COMMUNIQUÉ Publication for Members of Central OEA/NEA
Adrienne M. Bowden, President
Educate, Organize, Act! Adrienne M. Bowden, Central OEA/NEA President This is the time of year of new beginnings: a new school year, new students, new bus routes, possible building or worksite changes, and new Central OEA/NEA leadership. With new beginnings we have an opportunity to refocus and reenergize our membership. Each year we say that public education is under attack and this year is no different. There have been attacks on collective bargaining, talks of repudiating local contracts, changes in teacher evaluation, and privatization. This year Central leadership is focusing our efforts and programming in three ways: membership education, organization, and action.
Polls suggest that many Americans are supportive of educators’ rights to collective bargaining. It is often said that if unions disappear so will the middle class. While many of our community members support our right to organize, some of our members question the value of their membership. It is important to remind members that collective bargaining is important not only to advance our members’ interest but also the interest of the students we serve. Collective bargaining is the primary vehicle through which we educate the statehouse on policies regarding pay, benefits, job security, and work conditions. Our members’ working conditions are the students’ learning conditions. Local associations help set policy on important issues such as class size, discipline codes, and safety conditions.
These are the issues that serve the best interest of the students. It is important for members to remember that we achieve these best practices by working as a collective group. We achieve more by working together.
Working as a collective group helps bring people and resources together. United as an Association, we speak with one voice for the growth of the public school systems in our community. As a district we strive to work with our locals and communities to help build and strengthen relationships so that we can show our value to the public education system and the responsibilities of our job roles. Central organizes around our mission statement to “enhance respect for (our) members and public education by respectively shaping and supporting the
goals of (our) state and local affiliates”. We are here to provide services that will empower our locals. Central has services to help recognize and develop leaders, provide access to professional development, promote understanding of and a commitment to diversity within our membership, and training to support and increase local awareness and involvement in the political process. As an Association we need to advocate for our interests and those of the students we serve. We are the ones in the trenches who understand the needs and concerns of our school districts. We are the ones who know about the best practices. Policymakers need to hear our stories. It is vital that we mobilize to express that information at the Statehouse. We need to use our
positions within the community to let our policymakers know what our community schools truly need to be successful.
Gone are the days where educators can say, “I’m not political.” With legislation such as HB 1 (OTES), HB55 (report card reporting), HB 59 (budget), SB 21 (Third grade reading guarantee), and So-called Right-to-Work, our jobs have become political. Our collective actions at the statehouse have a continued on page 2
Central’s 2013/14 Executive Board Adrienne M. Bowden, President
OEA Board of Directors
Area 1 Representative
OEA Board of Directors
Area 5 Representative
OEA Vice President
OEA Board of Directors
Area 4 Representative
Area 5 Representative
OEA Board of Directors
OEA Board of Directors
Area 5 Representative
Area 3 Representative
Area 2 Representative
OEA Board of Directors
OEA Board of Directors
Grant Programs for 2013-2014 Central OEA/NEA will again offer three grant programs to local associations: Growth and Development Grants, Emergency Local Grants, and the Local Participation Award. Growth and Development Grants are designed to help a local improve its effectiveness; therefore, grant activities should be related to one or more of the Characteristics of an Effective Local. The Central budget earmarks $50,000 for the grants, with grant awards ranging from $2,000 (for locals with up to 100 members) to $5,000 (for locals with more than 800 members). Grant awards may come with some conditions; for example, conducting a Fund for Children and Public Education (FCPE) drive. The application is available on the Central website. Application deadline is October 15, 2013. Emergency Local Grants are designed to assist locals with an immediate need; often this need is help with a levy or bond issue. While there is no application deadline, locals are encouraged to apply as soon as the need arises. The application is on the Central website. No application is needed for the Participation Award. Just attend Central OEA/NEA events (Area Meetings, OEA RA’s, Central RA, and others during the year) to earn $50 per event for your local. If a local achieves a 21% rate of participation for FCPE (or the local rate set by OEA FCPE Council), each event earns $100. The maximum award for a local is $1,000. Registration for these events is available on the Central website. Locals received more than $41,000 during 2012-2013. Visit the Central OEA/NEA website for more details about each grant. Questions should be directed to Andre Prenoveau, Central OEA/NEA Project Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org
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COMMUNIQUÉ Volume 42, Number 1
Published four times a year as a service of
CENTRAL OEA/NEA, INC. 947 Goodale Blvd. Columbus, OH 43212
Adrienne M. Bowden, President Kevin Griffin, Vice President Russell Hughlock, Communications & Organizing Coordinator Editors Ann Eblin, Judy Furnas & Carla Noll Fiscal Manager Mark Meuser Production Russell Hughlock Design Pam McClung Phone 614-222-8228 E-mail email@example.com
direct effect on our classrooms and worksites. Gone are the days of just closing our doors to teach. We must make our voices heard on issues such as privatization, class size, standardized tests, and teacher evaluations. These issues (and others) have an impact on our local contract, students, and local associations. Our district plan is to align with the goals and objectives of the Ohio Education Association. One such example is the statewide FCPE campaign that will take place in the spring. Our FCPE coordinator will be available to assist any local that needs assistance in conducting a successful drive. OEA-FCPE is a means to political power. Political power is a means to create better working conditions for our members and learning conditions for our students. So… I ask that you stand with us as one voice fighting for public education!
Member Assistance Program: Helpful Resources for Members
OEA and NEA Member Benefits are acutely aware of the personal and financial challenges faced by members experiencing non-renewal, RIF, salary cuts, and other difficult circumstances and have developed multiple avenues of support including personal assistance, online resources, and provisions for temporary financial relief for NEA program participants. To find out more, visit neamb.com/assistance or call us toll-free at 800-637-4636.
Central Members Mix It Up at Mohican Carla Fultz, Central OEA/NEA Leadership Development Coordinator
During the last week of July, seventy-five Central members representing support staff and teachers from fourteen local associations participated in Centralâ€™s Building Dynamic Leadership Teams conference. The beautiful Mohican State Park was the backdrop for the relaxing retreat-style workshop. Local association leaders received information and individual support from their Labor Relations Consultants and OEA staff to help set goals and plan association activities for the upcoming year. Some locals focused on bargaining topics such as OTES, while other locals worked on writing grants to support Association activities or talked with vendors for ideas to get the most benefit from their OEA/NEA membership. Every local received a general fund analysis (GFA) to help members better understand their own school district financial picture. Also, all participants attended an important session focusing on legislative updates. It was impressive to observe the locals that took advantage of the unstructured time and worked late into the evening to plan their year. Members also enjoyed the beautiful weather and peaceful surroundings, gathering outside on the patio for an evening of hospitality and networking. The one consistent evaluation comment listed each year is how valuable the team planning time is for local leaders and their LRCâ€™s. Because time is a valuable resource for our members, Central is happy to be able to plan a conference to offer that essential time and support. Members are encouraged to continue to communicate ideas for future conferences to the Leadership Development Committee by contacting Carla Fultz. Carla_fultz@plsd.us
Raise Your Hand The 2013 NEA RA
Tim Skamfer, OEA Board of Directors From July 1 – 6, elected delegates from Central OEA/NEA gathered in Atlanta, joining 8,000 other delegates from around the nation for the 151st annual meeting and the 92nd Representative Assembly of the National Education Association. Delegates heard speeches by NEA President Dennis Van Roekel, NEA Executive Director John Stocks, National Teacher of the Year Jeff Charbonneau, and California’s Governor Jerry Brown -- who received “America’s Greatest Education Governor Award” from NEA. Also, Central’s Past President and new OEA Vice President Scott DiMauro addressed the delegates as chair of NEA’s Committee on Legislation.
Each morning throughout the assembly delegates caucused in state meetings before participating in the RA’s full business at Atlanta’s convention center. Much time was spent on the 94 new business items that were proposed by the delegates. Each item was introduced, debated, possibly amended, and then adopted, defeated, or referred to committee. Delegates also acted upon proposed amendments to the NEA constitution, bylaws, standing rules, resolutions, and legislative agenda. Delegates voted to pass a $3 dues increase to fund NEA’s Great Public Schools amendment, which will go to the “Raise Your Hand” campaign. Those funds will help create programs and provide training for members to create union-led, student-centered change in their schools. President Van Roekel urged delegates to raise their hands, step up and speak up, as “it is time for us to transform public education by taking charge of our own profession. Now we must use all of our power, individually and collectively, to do the thing that is most important to every single one of us: help our students succeed.” This year, the top two topics of discussion during new business item debates included successful implementation of the common core standards and high stakes testing. The delegates were in agreement that the states need additional professional development to successfully implement the new common core standards. There is a huge national concern about continuing high stakes testing before educators are still getting “up to speed” on the new common core standards. Please visit www.nea.org/ra for a complete summary of the NEA RA -- including text of speeches, amendments, resolutions, and new business items, along with many photos. Also, be sure to speak with the delegates from your own locals or areas regarding their individual experiences!
Rural Education National Forum With the start of a new school year, we are launching a newly designed website for Join the Future, Central OEA/ NEA’s go-to website for education policy analysis, news and insight. The new site is cleaner, faster and ready to read on your desktop, laptop, tablet or phone. You can check it out at www.jointhefuture.org. If you would like to contribute to Join the Future by writing an article, whether it’s 100 words, or 1,000, a one-off contribution or a regular column, let us know. We’d love to add more voices to the discussion. Articles on Join the Future are regularly read by thousands of educators, politicians, reporters, journalists, and policy think tanks. You can email Russell: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Rural Education National Forum is a unique opportunity to advance conversations around rural education and prosperity through collaborative action. The Forum is designed to: • Connect and strengthen collaborative rural education and prosperity efforts across the country; • Highlight powerful instructional and leadership practices in rural districts; • Focus strategic conversations around rural opportunities and challenges with national and local experts; and • Build a network for collaborative action. Thursday, October 31, 8 a.m. - Friday, November 1, 2 p.m.
Greater Columbus Convention Center. For more information, and to register, visit: http://www.battelleforkids. org/events/rural-education-forum
Our goal is to continue to offer the educators’ perspective, especially in light of the many ill-conceived “reforms” being proposed by politicians in Columbus.
Follow JTF: On Twitter www.twitter.com/jointhefutureOH On Facebook www.Facebook.com/Jointhefuture
Educational Support Personal Training Leads To Action Jackie Hastilow, Central OEA/NEA ESP Board Representative This summer, several Education Support Personal members were invited to attend a special organizing training in Las Vegas, Nevada. This training provided information on how to organize ESPs, the power of organizing members, and ways to make ESP locals become more effective. Using the skills gained during the training, we helped Clark County organize membership enrollment. Clark County is the largest ESP local in the National Education Association with about 10,000 members. To keep their contract and bargaining rights, Clark County must maintain 50 +1 ratios. Due to changes in their health insurance, membership has dropped, and it was our goal to go out and do field work to try to sign up those who had left the local to become a member again. This training and experience has given me the tools to help our own state, district, and local ESPs fight against privatization and So-called Right to Work. We need to organize and work smarter with the right tools to accomplish what we stand for. If you are interested in becoming more active in helping ESP locals, please contact me at Jackie.Hastilow@centraloeanea.org.
The State Budget (HB59) Summary Kevin Griffin, Central OEA/NEA Vice President Governor Kasich’s Budget Bill was a massive overhaul concerning many political hot topics. Educationally, the budget covered everything from school funding to (additional) modifications in teacher evaluations, more money for charter school owners, and statewide private school vouchers.
The budget failed to restore school funding to the levels of the 2010-2011 school year. While some school funding was restored, it is still $515 million less than school districts received from the state three years ago. Supporters of the budget will claim it’s the largest school funding increase ever; while in reality, the Governor’s previous budget bill cut education funding by 1.8 billion. A last-minute addition to the budget that eliminates the state’s 12.5% rollback contribution to locally passed levies has a long-term impact on every district’s levy
planning. Currently, when districts discuss levies with residents, the districts publish a dollar amount the yearly taxes will raise per $100,000 of home valuation. Since the state will no longer pay this 12.5% rollback, the amount being asked of the homeowner will be 12.5% higher for the same millage amount. Included in the budget is the expansion of school vouchers and funding for failing charter schools, which continue to be a financial burden to school districts. A good chunk of the “increase” for education is for charter schools and private school vouchers, not funding for school districts. The school voucher expansion now means that students in any school, even in the highest-performing school districts, are eligible for vouchers to attend a private school. Under the new requirements a household earning $94,000 will remain eligible for a voucher for a private school. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 80% of Ohio’s children fall into this category while
50% of Ohio’s school age children live below 200% of the poverty level ($46,100 for a family of four), which now makes them eligible for the vouchers. (This last highlighted part is confusingly worded, and I’m having a hard time determining which stats are the old ones vs. the expanded new stats.) Also, HB59 marks the fourth time the general assembly has modified the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES). While the Senate proposed changing the amount student growth measures account for on OTES from 50% to 35%, the House and Governor wouldn’t budge. The percentage of Value Added utilized in teacher evaluations is proportionate to a teacher’s schedule of courses/subjects that are Value Added applicable. If a teacher only teaches Value-Added courses, then the majority of the student growth factors should be based on Value-Added. After July 1, 2014, the Student Growth Measures part of OTES will be 100% ValueAdded for those teachers. Additionally, beginning in the 2014-15 school year, a school year will be de-
termined by the number of hours students receive instruction rather than the number of days they attend school. For all-day Kindergarten-6th grade, the minimum number of hours totals 910 per year while the amount for grades 7-12 is 1,001. This part of the bill also eliminated calamity days, but retained the definition of a school week as five days. What’s equally important when analyzing HB59 is what’s not included: Governor Kasich’s original version of the bill eliminated the provision requiring that school districts have a salary schedule, a component of current Ohio law for which OEA tenaciously lobbied to remain intact. Another provision eliminated from the original bill was the definition of a five-day school week. OEA believes that students benefit from a five-day week and lobbied to keep this definition as law. Removal of this definition, coupled with the days-to-hours school year as mentioned above, would have allowed school boards to have longer school days Monday-Thursday for students with no school on Fridays to save money in operating costs. The mammoth budget bill will have many long-term effects for students, teachers, school districts, and homeowners. A full analysis of HB59 can be found on the OEA website.
Election Deadlines It is that time of year again where you start to settle into your classrooms or worksites to begin a new year. It is also time to start thinking about electing delegates to the OEA Representative Assembly (RA). The RA is the highest decision-making body for the Association. Elected representatives help establish policies, elect officers, adopt the Association budget, act on new business items and much more.
Steve Colahan: Teacher, Student, Community Volunteer, Advocate, and Board Member Announces Candidacy For NEA Director #1
It is important that the voice of Central be heard on issues facing the Association. You ARE that voice! It is essential that each local conducts an election and sends all eligible delegates to the RA. In addition to electing delegates, locals should elect three or four alternates. Alternate delegates are important in case the original delegate cannot attend. If you are a member interested in running for a delegate position, please contact your local president. Delegate information will be mailed to either the local president or officer designee. If materials have not been received, please contact Carol Price at OEA Headquarters. Please review the OEA election regulations (www.ohea.org) and your local’s Constitution and By-laws for holding an election to ensure all rules have been followed. Elections should be conducted by October 10, 2013, and all voting results should be sent to OEA no later than October 15, 2013.
Save the Dates Fall 2013 OEA Representative Assembly December 7, 2013 Veterans Memorial Central OEA/NEA Representative Assembly April 26, 2014Worthington Kilbourne H.S. Spring 2014 OEA Representative Assembly May 9-10, 2014 Veteran’s Memorial
Steve Colahan, a Columbus, OH resident and teacher at Upper Arlington High School, who brings more than two decades of experience to the education field, has announced his candidacy for NEA Director #1. “I am most interested in helping to shape the direction of public education and lobbying to form policy at the federal level,” said Colahan. For more than a decade, Colahan has been a teacher at Upper Arlington High School, working with students who have academic and social barriers to overcome. Colahan is currently a full-time student studying to earn his master’s degree in school counseling. As a former member of the Board of Directors for OEA, Central OEA/NEA and the Upper Arlington Education Association (UAEA), Colahan has provided has provided leadership as president, treasurer, and as a member of the negotiations and resolutions committees of UAEA. Colahan is passionate about making a difference. He was active in helping to successfully defeat Ohio Senate Bill 5/Issue 2, he is a member of Charity Newsies (a nonprofit helping to provide clothing for school children), and he led a successful fund drive which significantly increased the FCPE contributions of UAEA Members. For more information about Steve Colahan, visit www.electsteve.net
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Central OEA/NEA up Coming Events Central Area 2 Meeting Sep. 12 at Tavern 42, Delaware Central Area 3 Meeting Sep. 13 at Robert’s on Miami, Urbana Central Area 4 Meeting Sep. 17 at J.R. Hooks, Circleville
In this issue
Central Area 5 Meeting Sep. 25 at OSU Golf Course, Columbus
2 Grant Programs for 2013-2014
Central Area 1 Meeting Sep. 26 at Granville Inn, Granville
2 2013-14 Executive Board 3 Member Assistance Program
Central In-service Day Oct. 18 at various locations
3 Central Members Mix it Up at Mohican
Central All-Area Meeting & Delegate Briefing Nov. 8 at Columbus Marriot North, Hilliard
4 Raise Your Hand 5 Join the Future
Fall 2013 OEA Representative Assembly Dec. 7 at Veterans Memorial
5 Rural Education National Forum 5 Educational Support Personal Training Leads to Action 6 State Budget (HB 59) Summany
Spring 2014 OEA Representative Assembly May 9 -10 at Veterans Memorial
7 Election Deadline 7 Steve Colahan: Candidate for NEA Director #1
Registration for Central events can be found on our website at www.centraloeanea.org
Join the Future
Raise Your Hand
NEA RA Photos
Central OEA/NEA Representative Assembly April 26 at Worthington Kilbourne H.S.
State Budget (HB 59) Summary