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COMMUNIQUÉ Publication for Members of Central OEA/NEA

Fall 2012

Scott DiMauro, President

We Educate America! Tim Skamfer, OEA Board of Directors From June 29 through July 5, elected delegates from Central OEA/NEA traveled to Washington D.C. and joined 8,000 other delegates from around the nation for the 150th annual meeting and the 91st Representative Assembly of the National Education Association. The terrible storm that struck central Ohio on June 29th traveled east and hit greater Washington D.C. about five hours later. Fortunately, the NEA delegates did not lose electrical power. The remainder of the week turned out to be extremely hot, but also very productive and informative — with the delegates focusing on the theme “We Educate America!” In addition to hearing speeches from NEA President Dennis Van Roekel, NEA Executive Director John Stocks, National Teacher of the Year Rebecca Mieliwocki, and Minnesota’s Governor Mark Dayton — who received “America’s Greatest Education Governor Award” — the delegates were also addressed inperson by Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, who is an educator. President Obama called in from the campaign trail to

speak to the delegates by cell phone.

decline triggered by massive budget cuts being felt by every state.

Daily, throughout the assembly, delegates participated in state meetings at their hotels, beginning at 7:00 a.m. each morning, and then continued with business involving the full delegation at the Washington, D.C. Convention Center until around 5:30 p.m.. There were 93 proposed new business items that were introduced, debated, and then adopted, defeated, or referred to committee.

Becky Pringle was re-elected as the NEA SecretaryTreasurer by RA delegates with 92% of the vote, and both Greg Johnson and Joyce Powell were also returned to the Executive Committee. Arlene Braden and Marguerite Jones were elected to the Board of Directors as ESP at-large members, while Antoinette Felder was declared elected as the alternate at-large ESP.

Delegates also acted upon proposed amendments to the NEA standing rules, resolutions amendments, and legislative amendments. Additionally, the delegates adopted a new streamlined budget because of the nationwide membership

While an astoundingly large amount of business was completed during the assembly, Central’s delegates took some time to enjoy a special evening together with dinner on July 3rd, as well as to celebrate Independence Day in our na-

tion’s capital by viewing the spectacular fireworks. The following excerpts are from NEA President Dennis Van Roekel’s keynote address to the NEA RA delegates on July 2, 2012: “It’s not enough to say that most teachers are good. If there is even one classroom with a teacher who isn’t prepared or qualified, we can’t accept that. Because this country is not about equal opportunity for most. It’s about equal opportunity for all. And let me be clear: This country is not about all the educational opportunity you can afford. It’s about all the educational opportunity our nation can provide, not for some, but for all students in America! continued on page 2

OEA RA Delegate Elections are Around the Corner! Close on the heels of the end of summer and the preparations to welcome our students back to our classrooms comes the time to elect delegates to the OEA Representative Assembly. In order that Central delegates have their voices heard on important issues facing OEA, locals need to make sure they send all eligible delegates. If your local is eligible to send 10 delegates, please elect and send that many. It is also important that you have more potential delegates than just the total number needed. All locals should try to have three to four alternate delegates in case the original delegates cannot attend. Delegate information will be mailed to either the local president, other officers or the designated elections person. Please make sure that all of your materials have been delivered to your local.


If materials have not been received, please contact Carol Price ASAP at 800-2821500 ext. 3169. She can send everything needed electronically. Please read the OEA-established regulations for holding elections. Also, be sure to read the election rules in your local’s Constitution and By-Laws. All voting has to be completed and the results tabulated and in the OEA office no later than October 10, 2012. Let’s all pitch in, do our part, and make this happen!

COMMUNIQUÉ Volume 41, Number 1

Putting Voters First

Bullying: Let’s Stop It Now! The Community Outreach Committee is sponsoring a poster contest to promote positive anti-bullying messages throughout the districts we serve. Please spread the word throughout your district/buildings. The goal of the contest is to make children and teens aware of the negative impact bullying can have on others. Hopefully through this contest and other activities we are planning this year, students will feel empowered to detect, report, and prevent bullying. The contest is open to students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade. Entries will be judged in the following groups: Group 1: Kindergarten - 3rd grade Group 2: 4th - 6th grade Group 3: 7th - 12th grade Students may participate by submitting a poster that reflects the following theme:

Sudents can win an iPad!

Bullying is everybody’s problem. How can you detect, report, or prevent it? • The contest begins on August 27 and concludes on October 12. • All entries must be postmarked or delivered by October 12, 2012. • An iPad will be awarded to one person in each age group. The overall contest winner will receive the iPad and his/her poster will become the logo of Central OEA/NEA’s Anti Bullying Summit. If you have questions or would like a copy of the entry form/rules, please contact Michelle Vayansky at michelle., or visit Central’s website – to download the form and rules. We Educate America continued from page 1.

Fall 2012

Published four times a year as a service of

CENTRAL OEA/NEA, INC. 947 Goodale Blvd. Columbus, OH 43212

Scott DiMauro, President Adrienne Bowden, Vice President Kevin Griffin, Executive Board Liaison Russell Hughlock, Coordinator of Communications and Organizing

Editors Fiscal Manager Production Photography Design

Ann Eblin, Judy Furnas & Carla Noll Mark Meuser Russell Hughlock Mary Jo Armstrong Pam McClung

Voice Fax E-mail

614-222-8228 614-222-8218

I know that teachers are willing to take responsibility for student success, and they want and deserve a voice in how they’re trained, supported, and evaluated. We are three million strong, and we have the greatest power in the world, the power to change lives. For a complete summary of the NEA RA — including video of the speeches, text of the amendments, resolutions, and new business items, along with many photos, please visit Also, be sure to speak with delegates from your own local or area regarding their individual experiences!

Fall 2012

From Senate Bill 5 and the budget to the Cleveland plan, it has become impossible to separate politics from education. Who represents us in Columbus is as critical as who sits on a local Board of Education. Making sure those in Columbus meet their constitutional obligations of providing a quality public education is essential. It’s a job made more difficult, and perhaps impossible, by a redistricting process that has produced State House and Senate districts that meander like snakes, dividing cities, townships and counties alike, in the desperate aim to carve out safe seats. Politicians are choosing their voters, making themselves safe from the democratic process and voter preferences The process of creating safe, meandering districts this time around was especially sneaky. A report on this process revealed that redistricting officials, using taxpayer money, rented a downtown hotel room from July 17 to Oct. 15 of last year, to keep the map-drawing in a clandestine location. In emails, staffers referred to the hotel room as the “bunker.” Now an effort is underway to change this process to become transparent and fair - a constitutional amendment that would allow the people to choose their politicians - to put Voters First. OEA and its members have played a central role in the Voters First campaign, not only committing valuable resources, but also in helping to collect more than 750,000 total signatures to qualify this amendment for this November’s ballot.

What Would The New Redistricting Process Look Like? Voters First’s proposal will create an Independent Citizens Commission. Politicians, lobbyists and political insiders are prohibited from serving on the Commission. The Commission’s work will be open and it will be accountable to the public. The Commission will empower voters to choose their politicians instead of politicians picking their voters.

Citizens, not politicians Instead of the current procedures (in which politicians draw district boundaries that unfairly favor their own party and/ or protect incumbents), a 12-member Citizens Commission will create the districts. Any member of the public can submit a plan for consideration.

Openness and transparency All meetings, records, communications and draft plans of the Commission must be open to the public. No more backroom deals.

3 Balance and impartiality The Citizens Commission will include equal numbers of Republicans, Democrats and Independents, and the approval of at least seven of the 12 members of the Commission will be required for the adoption of any plan. This will ensure that the final plan fairly represents all Ohioans, not just those currently in power.

Community representation Districts will be created that are geographically compact and that minimize the division of counties, townships, municipalities and wards among different districts.

Accountability and competitive districts Politically balanced districts will be created rather than “safe districts” which make it difficult or impossible for voters to hold elected officials accountable.

Fairness To the greatest extent possible, the share of districts leaning toward a party will reflect the political preferences of the voters of Ohio. Learn more at

Fall 2012

New Faces, New Ideas

Some of the Highlights and Lowlights of SB316

Adrienne Bowden of the Pickerington E.A. was elected as Vice President at the Central Representative Assembly in April. Delegates elected Adrienne for a three-year term that began on September 1, 2012.

The education portion of the mid biennium review (MBR), SB 316, was signed into law by the Governor on June 25th and will become law on September 24th. Here are some highlights and lowlights of the wide-ranging education policies it contained.


Adrienne, a middle school science teacher, takes the reins as chairperson of Central’s Political Action Oversight and Emerging Leaders committees.

Third-grade Reading Guarantee – Retention

Reports of District and School Spending

Some of the “School Choice” Provisions

This mandate requires the State Board of Education to determine the “cut” score, progressively adjusting it upwards until the retention requirements apply to students who do not receive at least a “proficient” score. It also prohibits the State Board from designating a level lower than “limited.” Not later than December 31, 2013, it requires the State Board to submit to the General Assembly recommended changes to the scoring ranges of the state achievement assessments necessary for the successful implementation of the common core curriculum and assessments in the 2014-2015 school year.

This provision, initially passed in the original budget, has been delayed 12 months.

• Removes provision creating regional gifted charter schools.

Teacher Evaluations

• Removes changes to community school sponsor rankings (will likely be addressed in HB 555).

It’s a huge unfunded mandate (only a paltry $13 million was attached to this effort), with only a few exceptions for students carved out. Also included in the law is a section that requires, not later than February 28, 2013, the State Board of Education and the Early Childhood Advisory Council to jointly develop legislative recommendations on the state’s policies on literacy education of children from birth to third grade.

This section of SB 316 fixed some of the seriously flawed provisions contained in HB 153. Teachers now have to actually be in a classroom at least 50% of the time to be covered, test scores of students who are habitually truant, or are absent more than 60 days, won’t be counted. The new law makes quite a few structural changes and some nuanced changes, which you can learn more about here:

Teacher Retesting

This didn’t make the bill. The legislature received a lot of push-back from a broad range of interests that didn’t like the idea of downgrading schools, right before tougher common core standards were to be introduced.

Remember the provision that would have required all teachers employed in the bottom 10% of schools to retake the PRAXIS test? That’s gone, replaced with a different retesting provision. It now applies, beginning with the 2015-2016 school year, to teachers who have been rated “ineffective” on evaluations for two of the three most recent years. The law also adds that if a teacher passes the required exams, he/she must complete professional development targeted at the deficiencies identified in the his/her evaluations. The district may terminate the teacher if the teacher (a) does not complete the professional development or (b) receives an “ineffective” rating on their next evaluation after the professional development.

Performance Indicators for Dropout Prevention and Recovery Programs

Nonrenewal of Teacher and Administrator Contracts

Dropout prevention charter schools are some of the worst charter schools in the country, not just the state. They have avoided accountability for poor performance for a long time. Initially SB 316 contained provisions to hold them accountable; however, those provisions were stripped with the promise that the legislature would revisit the issue at a later date.

This extends the deadlines, from April 30 to June 1, for a school district or educational service center (ESC) to notify a teacher that the person’s contract will not be renewed for the following school year.

District and Building Academic Performance Ratings

Fall 2012

• Specifies that unless the General Assembly enacts performance standards, a report card rating system, and closure criteria for community schools that operate dropout prevention and recovery programs by March 31, 2013, those schools will be subject to permanent closure under the existing criteria that apply to other community schools. • Requires ODE to post community school contracts on the Internet.

The Central OEA/NEA Executive Board also welcomes four new members for the 2012-13 school year. Collectively, they bring a variety of perspectives to the table in representing the needs and interests of OEA members from different corners of Central Ohio.

Jamel Ammons has been appointed to the position

of Area 1 Representative. Jamel, a high school social studies teacher in Newark, represents Licking and Fairfield Counties. He also serves as the chairperson of Central’s Diversity Task Force.

Sue Christian assumes the

role of Retired Representative on the Central Executive Board and Central’s liaison to the OEA-Retired state Advisory Council. Sue retired from teaching English in the Lancaster City Schools in 2010 and has served on numerous committees at the local, district and state level.

• Revises the definition of a community school sponsor to explicitly include the local school district boards, educational services centers that agree to the conversion of a school building, and “grandfathered” sponsors.

Michael Covey, president of the Plain Local Education Association in New Albany, was elected as one of three Area 5 Representatives on the Central Board, serving Franklin County. Mike is an intervention specialist in the New Albany schools and has served as local president since 2009.

• Retains current law on community school sponsorship and trigger for prohibiting an entity from sponsoring additional schools

Matthew Stein was appointed

to the second open Area 5 Representative position. Matt teaches social studies at the Eastland-Fairfield Career Center, where he also serves as local president. “I am thrilled that Jamel, Sue, Mike and Matt have all stepped up to serve our members and students in new leadership roles this year,” said Central President Scott DiMauro. “Each of them brings a unique outlook to the Board, and together they make our diverse leadership team even stronger.”

Fall 2012


Leibensperger Announces Candidacy for OEA President

DiMauro Announces Candidacy for OEA Vice President

Central OEA/NEA Teams with LTC Financial Partners to Create an Opportunity for All Members and Their Families Central OEA/NEA, in cooperation with LTC Financial Partners, announces its own long-term care insurance program. Starting this summer, all members and their families will have the opportunity to purchase comprehensive long-term care insurance through Central.

Bill Leibensperger, a 24-year veteran English teacher and current OEA Vice-President, is announcing his candidacy for OEA President.


Over the past 11 years as an OEA officer, he spearheaded the coalition to save our pension systems, testified against SB 5, and continues the daily fight to represent members’ interests to politicians on both sides of the aisle. His experience and expertise on pensions, collective bargaining, teacher evaluation and professional development is known and respected by policymakers. Bill believes in One OEA. “Our strength is in collective action. Anything that takes us off track from that reality hurts us collectively. Our true adversaries like nothing more than when we squabble amongst ourselves, when we lose sight of our goals, or engage in battles that are based on boundaries or are defined by roles in the hierarchy. Nothing is more important than a strong OEA, because we are who support each other in doing the work that we believe in: helping children grow and preserving democracy through education. “The battle to veto SB 5 demonstrated to all of us the power of our collective action. We are all rightly proud of this accomplishment, but we must continually build on that effort.

Central President Scott DiMauro has announced that he is a candidate for OEA Vice President. DiMauro teaches high school social studies in Worthington, where he served for six years as president of the Worthington Education Association. He has been president of Central OEA/NEA since 2004 and currently serves as chairperson of the NEA Legislative Committee. Asked why he is running, he said that he is “inspired by our members and students to protect and promote great public schools for every student. We face challenges as a profession and as a union that are unprecedented in our history, but I know we have the power to succeed by working together. I look forward to helping to lead this fight at the state level.”

Many of our members are concerned about their financial security as they get older. Did you know that three out of four people who reach the age of 65 will need long-term care services at some point in their lives? With the average Ohio nursing home costing more that $75,000 per year, this is the single biggest financial risk an individual or family faces. Many may also want more information about a new state law which enables seniors to protect their assets against the Medicaid spend-down requirement.

The Vice President is responsible for overseeing OEA’s legislative program. The election will be held at the OEA Representative Assembly in May 2013. For more information on Scott’s candidacy, please go to

It is to your advantage to purchase long-term care insurance through Central OEA/NEA. Central members and their families will be offered a discounted premium. Coverage includes at-home care, assisted living, adult day care, and nursing home services. In addition, there will be a special Central committee formed to monitor all policies purchased to make sure that all members and their families get the best service available. Long-term care insurance offers members the opportunity to maintain their dignity and freedom of choice while, at the same time, protecting financial independence. To get more information, please call our office or Jack Zweig, Partner, LTC Financial Partners at 614-361-5572 or email, or visit www.centraloealtc. com.

In Case You Missed It If you’re not one of the thousands reading Join the Future’s blog, or following on Facebook and Twitter, here is a tiny sample of just some of the popular articles you might have missed this Summer. Is Gov. Kasich Manufacturing A Funding Crisis? There’s an unnecessary school funding crisis in Ohio. ( The Long-Run Impact Of The Reduction In Classroom Teachers. Looks at the short-sighted impact of reduced levels of classroom teachers ( The New Ohio Teacher Evaluation System – a series of videos looking at the evolving evaluation system ( Stay up-to-date on all the latest state politics and education policy, research and studies that affect you as education professionals. Join thousands of educators and public education supporters who follow and contribute to Join the Future every day!

“We unify when we have a collective purpose. We must work together to define that collective purpose in a way that is genuine and compelling and that includes all voices. Together we can transform OEA to be stronger than ever before: We can become an OEA that builds on its strengths in the areas of collective bargaining, contract enforcement, and lobbying to an OEA whose members thrive in an environment of perpetual challenges and change.”

Fall 2012

Fall 2012




O E A/N E A, Inc.


947 Goodale Boulevard Columbus, OH 43212



In this issue 2

OEA RA Delegate Elections are Around the Corner!


Bullying: Let’s Stop It Now!


Putting Voters First


Some Highlights and Lowlights of SB316


New Faces, New Ideas


Leibensperger Announces Candidacy for OEA President


DiMauro Announces Candidacy for OEA Vice President

In Case You Missed It

Bullying: Let’s Stop It Now!


Central Area 1 Meeting, Granville Inn

Sept. 24

Central Area 3 Meeting, Robert’s on Miami, Urbana

Sept. 27

Central Area 4 Meeting, J.R. Hooks, Circleville

Oct. 15 is the deadline for applications for Growth and Development Grants

7 Central OEA/NEA Teams with LTC Financial Partners to Create an Opportunity for All Members and Their Families 7

Sept. 18

Oct. 19

Central In-service Day, Various locations

Nov. 9

Central All-Area Meeting & Delegate Briefing, Marriott Northwest

Dec. 7

Bullying Conference, Central Office

Dec. 8

Bullying Conference, Central Office

Highlights and Lowlights of SB 316

Putting Voters First



New Faces, New Ideas


Fall 2012 Communique  
Fall 2012 Communique  

The Central OEA/NEA Fall 2012 Communique