELLs are required to be assessed in English. h. Not require state-developed end-of-course exams to be included in a course grade.
(12) Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind) ATPE recommends that curriculum remain in local control and opposes a standardized national curriculum and test being mandated as part of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also referred to as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). ATPE recommends that all mandates in ESEA be fully funded by the federal government. ATPE recommends that federal accountability laws be designed to allow for educators to meet the needs of individual students. ATPE recommends that the state’s accountability and data systems, including any growth models, be based on statistically valid principles. ATPE supports measures to ensure that persons involved in any way in the implementation and administration of ESEA make full disclosure of conflicts of interest and that all
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financial transactions related to the implementation and administration of ESEA be transparent.
(13) Professional development ATPE supports quality professional development programs for all school district personnel. Programs should meet the standards in the Professional Development Imperative (PDI), be offered at no cost and be made easily accessible. ATPE recommends that school districts/ the state: a. R equire site-based decision-making (SBDM) committees to determine how staff development days are used in accordance with campus needs. b. Offer comprehensive staff development in areas including but not limited to special education, school law, technology, gifted/talented education, crisis management, discipline, school safety and cultural awareness. c. Accept and approve all State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC)approved professional development for credit by all school districts. d. Foster the development of interactive professional development learning communities.
day or abolish â€œNo Pass, No Playâ€? standards. ATPE opposes legislation permitting schools to employ coaches who are not fulltime employees of the district or parents to perform eligibility checks.
(16) Charter schools ATPE recommends that the state adhere to a rigorous authorization process when granting charters. ATPE recommends that the state require charter schools to meet appropriate financial accountability and academic performance standards before allowing them to continue or expand. ATPE supports employees of charter schools having applicable certification requirements, standards, rights and benefits commensurate with employees of traditional public schools.
(17) Windham School District and Texas Youth Commission ATPE supports the goals established for the Windham School District and the Texas Youth Commission. Educators employed by those entities should have certification requirements, standards, rights and benefits commensurate with other public school district educators.
(14) Home schooling and private schooling
(18) P arental, business and community involvement
ATPE opposes any program or initiative, tuition tax credit or voucher system that would direct public funds to private, home or for-profit virtual schools. ATPE opposes the participation of homeschool and private school students in public school classes and/or extracurricular activities unless such students can meet gradelevel accountability standards.
ATPE supports programs that encourage parental, business and community involvement in the education of all students, with special efforts made to include non-Englishspeaking parents and/or other minority parents. ATPE recommends that the state encourage employers, including school districts, to provide release time for parents to participate in school/parental involvement activities. ATPE supports requiring all Texas legislators, especially those serving on committees dealing with educational issues, to spend time each year in classrooms in school districts of varying sizes and socioeconomic backgrounds throughout the state in order to
(15) University Interscholastic League ATPE opposes any legislation that will abolish the UIL or require it to open its membership to all private and home schools. ATPE opposes any legislation that will eliminate the athletic period from the school
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gain firsthand knowledge of the inner workings of Texas public schools.
(19) Texas public education system ATPE supports a fully funded state and federal public education system for every student. ATPE also supports any form of state revenue enhancement and tax restructuring that empowers the state to be the systemâ€™s primary funding source. ATPE recommends that the state base its school finance system on financial accountability measures and specifically allocate state and local funds for educator compensation, state mandates, effective program weights for special populations and all grade levels, alternative and regular education facilities costs, equipment costs, debt service, transportation costs and education service centers (ESCs).
(20) Permanent School Fund ATPE supports a management strategy that maintains the security and growth of the Permanent School Fund while maintaining the integrity of the distribution method applied to the Available School Fund.
(21) Contracts and due process ATPE supports vigorous enforcement of equitable educator contract laws and due process laws regarding teacher assignment, transfer, hiring and dismissal, including requirements for independent hearing examiners.
(22) Paraprofessionals ATPE supports a state minimum salary schedule for all paraprofessionals employed by the school district as well as duty-free lunches, due process, basic notification and reasons for employment termination considerations.
(23) Compensation and benefits package ATPE supports a career compensation and benefits package for all certified, licensed and contracted public school employees that mandates competitive salaries that are equal to or greater than the national average and
competitive with private industry. The state program should include a minimum salary schedule that provides for step increases over a 30-year period to recognize longevity in the profession. ATPE supports full state funding for compensation and benefit increases that districts are required to pass on to individual educators in the exact amount funded without any loss of local supplement. ATPE recommends that the state prohibit districts from substantially reducing an employee’s effective rate of pay through the imposition of additional duties outside the classroom or extension of the school day, week or year. The state should prohibit school districts from making changes to local policy after the deadline for resignation, if those changes would reduce educators’ compensation or benefits.
ATPE recommends that the state: a. Grant full employment benefits to employees who are physically injured by students until such time as the employees return to work or, if necessary, throughout their retirement. b. Increase the number of state personal days to 10 per year. c. Grant full daily pay to employees who have been subpoenaed.
(27) Health insurance ATPE supports providing public school employees with high-quality, competitive health insurance benefits that are fully funded by the state at a level equal to or greater than the benefits provided to state employees. ATPE supports requiring TRS-Care to pay for routine annual physical exams, including all physician-ordered testing.
(24) Differentiated pay In addition to minimum salaries, ATPE supports differentiated pay in the form of step increases or stipends for public educators who undertake advanced certification/training, advanced coursework or degrees or other professional duties that they are required to perform outside normal instructional activities.
(25) Performance-based decisions ATPE opposes the use of student test scores as the primary measure of a teacher’s effectiveness, as the determining factor for a teacher’s compensation or as the primary rationale for an adverse employment action. ATPE opposes incentive or performance pay programs unless they are designed in an equitable and fair manner as determined by educators on a campus basis. ATPE supports the creation of a statewide set of evaluation standards for campus administrators that includes a survey of campus classroom educators and staff regarding the professional performance of the campus administrators.
(26) Leave policies ATPE supports state standards that establish fair and equitable leave policies.
e. Maintain the current defined benefit pension plan for all TRS members. f. Give TRS contributions the same weight as Social Security contributions for the purpose of calculating child support payments.
(29) Social Security ATPE supports the amendment of federal law/rules to eliminate provisions that reduce retirement benefits of educators. ATPE opposes mandatory participation in Social Security for employees of public school districts in Texas.
(30) Tax credits ATPE supports permanent tax credits and equitable reimbursement programs for materials and items purchased by educators for use in classrooms or other education-jobrelated purposes.
(28) Teacher Retirement System ATPE supports the dedication of all available revenue to maintain the actuarial soundness of the pension fund in order to improve benefits for all active and retired Teacher Retirement System (TRS) members. In addition, ATPE supports an increased state contribution rate, an increase of the retirement formula multiplier, the establishment of TRS benefits comparable to state employee retirement benefits, and continued control of TRS funds at the state level. ATPE recommends that the state: a. Provide for one year of state-paid retirement credit for every 50 days of unused, accumulated state leave. b. Require that a majority of TRS board members be educators. c. Maintain the Rule of 80 formula for retirement eligibility without penalties for early-age retirement. d. P rovide an annual cost-of-living increase for retired educators.
(31) Payroll deduction ATPE supports state standards that establish fair and equitable payroll deduction policies.
(32) Paperwork reduction ATPE supports meaningful efforts to monitor and control the paperwork burdens on educators.
(33) Regulatory exemptions ATPE generally opposes the state granting waivers or exempting districts and campuses from provisions of the Education Code. ATPE recommends full public disclosure of requests for waivers or exemptions.
(34) Consolidation ATPE opposes forced consolidation of school districts or district services but supports state incentive aid for districts to consolidate or divide if either would be advantageous to an equitable and efficient education for students. A
Do you have feedback on the ATPE legislative program?
Send it to the atpe legislative committee by emailing email@example.com.
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The wolves are circling The fight to stop vouchers is near BY KATE JOHANNS • ILLUSTRATION BY ERICA FOS
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e know the fight is coming. The wolves of privatization have been eyeing Texas public schools for years, waiting for the right time to attack. And after losing his bid for the U.S. Senate, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has made the time right. Burnishing his conservative credentials after the defeat, Dewhurst affirmed his support for private school vouchers and appointed Sen. Dan Patrick, an outspoken voucher proponent, to the chairmanship of the Senate Education Committee. And Patrick was quoted in August as saying this: “To me, school choice is the photo ID bill of this session. Our base has wanted us to pass photo voter ID for years, and we did it. They’ve been wanting us to pass school choice for years. This is the year to do it, in my view. That issue will do more to impact the future of Texas and the quality of education than anything else we could do.” The Patrick appointment comes amid speculation that Gov. Rick Perry will designate vouchers a legislative “emergency” item, thus making it possible for legislators to vote on the issue during the first 60 days of the session. The Dewhurst, Patrick and Perry push to implement a private school voucher system in Texas is diametrically opposite the views of the 110,000member Association of Texas Professional Educators. As stated in the ATPE Legislative Program, a statement of philosophy and legislative priority reviewed and ratified by a representative body of members each year, “ATPE opposes any program or initiative, tuition tax credit or voucher system that would direct public funds to private, home or for-profit virtual schools.” It’s also against the tides of public opinion, as measured in the 2012 results of the annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup poll on education, released in August. According to the poll, three out of four Americans “have trust and confidence in the men and women who are teaching children in the public schools,” and 77 percent of public school parents would grade the quality of their oldest child’s school as an A or a B. If Americans believe in public schools and the teachers who work in them, why use time and money to develop a system that takes resources and students out of public schools? Voucher advocates will point
to the PDK/Gallup poll’s measurement of Americans who favor allowing students and parents to choose a private school to attend at public expense: 44 percent, an increase from 34 percent in 2011. That’s an increase to be sure, but still less than half of Americans favor vouchers. In an Aug. 22 post on her blog, education historian and advocate Diane Ravitch analyzed the PDK/Gallup poll results thusly: “My takeaway from the 2012 poll is that the corporate reform movement has succeeded in increasing support for vouchers, but that the American public continues to have a remarkably high opinion of the schools and teachers they know best despite the concerted efforts of the reformers to undermine those beliefs. This is an instance where evidence trumps ideology. The reformers have not yet been able to destroy the bonds between the American people and their community’s schools.” The bond of which Ravitch speaks is at the heart of the voucher debate. Those seeking to privatize public education will dress vouchers up in all sorts of seductive disguises—“choice,” “education savings accounts,” “tax credits” and the “great civil rights issue of our time”—but they are really proposing a plan that eviscerates the fundamental role public schools play in a democracy. The beauty of the public school lies in its ability to welcome all with open arms. In essence, a public school is each neighborhood’s Statue of Liberty, welcoming children and parents. There is a beauty in each child on the block going to the same school. Their parents share a common understanding and community. As the world further silos itself into those who watch MSNBC and those who watch Fox News, those who are on Twitter and those who are not, we must fight to preserve our few common bonds. We must also defend the idea of education as a public good rather than a commodity to be bought and sold. (An economist might quibble with this use of “public good,” insisting that education is more properly classified as a “merit good,” but that’s beyond the scope of this essay.) In considering the implementation of a voucher system, the Legislature is really considering whether the provision of education benefits the individual—requiring what The Friedman Foundation
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for Educational Choice describes as a “decentralized system of voluntary exchange between parents and education service providers”—or something that benefits the citizenry. Before diverting funding from public schools, the Legislature would be well-served to examine the words of Texas’ founding fathers, who, in March 1836, charged the Mexican government with negligence regarding education: “It has failed to establish any public system of education, although possessed of almost boundless resources, (the public domain), and although it is an axiom in political science, that unless a people are educated and enlightened, it is idle to expect the continuance of civil liberty, or the capacity for self-government.” To advocate for vouchers is to say that your tax dollars should only benefit your individual child and that you have no stake in the success of your neighbor’s child or the child across the railroad tracks. But no man is an island. The Association of Texas Professional Educators believes that one person’s success is inextricably linked to the success of another. In order to provide for the success of all, we must continue to provide all with an equal opportunity to achieve an exemplary education through well-funded public schools. Our school system suffered historic cuts during the 2011 legislative session, and we cannot allow the implementation of a voucher system to pull the plug on a school finance system already on life support. Nor can we allow our tax dollars to stop benefiting Texas children and start lining the pockets of individuals running for-profit enterprises.
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tered away on personal goods? Would ensuring that voucher dollars actually get spent on education not necessitate the creation of a massive government bureaucracy, contrary to the wishes of those who seek to dismantle what they call “government” schools? Would vouchers be available to students already enrolled in private schools, thus further draining state coffers? Another question: Would the due process protections afforded to public school teachers—contract rights and protections designed to ensure continuity in children’s educational experiences—be extended to private school teachers if their employers are receiving public funding? Adding to the complexity: What about children who live in remote areas, where few private schools operate? Geography limits their “choices.” What happens to the children whose parents are too strapped for time or too uneasy—due to language or cultural barriers—to participate in the “voluntary exchange”? Think of the child in your classroom whose parent skips out on parent-teacher conferences. Is that parent going to take the responsibility for selecting his child’s school? For far too many children, a public school is the one place where they can be safe and get a good meal. Public schools take care of those who aren’t old enough to fend for themselves. A private school voucher system would—to borrow from the much-maligned education bill of our day— leave many children behind.
Simple in theory (a “decentralized system of voluntary exchange”), a voucher system would be startlingly complex in practice. How would private schools receiving public monies be accountable to taxpayers? How could you truly measure the success of a private school, which—unlike a public school—can turn away an at-risk or special-needs student? In fact, studies of existing voucher systems in Washington, D.C., and Milwaukee have shown that “choice” programs often lack strong internal controls and that there’s no provable difference between the achievement of public and private school students.
All of these questions will be hashed out in the months and years to come. Consider this public education’s wakeup call. Public education is far from perfect; as a democratic institution, it’s not supposed to be. It’s everchanging, subject to the needs and wants of its constituents. And few without financial interests in standardized testing would argue that drill-and-kill is the best way to inspire a love of learning in children. But just because an institution needs adjustment, it doesn’t mean it’s time to give up on it. We must reeducate our families, friends and neighbors—our communities, our social networks—on the value of public schools. We must defend our schools loudly and proudly.
Money- and resource-wise, who is going to ensure that vouchers are spent on education and not frit-
We cannot allow our schools to be swallowed by wolves with big wallets and dollar signs in their eyes.A
Get angry, get inspired, get involved It will take all of us working together to protect public schools from vouchers The duty of the Legislature, per the Texas Constitution “A general diffusion of knowledge being essential to the preservation of the liberties and the rights of the people, it shall be the duty of the Legislature of the State to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools.” —Article VII of the Texas Constitution
Are private schools really superior? “Overall, the study demonstrates that demographic differences between students in public and private schools more than account for the relatively high raw scores of private schools. Indeed, after controlling for these differences, the presumably advantageous ‘private school effect’ disappears, and even reverses in most cases.” —Charter, Private, Public Schools and Academic Achievement: New Evidence from NAEP Mathematics Data, a January 2006 study by Christopher Lubienski and Sarah Theule Lubiesnki at the University of Illinois through the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education
What is this really about? “Proponents call vouchers ‘the civil rights issue of our day,’ but I suspect it’s a cover for families already sending their children to private and parochial schools to get a tax break.” —Austin ISD librarian Sara Stevenson in “Vouchers hamper public education,” an op-ed published Sept. 7, 2012, in the Austin American-Statesman
Why you need to speak up “The most vocal education ‘reformers’ whose initiatives, financial resources and bully pulpits are crafting policy for K–12 education in the United States have no valid reference point in the realities of the public school experience.” —Cheryl Scott Williams, executive director of the Learning First Alliance, in the Oct. 17, 2012, issue of Education Week
The percentage of Americans who oppose allowing students and parents to choose a private school to attend at public expense. Source: The 44th Annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools, published August 2012
“Every neighborhood should have a reliable public school” “Business leaders like the idea of turning the schools into a marketplace where the consumer is king. But the problem with the marketplace is that it dissolves communities and replaces them with consumers. ... The market serves us well when we want to buy a pair of shoes or a new car or a can of paint; we can shop around for the best value or style we like. The market is not the best way to deliver public services. Just as every neighborhood should have a reliable fire station, every neighborhood should have a reliable public school.” —Diane Ravitch, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education
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ATPE Executive Director Doug Rogers reacts to the announcement—and the surprise appearance of his daughters, Angela and Rashel.
ATPE Executive Director Doug Rogers and State President Deann Lee
The guests only knew that ATPE had paid off its mortgage and was having a reception to celebrate. That’s all the surprise guest of honor knew, too. But the evening of Friday, Nov. 9, was momentous in two regards—not only did ATPE leaders, staff members and special guests gather to celebrate full ownership of the ATPE state office building, but also they were present for the surprise announcement that hereafter said building will be called The ATPE Rogers Building, in honor of retiring Executive Director Doug Rogers. Keeping the secret from Rogers was a task, but ATPE’s state officers, region directors and key staff members pulled it off. As the guest of honor would say: Splendid.
T h e
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Guests tour The ATPE Rogers Building prior to the dedication ceremony. Pictured are Associate Executive Director Laura Sheridan; Region 9 ATPE Director Kristi Daws and her husband, Ken; and Region 11 ATPE Director David Williams.
ATPE’s first executive director, Mike Morrow, with ATPE State President Deann Lee, Executive Director Doug Rogers and ATPE Past State President Cheryl Buchanan. Rogers’ granddaughters made him this card.
photos by Mandy Curtis and Kate Johanns
A splendid tribute to a splendid man
ATPE is the preeminent public educator association in Texas and makes a difference in the lives of educators and schoolchildren. In partnership with all stakeholders, we are committed to providing every child an equal opportunity to receive an exemplary public education.
Congrats to Let’s Get Mobile grant recipients Senior Graphic Designer John Kilpper meets with students during Harris Elementary’s 2011 career day.
SBOE recognizes ATPE for its commitment to employee involvement in public schools
© girl with tablet computer/istockphoto/thinkstock; photo by ashley anthony
he State Board of Education (SBOE) announced Sept. 28 that ATPE had received its second Employers for Education Excellence (EEE) Award in recognition of its policies promoting employee volunteerism in neighborhood public schools. ATPE was recognized with a Gold Award, which is bestowed upon employers that implement policies encouraging employees to volunteer in school programs, serve as mentors to students and attend parent-teacher conferences. In addition to offering employees eight paid hours annually for such activities, ATPE has served as a partner in education to Austin ISD’s Harris Elementary School for the past seven years. During the 2011-12 school year, nine ATPE staff members volunteered as mentors and tutors at the school and made more than 150 visits to the campus. ATPE also received a Gold Award in 2009. ATPE’s fellow 2012 Gold Award recipients are Atmos Energy, Waco; ExxonMobil’s Mont Belvieu Plastics Plant, Barbers Hill; the Luminant Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant, Glen Rose; the NASA Johnson Space Center, Clear Creek; Trinity ISD; and Valero Energy Corporation, San Antonio. Pizza Properties Inc. (Peter Piper Pizza) of El Paso received a Silver Award, and Laredo Federal Credit Union and Lake Pointe Health Network of Rockwall were recognized as Bronze Award recipients. SBOE has presented the EEE awards since 2007. “By providing volunteers, mentoring programs and other avenues of support, these companies are helping to ensure their own future by building a strong future workforce for Texas,” SBOE Chairwoman Barbara Cargill said.
New! winter 2012
ATPE and TCEA are pleased to announce the recipients of the Let’s Get Mobile grant, presented through the ATPE/TCEA strategic partnership. Educators who are members of both ATPE and TCEA were eligible to apply for the grant. These four educators have each received five iPads for classroom use, as well as a $25 iTunes gift card for purchasing apps: Victor Cantu, a fifth-grade teacher at Edinburg CISD’s Trevino Elementary. Terra Farmer, who teaches science to ninth-, 11th- and 12th-graders at Alpine ISD’s Alpine High School. P amela Kerl, a kindergarten teacher at Lewisville ISD’s Donald Elementary. Pamela Simmons-Brooks, an eighthgrade teacher at Lovejoy ISD’s Sloan Creek Middle School. Four runners-up each received $20 iTunes gift cards. Look for coverage of the grant recipients’ iPad projects in the Summer 2013 ATPE News, and stay up-to-date on the ATPE/ TCEA partnership by visiting www.tcea.org/learn/atpe. Through the partnership, ATPE members have free access to webinars on a variety of topics; six remain in the 2012-13 series.
Enjoy discounts at Office Depot ATPE is proud to announce its new partnership with Office Depot, where ATPE members can save up to 80 percent on more than 10,000 items online and in stores. Log in to www.atpe.org/Resources/ServicesAndDiscounts for more information.
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Save on your holiday travels with ATPE Whether you are headed to grandma’s for some homemade pumpkin pie or have glamorous New Year’s Eve plans, ATPE’s discounts can help you save money on your journey. ATPE members save on: Auto rental at Alamo®, Avis®, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental. Hotel stays at Comfort Inn®, Comfort Suites®, Quality®, Sleep Inn®, Cambria Suites®, Clarion®, MainStay Suites®, Econo Lodge®, Suburban Extended Stay®, Rodeway Inn® brands and Ascend Collection® properties, La Quinta Inns and Suites, Baymont Inns and Suites®, Days Inn®, Hawthorne Suites by Wyndham®, Howard Johnson®, Knights Inn®, Microtel Inns and Suites®, Ramada®, Super 8®, Travelodge®, Wingate® by Wyndham, and Wyndham Hotels and Resorts®. Log in to the Services and Discounts page at www.atpe.org/ Resources/ServicesandDiscounts for access codes and reservation links.
« Download the free ATPE Mobile App through the App Store or Google Play so you’ll have access to ATPE discount information on the go—and a mobile membership card!
March 4: ATPE awards deadline Ben Shilcutt Plus Club
Educator of the Year Awards
Local Unit of the Year
This awards program recognizes ATPE’s top recruiters. Those who recruit five or more new members are honored and receive a special gift; those who recruit 10 or more are also entered in a drawing for $1,000.
Top educators are recognized in five categories: Administrator, Associate, Elementary Teacher, Secondary Teacher and Special Services Educator. Recipients receive $1,000 each.
Exceptional local units are honored in four categories: 1–500 members, 501–1,000 members, 1,001-plus members and university. Each winning local unit receives a check for $500.
www.atpe.org/Resources/ Awards&Grants/ edofyearinfo.asp
www.atpe.org/ LeaderCentral/Awards/ localunitinfo.aspx (Login required)
www.atpe.org/Resources/ BenShilcutt/BenShilcutt. aspx
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Campus Representative of the Year
Sam Houston Award for Political Involvement
Volunteers are recognized in three categories: 1–500 members, 501–1,000 members and 1,001-plus members. Each winner receives $500, and their local units each receive $250 for future activities.
One member is honored for excellence in the growth and development of individual grassroots political involvement. The winner is presented with a special gift and a stipend (up to $500) to attend a political involvement event.
www.atpe.org/ LeaderCentral/Awards/ campusrepinfo.aspx (Login required)
www.atpe.org/Resources/ Awards&Grants/ SamHoustonMbr.asp
© Family on winter vacation/istockphoto/Thinkstock
While you’re enjoying some well-earned time off this holiday season, consider applying for one of the following ATPE awards, which will be presented during the ATPE Summit (July 17–19, 2013).
Scoring a hole-in-one for schools 2 0 1 2 AT P E F oundat i on Golf Tournament set s new fundraising recor d s
he ATPE Foundation welcomed its largest turnout yet—92 educators and public education advocates— to its third annual golf tournament Oct. 26 at Teravista Golf Club in Round Rock. This year’s tournament raised more than $50,000 in cash and in-kind donations. With more players, teams and sponsor donations, the foundation surpassed its tournament fundraising totals from last year.
photos by john kilpper
One hundred percent of the money raised at the golf tournament will go toward enhancing literacy, technology, and educator recruitment and retention programs in Texas public schools.
Second-place team members are Ted Anthony, Vance Sack, Pat Whalen and Jeff Blue.
Congratulations to first-place team Daryl Guess, Matt Heaton, Keith Bonham and Jerry Jolley.
Coming in third are Corey Wilson, Mike Davidson, Jay Gleitman and David Johnson.
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Special thanks to our sponsors Presenting sponsor
Closest to the Pin sponsor
Brim, Arnett, Robinett, Conners & McCormick P.C.
Atchley & Associates
Region 13 ATPE Region 17 ATPE
Longest Drive sponsor
The Lungwitz Law Firm P.C.
CSI Freeman Audio Visual Solutions Frost Bank Region 6 ATPE
Tee Box sponsors
Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau Austin Marriott North Austin Toros BuildASign.com Golfsmith La Quinta Inns and Suites Nationwide Insurance Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union SeaWorld San Antonio SportClips The Courtyard by Marriott Austin Downtown The Golf Ranch Third Base Sports Bar
Silver sponsors Aspire Lending How Frels Rohde Woods & Duke P.C. McQueary, Henry, Bowles, Troy Region 10 ATPE Trend Offset Printing US Trust/Bank of America Willis of Texas
Bells Promotional Products Graves, Dougherty, Hearon & Moody ATPE Board of Directors Edinburg ATPE Mesquite ATPE Region 1 ATPE Region 4 ATPE Region 7 ATPE Region 8 ATPE Region 9 ATPE Region 11 ATPE
Apply for $1,500 literacy grants Through the Beth Ann Rogers Literacy Initiative, the ATPE Foundation provides $1,500 grants to Texas public school libraries to purchase literacy materials and modernize literacy resources. Seven grants will be awarded during the 2012-13 school year. View the grant criteria, guidelines and application at www.atpefoundation.org. Applications must be postmarked by Feb. 1, 2013.
A gift with far-reaching effects Are you looking for a meaningful way to show your appreciation to colleagues or administrators this holiday season? Wondering what to get that special aunt who really does have everything? How about making donations in their honor to the ATPE Foundation? All donations are tax-deductible, and the money benefits a tremendous cause—supporting literacy, technology, and educator recruitment and retention programs in Texas public schools. Visit www.atpefoundation.org to donate.
“Like” us on Facebook Stay up-to-date on the latest news from the ATPE Foundation by liking the foundation’s Facebook page. www.facebook.com/atpefoundation
The ATPE Foundation is registered in Texas as a nonprofit corporation and is a public charity exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
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10 ATPE tenets
Right to Work/ Oppose Strikes
Superior Services to Members
Local Control of Public Schools
Exploring ATPE’s 10 tenets ATPE was founded in April 1980 with a distinct set of philosophies. In this ATPE News series, we’ll take an in-depth look at each of ATPE’s 10 tenets and explain how they act as the building blocks of the association. This is the fifth article in the series.
Collaborative ATPE members believe in working with others to advocate positive solutions to education issues facing public education today. ATPE believes wholeheartedly in working with a team to make public education better and therefore has made connections with various organizations and groups with similar ideals.
ATPE’s professional learning program includes strategic partnerships with: •T CEA—TCEA is an organization “dedicated to the improvement of teaching and learning through the use of computers and technology.” ATPE and TCEA provide 10 free education technology webinars to ATPE members during each school year. • Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented (TAGT)—TAGT is an organization of educators and parents dedicated to meeting the unique needs of gifted-and-talented students. ATPE and TAGT have co-hosted a series of webinars; TAGT also presented at the 2012 ATPE Summit. •A CTIVE Life—ACTIVE Life is an organization dedicated to building and sustaining healthy communities through health programs and training. ATPE and ACTIVE Life will be presenting a series of webinars on health and wellness in the classroom during the 2012-13 school year.
To show support for educators and the positive aspects of Texas public education, ATPE has joined with: •B e Proud, Texas—Be Proud, Texas, is a new campaign that aims to show the general public the positive contributions of Texas public education. The campaign’s videos can be viewed on the Friends of Texas Public Schools website at www.fotps.org/beproud.php. •T exas’ Best Educator—ATPE has joined with a number of other Texas groups in a new initiative to compile a list of 100,000 of Texas’ best educators before the end of the 2012-13 school year. Learn more at www.texasbesteducator.org.
The association even collaborates behind the scenes with: • Coalition for Public Schools—According to its website, “the Coalition opposes expenditure of public funds to support private and religious schools through mechanisms such as tuition vouchers and tax credits.” Find more information at www.coalition4publicschools.org. •T exas Association of School Boards (TASB)—ATPE staff attorneys provide input to TASB on model employment contract language and propose changes to model policies so they meet the needs of both educator and district. Look to the next issue of ATPE News for information on ATPE’s right to work/oppose strikes tenet .
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Bravo, ATPE members
Congratulations to all of the Texas educators who achieve great heights in their field. AMARILLO
Pamela Garrett, a prekindergarten teacher at South Georgia Elementary in Amarillo ISD, was named Region 16 ESC’s Teacher of the Year in August.
Frank Guzick Elementary kindergarten teacher Yosmira Borrell was named Teacher of the Year for her campus.
Natalie Mahany, a third-grade teacher and grade-level team leader at Rooster Springs Elementary, was honored as Region 13 ESC’s Elementary Teacher of the Year.
ville High School in Jacksonville ISD, was honored as the Teacher of the Year by Certiport, a company that helps students earn software and technology certification in more than 158 countries.
DRIPPING SPRINGS Vincent Middle School art teacher Carol Jan Tekell was selected as Region 5 ESC’s Teacher of the Year.
Timberwood Park Elementary teacher Jennifer Diaz was named Comal ISD’s Elementary Teacher of the Year.
CORPUS CHRISTI Libbie Payne, a special education and career preparation teacher at Carroll High School in Corpus Christi ISD, was named Region 2 ESC’s Secondary Teacher of the Year.
GOOSE CREEK In September, Harlem Elementary School first-grade teacher Krystal Rogers received the First Year Promising Teacher of the Year Award from the Council of Exceptional Children–Texas.
Marion Middle School science teacher Kristen Lundquist was named Marion ISD’s Middle School Teacher of the Year, and Marion High School biology and anatomy teacher Krista Schultze was selected as the district’s High School Teacher of the Year.
JACKSONVILLE Chuck Silvertooth, the career and technical education coordinator at Jackson-
Teachers of the Year
Two finalists for 2013 Texas Teacher of the Year—both in the secondary category—were ATPE members. Theresa Heim teaches reading at Connally Middle School in San Antonio’s Northside ISD and coordinates the school’s Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) college readiness program. Heim is Region 20 ESC’s Secondary Teacher of the Year. Jeremy Wagner teaches eighth-grade science at Heritage Middle School in Frenship ISD. Wagner is Region 17 ESC’s Secondary Teacher of the Year. Congratulations to Wagner, who won the award.
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LAREDO Nixon High School restaurant management teacher Betty Almazan was named Laredo ISD’s Secondary Teacher of the Year.
MIDWAY (12) Stephen Garretson, a sixth-grade math teacher at River Valley Intermediate School, is a finalist in the national Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) program. Midway Middle School athletics teacher and girls basketball coach Kristin Lazaroff was named the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Middle School Coach of the Year. Tim O’Leary, the Midway High School boys soccer coach, was inducted into the Hardin-Simmons University Athletic Hall of Fame in October in honor of his accomplishments, which include 500 wins, a state championship, and regional and state coach of the year awards. Woodgate Intermediate School giftedand-talented specialist Amy McNamara was honored as the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented’s Texas Teacher of the Gifted for 2012.
Audrey Barber, a reading and math interventionist at Lone Star Elementary, was selected as New Braunfels ISD’s Elementary Teacher of the Year.
Barbara Purkhiser, a second-grade teacher at Galm Elementary in Northside ISD, was named the Region 20 Elementary Teacher of the Year.
Iliana Hinojosa, who teaches prekindergarten at Long Elementary in Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD, was recognized as Region 1 ESC’s Teacher of the Year.
Clear Spring Elementary School K–5 instructional coach Kelli Halliburton is a finalist in the national Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) program.
Shaw Middle School math teacher Sherry Nilles was one of six secondary educators selected as an Effective Teacher by Laying the Foundation, the teacher training and mentorship division of the National Math and Science Initiative.
SCHERTZ-CIBOLOUNIVERSAL CITY Watts Elementary first-grade teacher Lorrie Housley was selected as SchertzCibolo-Universal City ISD’s Elementary Teacher of the Year.
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Supporting Your Freedom to Teach Week winners SM
HUMBLE–COURTESY OF MAX DEANE
Each year, ATPE reserves the final week of August as Supporting Your Freedom to TeachSM Week—a time for ATPE leaders to celebrate their profession and show support for educators in their communities. And each year, ATPE’s creative volunteers find new ways to spread the word to their peers about the association’s memberowned, member-governed philosophy. Leaders who submitted photos of their efforts were entered in a drawing for $750 school library donations and faculty pizza parties. Congratulations to this year’s winners.
This attention-grabbing sign accompanied a nice display set out by Andrews ATPE President Joni Reese on her campus, Underwood Elementary, during Supporting Your Freedom to TeachSM Week. Colleagues could pick up a bottled water, an ATPE promo item, and information about the ATPE Book Circle and ATPE’s partnership with TCEA. Reese is a music teacher at Underwood.
Staff members at Humble ISD’s Career and Technology Education (CATE) Center enjoy an ATPE pizza party and library donation presentation Oct. 17 thanks to the efforts of Humble ATPE campus rep David Srubar. Srubar is a first-time ATPE campus rep, and this is his first year at the CATE Center! He visited each faculty member on his campus to deliver an ATPE goodie bag during Supporting Your Freedom to TeachSM Week. Srubar teaches graphic design and hotel and restaurant management.
RIO HONDO–SUSIE ANDREWS
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Faculty members at Lewisville ISD’s Griffin Middle School gather for a group photo during Supporting Your Freedom to TeachSM Week. Lewisville ATPE Past President Karen Hames is an eighth-grade English/language arts/reading teacher at Griffin.
Colleagues at Rio Hondo Intermediate School in Rio Hondo ISD kick off the year with a sweet treat during Supporting Your Freedom to TeachSM Week. Rio Hondo ATPE President Susie Andrews is a special education teacher at the intermediate school.
KILLEEN—COURTESY OF RON WALCIK
The ATPE Board of Directors chartered MURCHISON ATPE at its November 2012 meeting. The Region 7 local unit has 16 members and is led by President Gina Byford and Treasurer Kimberly Followwell.
Killeen Killeen ATPE volunteer leaders work an ATPE recruitment booth Aug. 15 at Killeen ISD’s new-teacher orientation in the Harker Heights High School auditorium. By welcoming newly hired educators to the district and introducing them to ATPE’s unique brand of protection, advocacy and resources, the local unit recruited 58 new members! Pictured are Killeen ATPE Vice President Kelly Fife, campus rep Eileen Walcik, Secretary Jaime Williams, Treasurer Melissa Walcik, Region 12 ATPE Vice President Ron Walcik and Killeen Past President Alice Page.
The following local units have recently reactivated: • ARANSAS PASS ATPE in Region 2. President Esther Vasquez, Vice President Margaret Montemayor, Secretary Joyce Morgan and Treasurer Norma Perez lead the 87-member local unit. •B RIDGE CITY ATPE in Region 5. President Lisa Stewart and Treasurer Melani Woodruff lead the local unit, which has eight members. • MARFA ATPE in Region 18. President Cynthia Wimberly, Vice President Talitha Altgelt and Secretary Kathleen Ryan lead the 11-member local unit.
PARIS—COURTESY OF JODI ANDOE
• RAINS ATPE in Region 7. President Jeannie Taylor and Secretary/ Treasurer Helen Boatwright lead the 27-member local unit.
Paris Region 8’s Paris ATPE, 2011-12 Local Unit of the Year in the category for local units with 1–500 members, welcomes Paris ISD educators at the district’s convocation in August. Volunteer leaders handed each district employee a red Solo cup filled with popcorn from an ATPE picnic basket and offered some friendly peer-to-peer encouragement: “Don’t fly solo! Join ATPE!” Pictured are Paris ATPE President Jodi Andoe, campus rep Steve Jones, campus rep and ATPE State President Deann Lee, Vice President Danielle Chesshire, and Treasurer Abby Rogers.
• ROSEBUD-LOTT ATPE in Region 12. President Robin Reyna, Secretary Trista Reid and Treasurer Brenda Maas lead the local unit, which has 40 members. • SUNNYVALE ATPE in Region 10. President Wendy Beard, Vice President Kenya Ware and Treasurer Rebecca Fisher lead the 52-member local unit.
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Embark on the ultimate educator voyage July 17-19, 2013 â€˘ Austin Convention Center â€˘ More details to come Ports of call: Professional learning, leadership development, the ATPE House of Delegates
atpe-pac honor roll
The following ATPE members donated $50 or more to ATPE’s Political Action Committee (ATPE-PAC) between July 1 and Sept. 30, 2012.
Abilene Tonja Gray
Cypress-Fairbanks Dorothy Hulett
Holland Misty Houston
Alvin Ron Fitzwater
Dallas Dianne Reed Nancy Sims Marjorie Taylor
Houston Ann Petrillo
Amarillo Shane Whitten Arlington Carole Lemonds Austin Jackie Totten Ballinger Carolyn Little Beaumont Kirk Brown Bickie Coffey Glen Rabalais Patrice Rabalais
Del Valle Mary Hopkins Debbie LuciewNelson Denton Diane Benbow ESC (11) Marcia Williams Ennis Pam Hendricks Carolyn Huebel
Humble James Ellis Gayle Sampley Irving Connie Kilday Gary Schepf Jacksboro Kristi Daws Elizabeth Reynolds Killeen Eileen Walcik Melissa Walcik Ron Walcik
Mesquite Carol Davies Barbara Jo Green Janice Houston Debbie Massey Monahans-WickettPyote Vicki Greenfield Mount Pleasant Gene Baxter Mount Vernon Rita Long Nacogdoches Katherine Whitbeck Northside (20) Laura Campbell David de la Garza
Friends of public education Ann Bonner Deryl Elms Sandy Keller Michael McClain Irene RodriguezDubberly
La Vega Dennis Hataway
Olney Becky Spurlock
La Vernia Clay Bordner Margaret Stanush
Paris Deann Lee
Burleson Mary Bryan
Fort Bend Cathy Duvall
Leander Carol Rogers
Plano Shirley Sadowski Rosalie Watkins
Coleman County Sarah Beal
Galena Park Lissa Shepard
Lewisville Samantha Castillo
River Road Linda James
Corpus Christi Rose Perez
Garland Jed Reed
Lubbock Allyson Haveman
Corsicana Donna Sublett
Goliad Yvonne Meharg
Lumberton Jackie Arthur
Robinson Mary Betke Karla Pokraka
Crowley Steve Pokluda Kitty Smith
Grand Prairie Alma Pettit
McAllen Twila Figuerora Dwight Smith
Bellville David Minear Birdville Bill Monty Boerne Margie Hastings Richard Wiggins
Harlandale Marsha Huggins
Lackland Rosemary Carrion
Pittsburg Gay Cooley
San Antonio Sheryl Bibles Tina Briones Pearl Valutsky
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Sherman Kristi Brashier Somerset Penny Sturm-Borkert State office Brock Gregg Kate Johanns Mike McLamore Amy White Spring Alvin Vavra Sweeny Jeanette Hlavaty Texas A&M– Central Texas Melissa Stokes Vidor Janice Brent Waco Sandra O’Connor Patty Reneau Maria Elena Tovar Warren Kay Daniels Weslaco Maria Aguirre Roger Gutierrez West Janice Hornsby Sue Melton Kay Whitley Whiteface Cindy Chapman
Santa Rosa Eddie Hinojosa
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ATPE membership = True protection As you know all too well, the tough times have continued for Texas public education, and those educators who had armed themselves with the reliable benefits of ATPE membership had reason to be relieved during the past school year. Although official reductions in force were not as widespread as they had been during spring 2011, school districts stayed busy anyway implementing indirect reductions in force through copious negative documentation, walkthroughs and resignations in lieu of nonrenewals. In the case of one veteran ATPE member, her protection program benefit covered $35,000 in attorney fees to fend off an adversarial administrator’s repeated attempts to push out a good teacher whose only “flaw” was experience. The member prevailed in protecting her employment. Although not every member will face such an ordeal, and not every ordeal will result in a favorable outcome or exhaust this level of benefits, eligible members can rest assured that the ATPE protection benefit will be there for them should they need it. The details of your protection benefits are outlined in the summary of the 2012-13 Educators Professional Liability Insurance Policy* on the following pages. Please read the summary carefully, and save it for future reference.
Policy* highlights include: • Up to $8 million per claim and aggregate in liability insurance, including a $2 million limit for civil right claims plus defense costs. •Up to $20,000 aggregate for employment rights defense with a $10,000 per-claim limit, win or lose. • Additional $5,000 per claim for favorable-outcome certification and termination claims. • Up to $15,000 aggregate for criminal defense. • Up to $5,000 per claim for bail bond reimbursement. • Up to $10,000 aggregate for successful appeals beyond the school board or commissioner of education. In addition to the above insured benefits, ATPE maintains a staff of 11 full-time attorneys who are available to assist eligible members with professional concerns. For assistance, members must call (800) 777-ATPE.
Claims Procedure Except for situations necessitating immediate representation by a privatepractice criminal defense attorney, eligible ATPE members must contact the ATPE Member Legal Services Department at (800) 777-ATPE from 8 a.m.– 5 p.m. Monday–Friday for legal assistance with employment concerns. In some cases, eligible ATPE members are referred to private-practice attorneys on the approved list (see right). Except for criminal defense, only fees from attorneys and law firms approved by National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa., may be covered. If members retain attorneys in private practice, they must comply with the claims procedure set forth by ATPE. To access benefits, you must be an eligible member at the time of the activity that leads to the action against you.
The insurance company approves the following attorneys and firms: • Birdsong and Armstrong P.C. • Brim, Arnett, Robinett, Conners & McCormick P.C. • How Frels Rohde Woods & Duke P.C. • Langley & Banack Inc. • Law Office of Daniel A. Ortiz • The Law Offices of James Darnell • The Law Offices of Ruben Peña • The Lungwitz Law Firm P.C. • Oscar Alvarez • Shane Goetz Law Office • Tritico & Rainey LLP • Upton, Mickets & Heymann LLP • Watson, Caraway, Midkiff & Luningham LLP The approved list above is subject to change at any time and without notice.
Attorneys and law firms are selected using the following criteria: • Experience in education and employment law. •Q uality of services and responsiveness to clients’ and ATPE’s needs, as demonstrated by user feedback. • Efficiency, billing practices and compliance with claims procedures. • Competitive rates. • Availability and geographic location of practice. • Ability to constructively interact with all components of the program. • Cooperation with the claims administrator and insurance carrier. • Philosophy and approach compatible with those of ATPE. • Demonstrated sound judgment. • Adequate professional liability insurance as determined by the company.
ATPE members may submit recommendations for attorneys to be considered for approval to: Chartis, Jorge Godreau, Mainstream Director, Errors & Omissions/Financial Lines Claims, 175 Water Street, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10038.
*The Educators Professional Liability Insurance Policy is underwritten by National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa., with more than $12 billion in net surplus and more than $30 billion in total admitted assets as of Dec. 31, 2011. The insurer may not be subject to all insurance laws and regulations of this state. The foregoing notice is provided pursuant to Texas Insurance Code Article 21.54. ALL COVERAGE IS SUBJECT TO THE EXPRESS TERMS OF THE MASTER LIABILITY INSURANCE POLICY ISSUED TO ATPE AND KEPT ON FILE AT THE ATPE STATE OFFICE. Coverage applies to an insured’s activities within his/her professional capacity and does not apply to activities that predate the coverage period. View a detailed summary at atpe.org. Eligibility for ATPE membership benefits is contingent upon ATPE’s receipt of the entire annual membership dues amount for your appropriate membership category. A disruption in payments to an authorized payment plan may result in discontinuation of such benefits, including cancellation of insurance coverage for the entire membership year retroactive to Aug. 1 or your membership date. ATPE reserves the right to determine eligibility for the appropriate membership category. The membership year runs from Aug. 1–July 31.
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To obtain information or make a complaint: You may call the Company’s toll-free telephone number for information or to make a complaint at: 1-800-553-6938
Para obtener informacion o para someter una queja: Usted puede llamar al numero de teléfono gratis de la compania para informacion o para someter una queja al: 1-800-533-6938
You may contact the Texas Department of Insurance to obtain information on companies, coverages, rights, or complaints at: 1-800-252-3439
Puede comunicarse con el Departamento de Seguros de Texas para obtener informacion acerca de companias, coberturas, derechos o quejas al: 1-800-252-3439
You may write the Texas Department of Insurance: P.O. Box 149104 Austin, TX 78714-9104 Fax: (512) 475-1771 Web: http://www.tdi.state.tx.us Email: ConsumerProtection@tdi.state.tx.us Premium or Claim Disputes: Should you have a dispute concerning your premium or about a claim you should contact the agent first. If the dispute is not resolved, you may contact the Texas Department of Insurance. Attach this notice to your policy: This notice is for information only and does not become a part of the attached document. 94396 (4/07)
Puede escribir al Departamento de Seguros de Texas: P.O. Box 149104 Austin, TX 78714-9104 Fax: (512) 475-1771 Web: http://www.tdi.state.tx.us Email: ConsumerProtection@tdi.state.tx.us Disputas sobre primas o reclamos: Si tiene una disputa concerniente a su prima o a un reclamo, debe comunicarse con el agente primero. Si no se resuelve la disputa, puede entonces comunicarse con el departamento (TDI). Una este a viso a su poliza: Este aviso es solo para proposito de informacion y no se convierte en parte o condicion del documento adjunto.
ASSOCIATION OF TEXAS PROFESSIONAL EDUCATORS EDUCATORS PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY INSURANCE Underwritten By National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa.* This insurance is only available to eligible members of the Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE) through a Purchasing Group. All coverage provided under the terms of the Educators Professional Liability Insurance Policy in the event of a loss or occurrence is subject to the express terms of the Master insurance policy issued to ATPE by National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa. (NUFIC) and kept on file with ATPE, including all terms, conditions, exclusions and endorsements. The following is a summary provided by ATPE of the policy issued to ATPE.** The endorsements and/or provisions that form a part of the policy but which are not reproduced herein include: Rate and Premium, Policy Holder Notice 91222(12/09), ATPEDIV(2/99), Notice 53365, Choice of Counsel. DECLARATIONS POLICY NUMBER: 19101784 ITEM 1. NAMED INSURED: ASSOCIATION OF TEXAS PROFESSIONAL EDUCATORS MAILING ADDRESS: 305 E. HUNTLAND DRIVE SUITE 300 AUSTIN, TX 78752-3792 ITEM 2. POLICY PERIOD: From: August 1, 2012 (12:01 A.M. standard time at the address stated in Item 1. above) To: August 1, 2013 (12:01 A.M. standard time at the address stated in Item 1. above). ITEM 3. LIMITS OF LIABILITY: Coverage A $ 8,000,000 per Insured per occurrence subject to $ 2,000,000 per Insured per occurrence for civil rights claims $ 8,000,000 aggregate per Insured Coverage B $ 10,000 per claim per Insured under B(1)(a) $ 20,000 aggregate per Insured under B(1)(a) $ 10,000 per claim and aggregate per Insured under B(1)(b) $ 5,000 per claim per Insured under B(1)(c) $ 10,000 aggregate per Insured under B(1)(c) $ 15,000 per claim and aggregate per Insured under B(2) $ 200,000 aggregate for any class action suit subject to the limit per claim and aggregate limit per Insured under B(1a) Coverage C $ 5,000 per Bail Bond per Insured. Coverage D $ 2,500 per claim per Insured. Coverage E $ 2,500 per claim per Insured subject to: $ 2,500 aggregate per Insured The Company agrees with the Insured, named in the Declarations made a part hereof, in consideration of payment of the premium and subject to the limits of liability, exclusions, conditions and other terms of this policy; INSURING AGREEMENTS Coverage A - Liability Coverage To pay on behalf of the Insured all sums, in excess of any other valid and collectible insurance, including but not limited to, the Insured’s employers general liability or errors and omissions coverage, which the Insured
shall become obligated to pay by reason of liability imposed by law for damages resulting from any claim made against the Insured arising out of an occurrence in the course of the activities of an Insured in his/her professional capacity [as set out in definition (b)] and caused by any acts or omissions of the Insured or any other person for whose acts the Insured is legally liable, and the Company shall defend any suit seeking damages on account thereof which are payable under the terms of this policy, even if such suit be groundless, false or fraudulent; but the Company may make such investigation, negotiation and settlement of any claim or suit as it may deem expedient. In the event no other valid and collectible insurance exists this policy shall pay on behalf of the Insured all sums which the Insured shall become obligated to pay by reason of liability imposed by law for damages resulting from any claim made against the Insured arising out of an occurrence in the course of the activities of an Insured in his/her professional capacity [as set out in definition (b)] and caused by any acts or omissions of the Insured or any other person for whose acts the Insured is legally liable, and the Company shall defend any suit seeking damages on account thereof which are payable under the terms of this policy, even if such suit be groundless, false or fraudulent; but the Company may make such investigation, negotiation and settlement of any claim or suit as it may deem expedient. Coverage B - Reimbursement of Attorney Fees (1) To reimburse an Insured on account of such attorney fees for services as are reasonable and necessary which the Insured is legally obligated to pay to an attorney approved by the Company to whom the Insured has been referred by the Named Insured for the defense of any action brought against such Insured arising out of the following activities, but without obligation to furnish such attorney: (a) I ncurred in the defense of any action or proceeding involving such Insured’s salary, dismissal, contract nonrenewal, change of assignment, tenure, leave of absence, resignation or other professional rights, duties and responsibilities, allegations of intentional or negligent sexual conduct and arising within the scope of employment; involving the issuance, suspension, cancellation or revocation such Insured’s credential, life diploma or certification document issued by the State Board of Education, State Board of Educator Certification or Commission on Credentials; based upon an alleged violation of such Insured’s civil rights guaranteed by the Constitution or civil rights statutes of the United States or any state arising out of activities of an Insured in his/her professional capacity and not otherwise covered; as a result of an Insured’s service on an appraisal and/or a career ladder select committee. (b) I ncurred in the appeal of a decision by the governing board of a school district or the commissioner of education resulting from defense of an action or proceeding under Coverage B (1)(a), provided,
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however, final judgment is rendered in favor of the Insured. (c) in addition to any amount reimbursed pursuant to Coverage B(1)(a), incurred in the defense of any action or proceeding involving dismissal, contract renewal, or suspension, cancellation or revocation of any credential, life diploma or certification document issued by the State Board of Education, State Board of Educator Certification or Commission on Credentials, provided that the final outcome in such action or proceeding is in favor of the Insured. (2) To reimburse an Insured on account of such attorney fees for services as are reasonable and necessary which the Insured is legally obligated to pay to an attorney for the defense of any criminal action or proceeding brought against such Insured, but without obligation to furnish such attorney, arising out of the Insured’s activities in his/her professional capacity. The reimbursement of attorney fees shall be according to the following schedule and subject to the limit of liability stated under Coverage B(2) of the Declarations: 1. U p to $10,000 (including an initial amount of up to $5,000 for a retainer), regardless of the final outcome of such criminal action or proceeding; and 2. Up to an additional $5,000, but only if the Insured is found not guilty or otherwise acquitted of all charges in such criminal action or proceeding, or if all criminal charges in such criminal action or proceeding are withdrawn or dismissed with prejudice. Deferred adjudication, a please of no lo contender, or a plea to or conviction on lesser charges in such criminal action or proceeding shall not constitute a not-guilty finding, acquittal, withdrawal or dismissal. Coverage C - Bail Bonds To pay the premium for Bail Bond required of the Insured arising out of activities of the Insured in his/her professional capacity, as hereinafter defined, not to exceed $5,000 per bail bond, but without obligation to apply for or furnish such bond. For purposes of this coverage, a series of continuous or similar actions by the Insured shall constitute a single claim regardless of the number of indictments. Coverage D - Assault-related Personal Property Damage To pay an Insured up to $2,500 for damage to or destruction of the Insured’s personal property which is caused by an assault upon the Insured arising out of an occurrence in the course of an Insured’s authorized course of activities in his/her professional capacity to the extent that such damages exceed the coverage provided by any Homeowners, Personal Property Floaters or other similar valid and collectible insurance. This coverage does not apply to damage or destruction of a vehicle of any kind, or to damage to or destruction of leased or loaned property. Coverage E – Personal Identity Theft Coverage To reimburse the Insured up to $2,500, for reasonable and necessary attorney fees which the Insured is legally obligated to pay to an attorney, as a result of a Stolen Identity Event occurring during the policy period but without obligation to furnish such attorney, to the extent that such fees exceed the coverage provided by any other benefit, program or policy available to the Insured. SUPPLEMENTARY PAYMENTS The Company will pay, in addition to the applicable limit of liability for Coverage A: a. a ll expenses incurred by the Company, all costs taxed against the Insured in any suit defended by the Company and all interest on the entire amount of any judgment therein which accrues after entry of the judgment and before the Company has paid or tendered or deposited in court that part of the judgment which does not exceed the limit of the Company’s liability thereon; b. p remiums on appeal bonds required in any such suit, premiums on bonds to release attachments in any such suit for an amount not in excess of the applicable limit of liability of this policy, but the Company shall have no obligation to apply for or furnish any such bonds; c. expenses incurred by the Insured for first aid to others at the time of an accident for bodily injury to which this policy applies; d. r easonable expenses incurred by the Insured at the Company’s
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request in assisting the Company in the investigation or defense of any such claim or suit, including actual loss of earnings not to exceed $50.00 per day. DEFINITIONS a. The word “Insured” wherever used shall mean a person who is a professional, associate, teacher trainee or life member of the Named Insured. If the policy is a renewal, the word “Insured” includes members covered under the expired policy who reapply within sixty days of the inception of this policy. b. The phrase “activities of an Insured in his/her professional capacity” wherever used shall mean activities of an Insured in the course of his/her duties of employment with an “educational institution” or activities of an Insured in the course of his/her duties as a student in a teacher education program in an accredited college or university. With respect to Coverage A, “activities of an Insured in his/her professional capacity” shall not include services rendered in the practice of law, construction, accountancy, financial or other similar professionally licensed services. c. The term “occurrence” only applies to Coverage A. It means an event, which results in damages to someone other than the Insured. An occurrence can involve a single, sudden event or the continuous or repeated exposure to the same conditions. If a Claimant or Claimants allege to have sustained damages caused by repeated exposure to the same conditions caused by the Insured during different policy terms, then the exposure shall be deemed to have occurred as of the most recent exposure to said conditions, and shall be covered only by the last of all policies issued by the Company to the Insured and not by more than one policy issued by the Company. d. The term “membership date” means the date on which a person becomes a professional, associate or teacher trainee member of the Named Insured. e. The term “membership year”, for purposes of use in this policy, means the period for obtaining membership in the Named Insured, beginning August 1st and ending on August 1st, twelve months following. f. The term “educational institution” means a public school district, institution of higher education, Regional Education Service Center, or the Central Education Agency. g. The term “attorney fees” means costs incurred by an attorney approved by the Company in accordance with policy terms and the claims reporting procedures as set forth by the Named Insured. h. The term “civil rights claims” where used shall mean any claim against an Insured alleging a violation of any person’s civil rights, as protected by: the Constitution of the United States or of any state; The Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1964, as amended; the Americans with Disabilities Act; and any state or federal statute, regulation or executive order. i. The term “Stolen Identity Event” means the theft of non-public information about the Insured (including, without limitation, the Insured’s social security number) which has resulted or could result in the wrongful use of such information. j. The term “criminal action or proceeding” means any: (1) criminal proceeding against an Insured which is commenced by the return of an indictment or receipt or filing of a notice of charges in a court of law and alleges one or more violations of any federal or Texas criminal laws; or (2) investigation by a law enforcement agency or other authorized governmental entity of one or more alleged violations by an Insrued of any federal or Texas criminal laws. EFFECTIVE DATES OF INSURANCE The effective date as respects an “Insured” is the “membership date” in the “membership year” except as follows: 1. If this policy is a renewal, the word “Insured” includes members covered under the expired policy who reapply within sixty (60) days of inception of this policy, and coverage for such members is effective on the inception date of this policy. 2. As respects new and renewal members who join after the annual enrollment period (August 1 to September 30) and who were otherwise eligible for membership during the enrollment period, the effective date of coverage under Coverage B, C, D and E of this policy shall be thirty (30) days after the “membership date”, and coverage is not provided for actions resulting from activities of an Insured which begin prior to the effective date of coverage.
POLICY PERIOD 1. As respects Coverage A, this policy applies only to occurrences (as defined) during the policy period. 2. As respects Coverage B, C and D, this policy applies only to actions resulting from activities of an Insured (as defined) which begin during the policy period. 3. As respects Coverage C, this policy applies only to any bail bond required as a result of an event or series of events which happen or are alleged to have happened during the policy period. 4. As respects coverage E, this policy applies only to Stolen Identity Events occurring during the policy period. This policy period shall begin August 1, 2012 and end August 1, 2013 (12:01 A.M. standard time at the address stated in Item 1., of the declarations) POLICY TERRITORY Anywhere in the world with respect to an occurrence arising out of the covered activities of any Insured permanently domiciled in the United States of America though temporarily outside the United States of America, its territories and possessions or Canada, provided the original suit for damages because of any such injury or damage is brought within the United States of America, its territories or possessions or Canada. Anywhere in the world with respect to a Stolen Identity Event, but only attorney fees incurred in the United States of America. Payment of loss under this policy shall only be made in full compliance with all United States of America economic or trade sanction laws or regulations, including, but not limited to, sanctions, laws and regulations administered and enforced by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”). EXCLUSIONS This policy does not apply: a. To activities of an Insured that are not activities of an Insured in his/her professional capacity, as defined above. b. To activities of an Insured that are carried on in a private business, private professional endeavor or private school, other than an Institution of higher education, except this exclusion does not apply to activities of a teacher trainee doing practice teaching in a private school. c. To the ownership, maintenance, operation, use, loading or unloading of (a) vehicles of any kind, other than farm tractors not operated on public highways, (b) watercraft, (c) aircraft, except, however, coverage would apply to: (1) a driver training instructor while riding as a passenger in the course of duties as an employee of a school system and (2) a vocational education instructor in the course of regular instruction carried on in a shop provided by the school and (3) an Insured while supervising students entering or exiting a school bus. The coverage afforded herein does not apply when the Insured has any other Insurance of any kind, whatsoever which affords coverage as to such liability. d. To liability assumed by the Insured under any contract or agreement. e. To injury, sickness, disease, death or destruction due to war, whether or not declared, civil war, insurrection, rebellion, or revolution, or to any act or condition incidental to any of the foregoing. f. To any obligation for which the Insured or any carrier may be held liable under worker’s compensation, unemployment compensation, disability benefits or similar laws. g. To the rendering, teaching or supervising of medical, surgical, dental, nursing, or other similar services of the omission thereof; except however, coverage would apply to: 1. First aid and regular nursing services rendered by a school nurse employed for the purpose of rendering such services; 2. First aid and regular nursing services rendered by a certified health aide employed for the purpose of rendering such services under the supervision of a school nurse; 3. Physical therapy rendered by a licensed physical or occupational therapist, or licensed athletic trainer, employed for the purpose of rendering such services; 4. The administration of oral prescription medicine to a student by an Insured, provided the Insured has advance written authorization for such administration from the parent or guardian of the student;
5. E mergency first-aid services rendered by the Insured when a school nurse or other medically-trained person is not readily available; or 6. P sychological therapy or treatment rendered by a licensed practitioner employed for the purpose of rendering such services. h. U nder Coverage A. to criminal acts other than corporal punishment. i. Under Coverage A. to the defense of any civil suit for criminal acts other than corporal punishment. j. To liability in respect of claims brought by any employee or former employee of any educational institution against an Insured, as defined by the policy, except to the reimbursement of attorney’s fees as provided under Coverage B. The following three exceptions apply to this exclusion: 1. This exclusion shall not apply to any claim made or suit brought against an Insured by or on behalf of another employee of an institution of higher education if the claim or suit arises out of an occurrence in the course of activities of the Insured in his/her professional capacity as a participant in the peer review system of an Institution of higher education; however, this exclusion shall apply to an assault upon an Insured by another employee of an Institution of higher education if the assault arose out of an occurrence in the Insured’s aforementioned peer review activity. 2. This exclusion shall not apply to any claim made or suit brought against an Insured by or on behalf of another employee of an educational Institution if the claim or suit arises out of an occurrence in the course of activities of the Insured in his/her professional capacity as a member of a board of commission, established by the Insured’s state government, which has as its purposes the licensure or certification of educators, or the setting of standards for the licensure or certification of educators. 3. This exclusion shall not apply to any claim made or suit brought against an Insured by or on behalf of a minor or incompetent child of an employee of an educational Institution, if the claim or suit arises out of an occurrence in the course of activities of the Insured in his/her professional capacity. k. To punitive damages in excess of $5,000. l. Except as provided under Coverage B, this policy does not provide coverage to claims arising out of occurrences in which the Insured intentionally causes damage of any nature to another person or entity, except for claims arising from corporal punishment of any student or pupil administered by, or at the direction of, the Insured in his/her professional capacity. m. To the defense of any action of declaratory judgments, injunctive relief, or other similar proceeding, except as provided in Coverage B, unless the relief prayed for therein also seeks damages which are covered under Coverage A. n. To activities of any Insured while acting as a member of any school board or similarly constituted body. o. Except as provided under Coverage B, this policy does not provide a defense or coverage to damages resulting from any claim for actual sexual action or conduct or harassment. p. To any claims, accusations or charges brought against any Insured, and to any obligation or duty of the Company to afford defense for such claims, accusations or charges, which are made because of any damages or injury arising out of Human Immune Deficiency Virus (HIV) Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), no matter how transmitted, except to reimbursement of attorney’s fees as provided under Coverage B. q. Under Coverage B, to any claim involving health, disability, unemployment or retirement benefits including such benefits payable, under any Workers Compensation law whether payable by an insurance company, trust, self insurance benefit plan of any school district, any similar carrier or provider or device arranged to handle such benefits, or to any action involving the payment or refund of premium(s) for such benefits. Neither the term “salary” nor the phrase “other professional rights, duties and responsibilities” under Coverage B(1) (a) shall be inclusive of such benefits. This exclusion
shall not apply to claims involving the continuation of the insured’s group health coverage solely as provided in Texas Education Code §22.004, subsections (k) and (l). r. To bodily injury, property damages, personal injury or advertising injury arising out of the removal, transport, storage, installation or use of asbestos for any purpose whatsoever. This includes any loss, cost or expenses related to asbestos. s. With respect to Coverage E, to any dishonest, criminal, malicious or fraudulent acts if the Insured personally participated in, directed, or had knowledge of such acts. t. To any activity involving a firearm or other explosive device, except this policy would apply under coverage B to the use of physical restraint by an Insured while attempting to protect self, a student, or other person from physical injury. u. To misuse, embezzlement, misappropriation, or breach of fiduciary duty, in the handling or managing of public and/or private monies, investments, securities or other funds held in a trust capacity, except as provided under Coverage B. v. Under Coverage A, to employment practices liability, including without limitation, wrongful dismissal, discrimination, harassment, retaliation or any activity of an Insured in connection with an educational institution’s employment, discharge or termination of any individual. w. Under Coverage A, to any claim against an Insured whose position requires administrator certification, or who is acting in a supervisory capacity, where such claim arises out of the Insured’s supervision or employment of any individual, the conduct of the Insured’s subordinate, or any alleged failure to report, prevent, address or remediate such subordinate’s conduct. x. Under Coverage B, to any action against an Insured arising out of the Insured’s actual or alleged activities in a supervisory capacity, or relating to the Insured’s role in the creation or interpretation of any employment policy or procedure.
CONDITIONS 1. Limits of Liability The limits of liability stated in the Declarations are the limits of the Company’s liability for all damages, including damages for care and loss of services, arising out of one occurrence. 2. Notice of Occurrence When an occurrence takes place written notice shall be given by or on behalf of the Insured to the Company or any of its authorized agents as soon as practicable. Such notice shall contain particulars sufficient to identify the Insured and also reasonably obtainable information respecting the time, place and circumstances of the occurrence, the names and addresses of the injured and of available witnesses. 3. Notice of Claim or Suit If claim is made or suit is brought against the Insured, the Insured shall immediately forward to the Company every demand, notice, summons or other process received by him or his representative. 4. Notice of Stolen Identity Event When a Stolen Identity Event occurs, a report shall be filed by the Insured or on the Insured’s behalf with the appropriate police authority. Any claim for attorney fee reimbursement shall contain particulars sufficient to identify the Insured and also reasonably obtainable information respecting the time, place and circumstances of the Stolen Identity Event. 5. Assistance and Cooperation of the Insured The Insured shall cooperate with the Company, and upon the Company’s request, shall attend hearings and trials and shall assist in effecting settlements, securing and giving evidence, obtaining the attendance of witnesses and in the conduct of suits. The Insured shall not, except at his/ her own cost, voluntarily make any payment, assume any obligation or incur any expenses other than for such immediate medical and surgical relief to others as shall be imperative at the time of the occurrence. 6. Action Against Company No action shall lie against the Company, unless as a condition precedent thereto, the Insured shall have fully complied with all terms of this policy, or until the amount of the Insured’s obligation to pay shall have been finally determined either by judgment against the Insured after actual trial or by written agreement of the Insured, the claimant and the Company. Any person or organization or the legal representative thereof who has
accrued such judgment or written agreement shall thereafter be entitled to recover under this policy to the extent of the insurance afforded by this policy. Nothing contained in this policy shall give any person or organization any right to join the Company as co-defendant in any action against the Insured to determine the Insured’s liability. Bankruptcy or insolvency of the Insured or of the Insured’s estate shall not relieve the Company of any of its obligations hereunder. 7. Other Insurance If other insurance, excluding policies issued by the Company, is available to the Insured covering a loss also covered by this policy, then this policy shall apply in excess of, and shall not contribute with, such other insurance. If any other policy issued by the Company also applies to a loss which would be covered by this policy then this policy will pay its share of the loss based on the percentage this policy’s limit of liability bears to the total limits of liability of all insurance available to pay the loss. Other Insurance includes but is not limited to: (a) Insurance, coverage or benefits provided by school boards, school districts or any similar entity including, without limitation, the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB); (b) Insurance, coverage or benefits provided by the National Education Association or any other national or local professional association or similar organization; (c) Insurance, coverage or benefits provided by self-insurance, trusts, pools, risk retention groups, captive insurance companies, or any other insurance plan or agreement of risk assumption; and (d) I nsurance , coverage or benefits provided by an Insured’s homeowner’s, renter’s or personal umbrella policy. 8. Subrogation In the event of any payment under this policy, the Company shall be subrogated to all the Insured’s right of recovery therefor against any person or organization and the Insured shall execute and deliver instruments and papers and do whatever else is necessary to secure such rights. The Insured shall do nothing after loss to prejudice such rights. 9. Changes Notice to any agent or knowledge possessed by any agent or by any other person shall not effect a waiver or a change in any part of this policy or estop the Company from asserting any right under the terms of this policy; nor shall the terms of this policy be waived or changed, except by endorsement issued to form a part of this policy. 10. Cancellation This policy may be canceled by the Named Insured for any reason by surrender thereof to the Company or any of its authorized agents or by mailing to the Company written notice stating when thereafter the cancellation shall be effective. This policy may be canceled by the Company only for non-payment of premium by mailing to the Named Insured at the address shown on the policy, written notice stating when not less than forty-five days thereafter such cancellation shall be effective. The mailing of notice as aforesaid shall be sufficient proof of notice. The time of surrender of the effective date and hour of cancellation stated in the notice shall become the end of the policy period. Delivery of such written notice either by the Named Insured or by the Company shall be equivalent to mailing. If the Named Insured or the Company cancels the policy, earned premium shall be computed on a pro rata basis. Premium adjustment may be made either at the time cancellation is effected or as soon as practicable after cancellation becomes effective. Any other premium adjustment or return premium as would apply had cancellation not been affected shall be computed substituting the date of cancellation for the expiration date of this policy. 11. Terms of Policy Conformed to Statute Terms of this policy, which are in conflict with the statutes of the state wherein this policy is issued, are hereby amended to conform to such statutes. * NUFIC is located at 175 Water Street, New York, New York 10038-0150 ** The description of coverage herein is a summary only. It does not include all provisions of the policy issued to ATPE by NUFIC. Please refer to the master policy kept on file with ATPE for complete details of coverage.
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Continued from page 13—Legal Opinions
Don’t mess with Texas educators
determined by the laws on the books, which we have to employ on your behalf. If the laws are not there, then our ability to assist is similar to that of a doctor confronting an illness with no drug to cure it. So get involved—your help now just might help us help you later.A
As the 83rd legislative session begins, keep your eyes and ears open for anything that might affect you as an educator. ATPE Governmental Relations will be hard at work advocating on your behalf, but ATPE’s message is heard much more clearly when it’s echoed by those in the classroom. To help you stay involved, ATPE offers the following resources: • ATPE publications—Look for issue analysis in Essentials and ATPE News. • The ATPE Hotline—Call (800) 777-ATPE after business hours to hear a recorded update with the latest Capitol news. • Legislative Alert Network (LAN)—Join this free email service to receive updates and action alerts letting you know when it’s time to call your legislator. Sign up at www.atpe.org/Advocacy/LAN/lanpromo.asp. • TeachtheVote.org—Visit ATPE’s advocacy website during the session. It will soon feature a Legislative Update blog and officeholder profiles. ATPE will also hold its 2013 Political Involvement Training and Lobby Day Feb. 10–11 in Austin. Attendees will learn how to effectively advocate for their profession on Sunday and then meet face to face with their lawmakers on Monday. Visit www.atpe.org/Advocacy/LobbyDay for more information. Again, my ATPE Member Legal Services Department colleagues and I want to do our best to help you when you have difficulties. But, as attorneys, our ability to help is largely
The legal information provided in ATPE News is for general purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for individual legal advice or the provision of legal services. Accessing this information does not create an attorneyclient relationship. Individual legal situations vary greatly, and readers should consult directly with an attorney. ATPE members should call (800) 777-ATPE or access the Member Legal Services Intake System (MLSIS) at www.atpe.org/Protection.
Continued from page 14—Capital Comment education and ATPE priorities—and Texas Parent PAC is claiming its best election cycle yet. Two senators and 34 representatives endorsed by Texas Parent PAC—both Republicans and Democrats—were elected or re-elected. Does this mean public education will emerge victorious from the legislative session? Only time will tell. The second half will be a bruiser. Those of us who believe in public education as the bedrock of democracy must do a gut-check and pour on the persuasion. We true believers might have to draw some lines and see who gets on our side. My prediction is that if we do our job, we will win.A
United States Postal Service Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation 1. Publication Title: ATPE News 2. Publication Number: 578-050 3. Filing Date: September 26, 2012 4. Issue Frequency: Quarterly (Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer) 5. Number of Issues Published Annually: 4 6. Annual Subscription Fee: $10.00 7. C omplete Mailing Address of Known Office of Publication: 305 E. Huntland Drive, Suite 300, Austin (Travis), Texas 78752-3792 Contact Person: Katherine Johanns Telephone: (512) 467-0071 x 329 8. Complete Mailing Address of Headquarters or General Business Office of Publisher: 305 E. Huntland Drive, Suite 300, Austin (Travis), Texas 78752-3792 9. Full Names and Complete Mailing Addresses of Publisher, Editor and Managing Editor: Publisher: Doug Rogers, 305 E. Huntland Drive, Suite 300, Austin (Travis), Texas 78752-3792 Editor: Katherine Johanns, 305 E. Huntland Drive, Suite 300, Austin (Travis), Texas 78752-3792 Managing Editor: Amanda Curtis, 305 E. Huntland Drive, Suite 300, Austin (Travis), Texas 78752-3792 10. Owner: Association of Texas Professional Educators, 305 E. Huntland Drive, Suite 300, Austin (Travis), Texas 78752-3792
44 | atpe.org
11. Known Bondholders, Mortgagees and Other Security Holders Owning or Holding 1 Percent or More of Total Amount of Bonds, Mortgages or Other Securities: None 12. Tax Status: The purpose, function and nonprofit status of this organization and the exempt status for federal income tax purposes Has Not Changed During Preceding 12 Months. 13. Publication Title: ATPE News 14. Issue Date for Circulation Data Below: Fall 2012 15. Extent and Nature of Circulation Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months a. Total Number of Copies: 111,709 b. Paid Circulation (1) Mailed Outside-County Paid Subscriptions Stated on PS Form 3541: 108,068 (2) Mailed In-County Paid Subscriptions Stated on PS Form 3541: 0 (3) P aid Distribution Outside the Mails Including Sales Through Dealers and Carriers, Street Vendors, Counter Sales and Other Paid Distribution Outside USPS: 0 (4) Paid Distribution by Other Classes of Mail Through the USPS: 0 c. Total Paid Distribution: 108,068 d. Free or Nominal Rate Distribution
(1) F ree or Nominal Rate Outside-County Copies included on PS Form 3541: 2,116 (2) Free or Nominal Rate In-County Copies Included on PS Form 3541: 0 (3) Free or Nominal Rate Copies Mailed at Other Classes Through the USPS: 14 (4) Free or Nominal Rate Distribution Outside the Mail: 456 e. Total Free or Nominal Rate Distribution: 2,586 f. Total Distribution: 110,654 g. Copies not Distributed: 1,055 h. Total: 111,709 i. Percent Paid: 97.66% No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date a. Total Number of Copies: 119,830 b. Paid Circulation (1) Mailed Outside-County Paid Subscriptions Stated on PS Form 3541: 113,525 (2) Mailed In-County Paid Subscriptions Stated on PS Form 3541: 0 (3) Paid Distribution Outside the Mails Including Sales Through Dealers and Carriers, Street Vendors, Counter Sales and Other Paid Distribution Outside USPS: 0 (4) Paid Distribution by Other Classes of Mail Through the USPS: 0 c. Total Paid Distribution: 113,525 d. Free or Nominal Rate Distribution
(1) F ree or Nominal Rate Outside-County Copies included on PS Form 3541: 2,105 (2) Free or Nominal Rate In-County Copies Included on PS Form 3541: 0 (3) Free or Nominal Rate Copies Mailed at Other Classes Through the USPS: 14 (4) Free or Nominal Rate Distribution Outside the Mail: 1,442 e. Total Free or Nominal Rate Distribution: 3,561 f. Total Distribution: 117,086 g. Copies not Distributed: 2,744 h. Total: 119,830 i. Percent Paid: 96.96% 16. Total circulation DOES NOT include electronic copies. 17. Publication of Statement of Ownership: Required. Will be printed in the Winter 2012 issue of this publication. 18. Signature and Date: Katherine Johanns, Editor, September 26, 2012 I certify that all information furnished in this form is true and complete. I understand that anyone who furnishes false or misleading information on this form or who omits material or information requested on the form may be subject to criminal sanctions (including fines and imprisonment) and/or civil sanctions (including civil penalties).
Questions You Might Have About ATPE Membership
1 Are ATPE membership dues tax-deductible?
4 When is my ATPE membership effective?
ATPE membership dues are not deductible as charitable contributions for income tax purposes but may be deductible as miscellaneous itemized deductions, subject to IRS restrictions. It is estimated that 4.6 percent of your dues dollar is used for lobbying activities and is therefore not deductible.
For paper applications, your membership date is established when your application is received in the state office, or when your application is received, signed and dated by a designated local unit representative. For online applications, your membership date is established at 12:01 a.m. C.S.T. on the date following successful transmission of your online application and payment at atpe.org.
2 How does ATPE spend my membership dues? • $3.32 pays for a subscription to ATPE News (published four times per year) and includes all state and local sales taxes. • Up to $24 of Professional and Associate member dues and up to $4 of Teacher Trainee member dues pays for the Educators Professional Liability Insurance Policy.*
3 What does the Liability and Employment rights
Defense Insurance* for the 2012-13 membership year cover?
*Coverage applies to your activities as a Professional or Associate member in the course of your duties of employment with an educational institution, or to your activities as a Teacher Trainee member in the course of your duties as a student in a teacher education program in an accredited college or university. Coverage is underwritten by National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa. ALL COvERAGE IS SUbJECT TO THE EXPRESS TERMS OF THE MASTER INSURANCE POLICY ISSUED TO ATPE AND KEPT ON FILE AT THE STATE OFFICE. view a detailed summary at atpe.org. The policy applies only to activities that begin during the period when coverage is effective and does not apply to activities that predate the coverage period.
5 When is coverage effective? *
*Coverage begins on the later of 8/1/12 or your Membership Date and expires on 8/1/13 except for the following: COvERAGE IS EFFECTIvE ON 8/1/12 IF YOU RENEW MEMbERSHIP ANYTIME DURING AUGUST OR SEPTEMbER 2012, AND EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS DEFENSE INSURANCE IS NOT EFFECTIvE UNTIL 30 DAYS AFTER YOUR MEMbERSHIP DATE IF YOU JOIN AFTER 9/30/12 AND WERE ELIGIbLE FOR MEMbERSHIP FROM AUGUST 2012 THROUGH SEPTEMbER 2012. Eligibility for membership benefits is contingent upon receipt of the entire membership dues amount for your appropriate membership category. A disruption in payments to an authorized payment plan may result in discontinuation of such benefits, including cancellation of insurance coverage for the entire membership year, retroactive to Aug. 1 or your membership date. For further information, call (800) 777-ATPE.
6 What does ATPE-PAC do? The ATPE Political Action Committee (ATPE-PAC) accepts voluntary donations from members to advocate for ATPE’s legislative priorities. ATPE-PAC does not endorse political candidates. Donations to ATPEPAC are not a condition of employment or membership. A member may donate more or less than the suggested amount or may choose not to make a donation without it affecting his or her membership status, rights or benefits with ATPE. Donations are not deductible for federal income tax purposes.
ATPE Membership Categories You must join in the appropriate insured category in order to qualify for coverage. ATPE reserves the right to determine eligibility for the appropriate membership category. Commissioned peace officers are eligible for public membership only. Professional and Associate membership is open to persons employed in Texas by a public school district, institution of higher education, Regional Education Service Center, State board for Educator Certification or the Texas Education Agency. If you have a question about the eligibility of job descriptions not listed below, call (800) 777-ATPE.
Professional MeMber ($145) /first-tiMe Professional MeMber ($80)
associate MeMber ($70)
college student MeMber (free)
• Administrator/ Supervisor
• Department Head/ Chair
• Regional Service Center Staff
• Aide to position in Professional category
• Athletic Director/ Coordinator
• Diagnostician • Instructional Officer
• School Psychologist/ Associate
• Alternative Center Aide
• Athletic Trainer
• Intern Teacher
• Social Worker
• Bus Driver
• Nurse (LVN)
• At-Risk Coordinator
• Cafeteria Worker
• Superintendent/Asst. Supt.
Public MeMber ($10)
• IT Director/ Coordinator
• Regional Service Center Aide
• Friend of public education
• Band/Choral Director
• Nurse (RN)
• Computer Programmer/Entry
• Coach • Counselor
• University Professor
• Custodial Worker
• Substitute Teacher
• Curriculum Director
• Parent/Community Coordinator
• Dean of Instruction
• Principal/Asst. Prin.
• Visiting Teacher
• Deaf Interpreter • Educational Aide/ Technician
retired MeMber ($10)
• Maintenance Worker
• Retired former school employee
• Security Guard
teacher trainee MeMber (free) • Student teacher in Texas
• Non-teaching college student
2012-13You ATPE Membership Application Questions Might Have About ATPE Membership 3 Ways You Can Join ATPE: 1 Are ATPE membership dues tax-deductible?
1 Mail thisWhen completed application to the ATPE state office. is my ATPE membership effective?
2 GiveFor thispaper completed application your ATPE campus rep. ATPE membership dues are not deductible as charitable contributions applications, your to membership date is established for income tax purposes but may be deductible as miscellaneous 3 Joinwhen your application received in the state office, or when your at atpe.org (and pay byiscredit card). itemized deductions, subject to IRS restrictions. It is estimated that application is received, signed and dated by a designated local unit 4.6 percent of your dues dollar is used for lobbying activities and is representative. For online applications, your membership date is (MM) Provide your contact information. therefore not deductible. established Select at 12:01 your a.m. C.S.T. on the date following successful membership category. This information helps us maintain your unique member record, a tool that transmissionRefer of your online application and payment at atpe.org. to the chart on the back of this application to
allows us to provide member services more efficiently.
LastHow 4 digits of your Soc. Sec. #: XXX-XX-__ __ __ __ Female does ATPE spend my membership dues?
find your appropriate category. * Insured categories *
When is coverage effective? • $3.32 pays for been a subscription to ATPE News four times per Yes, I have an ATPE member in the(published past. Professional $145.00 $ ______ year) and includes all state and local sales taxes. *Coverage begins on the later of 8/1/12 or your Membership Date and Member ID# _______________ (Optional—If you don’t know it, no problem.) expires on 8/1/13 First-time except for the following: COvERAGE IS EFFECTIvE • Up to $24 of Professional and Associate member dues and up to $4 $ DURING ______ AUGUST OR Professional $80.00 ON 8/1/12 IF YOU RENEW MEMbERSHIP ANYTIME of Teacher Trainee member dues pays for the Educators Professional Name _________________________ _______________________ _________ I have never been a SEPTEMbER 2012, AND EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS DEFENSE INSURANCE IS Professional member. LastInsurance Policy.* First Middle initial Liability NOT EFFECTIvE UNTIL 30 DAYS AFTER YOUR MEMbERSHIP DATE IF YOU $ ______ FROM Associate ISD ___________________________ Campus __________________________ $70.00 JOIN AFTER 9/30/12 AND WERE ELIGIbLE FOR MEMbERSHIP Paraprofessional and AUGUST 2012 THROUGH SEPTEMbER 2012. Eligibility for membership What does the Liability and Employment rights classified positions Home address ____________________________________________________ benefits is contingent upon receipt of the entire membership dues Defense Insurance* for the 2012-13 membership FrEE Teacher Trainee membership category. amount for your appropriate A disruption in City/State ____________________________________ ZIP _______________ year cover? Student teacher in Texas payments to an authorized payment plan may result in discontinuaUninsured categories *Coverage applies to your activities as a Professional or Associate Home phone ( ____ ) _____________________________________________ tion of such benefits, including cancellation of insurance coverage for member in the course of your duties of employment with an educaRetired year, retroactive $10.00 ______ the entire membership to Aug. $1 or your membership School email ____________________________________________________ Retired former tional institution, or to your activities as a Teacher Trainee member in date. For further call (800) 777-ATPE. schoolinformation, employee the course your duties as a student in a teacher education program Home emailof _____________________________________________________ in anSubmit accredited college or university. underwritten FrEE College Student your email addresses to receiveCoverage the latest is news on member by benefits. Non-teaching National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa. ALL What does ATPE-PAC do? college student Yes, send me information volunteering ATPE! COvERAGE IS SUbJECT TO THEabout EXPRESS TERMS OFfor THE MASTER The ATPE Political Action Committee (ATPE-PAC) accepts voluntary INSURANCE POLICY ISSUED TO ATPE AND KEPT ON FILE AT THE STATE ______ priorities. Public donations from members to advocate$10.00 for ATPE’s$legislative Friend of public OFFICE. view a detailed summary at atpe.org. The policy applies only education ATPE-PAC does not endorse political candidates. Donations to ATPEto activities that begin during the period when coverage is effective PAC are not a condition of employment or membership. A member and does not apply to activities that predate the coverage period. education. may donateInvest more orin lesspublic than the suggested amount or may choose Support ATPE in your school district.his or her membership not to make a donation without it affecting status, rights Local or benefits with ATPE. Donations are unit dues $ not deductible for federal income tax purposes.
Support candidates and officeholders who prioritize public education. Suggested donation: $12.
ATPE-PAC ATPE Membership Categories
You must join in the appropriate insured category in order to qualify for coverage. ATPE reserves the right to determine eligibility for Select payment only. method. the appropriate membership category. Commissioned peace officers are eligible for publicamembership Check enclosed. Professional and Associate membership is open to persons employed in Texas by a public school district, institution of higher education, Regional Education Service Center, State board for Educator Certification or the Texas Education Agency. Payroll deduction the authorization below. Arrangements for payroll If you have a question about the eligibility of job descriptions not listed below, call (800)Complete 777-ATPE. deduction are the responsibility of the applicant.
Uninsured Categories $ ______ TOTAL
Professional MeMber ($145) /first-tiMe Professional MeMber ($80)
associate MeMber ($70)
• Regional Service • Department Head/ • Administrator/ Payroll Deduction Authorization Center Staff Chair Supervisor
• Aide to position in Professional category
college student MeMber (free) • Deaf Interpreter
• Non-teaching college student
• Educational Aide/
retired MeMber ($10)
School Psychologist/ • Diagnostician • Athletic Director/ Alternative Center Payroll authorizations for 2012-13 • will not be accepted • after Jan. 31, 2013.Technician Coordinator
• Instructional Officer
• Retired former school employee
• Maintenance Worker
I,• Athletic Trainer ______________________________________________ , authorize the • Bus Driver _____________________ school district to deduct the total amount of $ _______ over • Social Worker • Intern Teacher • Nurse (LVN) Public ($10) ______ payments in order to pay for ATPE state dues, local dues and political action donations. I further authorize the Association to MeMber notify the school district of • Superintendent/Asst. • At-Risk Coordinator • Cafeteria Worker • IT Director/ • Regional Service • Friend of public education changes in the annual dues amounts and the school district to deduct the new amounts. If my employment with the district ends, I authorize any unpaid balance Supt. Coordinator Center Aide • Audiologist • Clerk–General to be deducted from my final check. This authorization for the deductions referenced above will be effective until I give notice to the school district that I want to • Teacher • Librarian • Secretary • Band/Choral Director • Computer revoke it. • Therapist/Pathologist Programmer/Entry • Coach
• Nurse (RN)
• University Professor I• Counselor wish to cancel deduction of membership dues for:• Custodial Worker Texas AFT • Parent/Community • Curriculum Director
• Visiting Teacher
• Security Guard
TCTA • Substitute Teacher
teacher trainee MeMber (free)
• Principal/Asst. Prin. ____________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _______________ • Dean of Instruction Applicant’s signature
• Student teacher in Texas Applicant’s Social Security number or employee ID number
Date of signature
by Mandy Curtis, senior copy editor/writer
Add creating a “man cave” to your “bucket list”
© University student using laptop outside, Blue dictionary/hemera/Thinkstock; News/iStockphoto/Thinkstock
Even in the 21st century, new words and new definitions are being spoken into existence. In August, Merriam-Webster announced a list of words and phrases that would be added to (or updated in) the 2012 version of the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. The list includes: • aha moment—n: a moment of sudden realization, inspiration, insight, recognition or comprehension. • bucket list—n: a list of things that one has not done before but wants to do before dying. • cloud computing—n: the practice of storing regularly used computer data on multiple Internet servers. •e arworm—n: a song or melody that keeps repeating in one’s mind. •g ame changer—n: a newly introduced element or factor that changes an existing situation or activity in a significant way. •g assed—adj: drained of energy; spent, exhausted. • man cave—n: a space designed according to the taste of the man of the house to be used as his personal area for hobbies and leisure activities. •m ash-up—n: something created by combining elements from two or more sources. Definitions from www.merriam-webster.com.
Help with college and career preparation In October, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) announced the creation of the Texas College and Career website (www.texascollegeand career.com), a free planning website for Texas secondary students. The website, available in both English and Spanish, features information on college and career planning, including college options, tips on how to prepare for higher education, college admissions advice and more. Students who use the site can also take advantage of tools such as résumé builders, a career interest survey, college application and essay guidance, and weekly webinars. Educators can find training on how to use the site at https://support.connectedu.net/texas/training-center.html.
“The work of today is the history of tomorrow, and we are its makers.” —Juliette Gordon Low, American youth leader and founder of the Girl Scouts of the USA (1860–1927)
Bring CNN into the classroom Educators looking for a way to feature international news in their classrooms can stream or download free daily news from CNN. CNN Student News (www.CNNStudentNews.com) is a 10-minute commercial-free news program and companion website produced by CNN journalists and educators for use in middle and high school classrooms. Educators can find materials on the program’s website for use with each episode, including discussion questions, transcripts and maps. Program participants can even send in photos of their classrooms for a possible “shoutout” feature in a future episode.
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You’ve chosen ATPE;
now choose to recoup your dues Take it from Willis ATPE member Judi Thomas: “The discount I received on a new tire purchase at Firestone more than paid for my whole year’s dues! I saved more than $150 on tires and a lifetime alignment for my husband’s truck. Taking advantage of just one of the many discounts was worth the full price of membership!”
Start saving on tires, trips and more at www.atpe.org/Resources/ServicesAndDiscounts.
Read the Winter 2012 ATPE News, the quarterly magazine of the Association of Texas Professional Educators. Feature articles include an op-ed...
Published on Nov 29, 2012
Read the Winter 2012 ATPE News, the quarterly magazine of the Association of Texas Professional Educators. Feature articles include an op-ed...