NCAE North Carolina Association of Educators
News Bulletin Sept. 2020
Vol. 51, No. 2
Countdown to the 2020 Election Starts NOW!
NCAE News Bulletin
Courage, Good Trouble, and Winning Together! Educators are the most courageous people in our communities. Every day, we take on the responsibility of keeping our communities’ young people safe, happy, and learning despite nearly insurmountable barriers. Every day, we make Bryan Proffitt sacrifices because we love our students, and Vice President we’re willing to risk the heartache that love opens us up to. Every day, we stand in front of those young people and expose ourselves to their judgments about the way we wear our hair and clothes, the way we talk, or what we say. It can be terrifying. We push through, however, because we love young people, we love our co-workers, and we love what we do. That love for our kids, our communities, and our future is also pushing us into another vulnerable position – that of troublemaker. This “good trouble” we’re making lately, as the late John Lewis would call it, stems from our increased discomfort with being underpaid, treated poorly, and made to feel like the weight of the entire society rests on our shoulders. Sexism imposes these conditions on women all the time, and it is no coincidence that a profession built around providing care for others is run by women, underappreciated, and under-resourced. It is also no coincidence that society expects the women who run it to accept more and more responsibility without speaking up. Speaking up, then, makes educators vulnerable in new ways, and it can be really scary. We’re scared we’ll lose our connections to the young people we love so much, or our ability to sustain our families, or our reputations as “good people.” Despite that fear, however, we are making the choice to make trouble together. All over the country, women-led unions of educators like
NCAE are standing up for ourselves and our kids. Starting with the Wisconsin educators’ protests in 2011 and the Chicago strike in 2012, educators are increasingly unwilling to quietly accept unacceptable working, learning, and living conditions. Our May 2018 and 2019 actions showed that we weren’t going to take it quietly anymore either. The days of North Carolina’s educators keeping quiet are over, and there is no going back. Now, as we’re facing the toughest conditions any educators in our country have ever faced, we’re not only finding the courage to fight, but we’re learning the skills we need to win. So many of you have successfully organized to move your school boards from Plan B to Plan C. You have won better conditions and more transparency. You are finding new leaders and building new teams as you stand up and fight for the lives of your students, your co-workers, yourselves, and your own families. It’s happening in all of our counties: urban, rural, suburban, Down East, out West, Mountains, Foothills, Piedmont, Sandhills. We are going to win. That winning will take three things y’all. First, we have to be brave. We have to refuse to accept the unacceptable quietly. It isn’t polite. It isn’t what is best for our kids. It isn’t what is best for us. Being brave is. We also have to be smart and get smarter. We can’t just fight the good fight. The stakes are too high. We have to push ourselves to try and learn new things. We have to win. Which means, ultimately, that we have to be together. Making trouble, even good trouble, is always going to be scary, and we’re starting off facing powerful opponents. If we have each other, though, we can do anything. I’ve spent 35 of the last 36 years of my life watching public school students, parents, and educators make impossible things possible by being brave, smart, and together. We can get through this virus. We can win the schools our students deserve. We can win the North Carolina we all deserve. We have to. Let’s keep making trouble y’all, and let’s keep winning. In This Together.
NEA President Becky Pringle to Members… “Let’s Get Into Good Trouble!” Becky Pringle, the new NEA president, assumed her duties on September 1, “One in every 100 Americans is an NEA succeeding Lily Eskelsen Garcia. A science member.” — Becky Pringle teacher from Pennsylvania, Pringle is the president of the nation’s largest union and is the highest-ranking African-American female labor leader. In her acceptance address, came a stirring call to action for educators to confront and finally defeat the forces that have jeopardized the education and lives of too many students. She ended her remarks invoking late Rep. John Lewis’ famous call for activists when fighting for justice, to get into “good trouble.” “NEA, we will get into good trouble every day, in every state, in every community all across the nation.”
NCAE News Bulletin
Something Familiar Brought Me Out of Retirement I always wanted to be a teacher. It could have been from the natural instinct of helping my Mom raise my younger siblings. It could have been the teachers I had in elementary school who always assigned me to be the tutor for other students who were having difficulty. It could have been that I loved school; it was a place where I succeeded. But I know that I became a teacher because I loved my teachers. They made learning fun and exciting, and I could not wait to get to school everyday to see what lessons they had for me and my classmates. To this day, I think of the Hersey bar I got for learning “The Gettysburg Address.” I remember having to give three-minute speeches in my Senior English Class as my confidence while speaking before my classmates grew and grew. I remember Indonesia being my country in World History and learning and teaching all about it. I remember finding the most words in newspapers that were of Latin derivatives. The older I got the more I realized that the lessons my teachers taught were life lessons that serve me well today. So in 1966, I set off for Western Carolina University to become a teacher. On the very first day, my life was changed. I was going through the line in the cafeteria and there was a table with two students who were asking whether you were majoring in education. When I proudly said, “Yes,” the students handed me a membership form for Student NEA. From that moment, my life ran on two tracks...teaching special need students and advocating for my profession and the men and women who work in our public schools. My first year teaching was at the high school where I graduated. While it was interrupted while I did my basic training for the N.C. National Guard, I loved those special students. They were teenagers who loved having a young teacher not much older than they were. During my 23-year teaching career, I had the opportunity to teach students from the first grade to the 12th grade. I taught all exceptionalities including cognitive disabilities as well as emotional and behavioral challenges. So many stories and so many successes for another time...you see, I love to tell my teacher stories and I love to hear yours. As members of the Baby Boomer generation, we did not always wait our turn to serve in leadership positions. We challenged the established leaders to fight for higher salaries, better work place environments, better fringe benefits, and smaller class sizes. I ran for NCAE president at the age of 29 and lost. Four years later, I ran again and won. I love the democracy that undergirds our union governance. And I kept running and winning — NEA director and NEA executive committee member. Then NCAE leaders recruited me to be the union’s chief
lobbyist then to be NCAE executive director. After a few years in that position, I applied to be the NEA executive director, and, to the amazement of many, NEA hired this southerner from a non-bargaining state. It was the capstone of my career. As John I. Wilson executive director, I led Interim Executive Director the largest membership growth period to more than 3 million members, the merger of AFT and NEA in New York, a campaign to set a minimum salary of $40,000 for every teacher, and the demand for professional status for our Education Support Professionals. We partnered with more than 150 other organizations, initiated the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, and convinced the Secretary of Education to convene Ministers of Education from all over the world at the annual Celebration of Teaching and Learning. It was a very good decade for NEA. Then I retired and loved retirement until something happened. Two very special leaders emerged to challenge the NCAE establishment. They were smart, member-driven, and understood the power of uniting educators and the public to support their public schools strategically and passionately. I should add they were also great teachers who cared for all students’ education and for social justice for all. Tamika Walker Kelly and Bryan Proffitt are transformational leaders for NCAE. When they asked me to serve as interim executive director, I could not say no. They looked too familiar to me. So here we are. Tamika, Bryan, and I are your team leaders. We will fight for you and your students to be respected, to have your health protected, and to demand your workplace be safe as we reopen schools. We will mobilize our members and our resources to elect policymakers who go to Raleigh and Washington, D.C. with the full understanding that public schools drive a thriving economy. No cuts to public schools will be tolerated, and new and needed investments will be expected. With your help, we will grow the membership to assure our union can achieve everything we need to educate students well. I have been a proud NCAE and NEA member for 54 years. Let’s unite during one of the most difficult times of our history so we can be the union that our members and public school supporters deserve.
NCAE News Bulletin
NCAE Activism Heats Up COVID-19 isn’t stopping NCAE members, parents, and public education supporters from taking up critical issues that will help make a difference in the lives of students and their families during these uncertain times. On August 8, a slate of speakers, including members and parents, joined NCAE President Tamika Walker Kelly at a press conference in front of the Raleigh office of Senator Thom Tillis to raise the pressure on him to support the $3 trillion HEROES Act and extend the USDA Food Waiver. At the same time, hundreds of members and public education supporters streamed by in their cars, honking horns and waving signs. Thanks to the actions of NCAE, Tillis pushed for the USDA to continue
federal funding for school nutrition, and meals will be provided for students through December. On September 2, the day legislators returned for a short business session, NCAE asked that lawmakers use the Rainy Day Fund to feed and house students, amend the Average Daily Membership (ADM), and release CARES funds to purchase Personal Protective Equipment for students and educators. “It’s time for the General Assembly to support our citizens and offer their umbrella of assistance to public school educators and families throughout North Carolina,” said President Walker Kelly, during a press conference in front of the Legislative
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Building. “Because let’s face it – it is raining and has been for a while. The needs that have been created by the COVID pandemic, coupled with an inadequate federal response, have resulted in a number of critical unmet needs, and North Carolina students and educators are looking to you to step up and fill the gaps.” An equally well-attended car caravan circled the streets surrounding the Legislative Building several times while lawmakers were inside. Following the press conference, members participated in an online Q&A with Senator Dan Blue and Rep. Darren Jackson and had an opportunity to share their stories of what it’s like working under Plan B.
1) President Tamika Walker Kelly and Vice President Bryan Proffit wave to car caravan participants circling the General Assembly. 2) Ron Surgeon, a food service worker at Southern Guilford High School, spoke at the August 8 press conference. “I have one question for Senator Tillis…would you let your 2 kids go hungry? All we want is for them to be successful!” 3) Instructional assistant Samantha Martinez from Cedar Forks Elem. School shared how learning has changed since the pandemic. 4) A line of cars stream by Senator Tom Tillis’s Raleigh office as he is called on to support the HEROES Act and extend the USDA Food Waiver. Members and public education supporters did the same in Hendersonville, where the senator also has an office. 5) Cars were decorated with messages for lawmakers.
NCAE News Bulletin
Science teacher and NCAE member Maureen M. Stover has been named the 2020 Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year. She teaches at Cumberland International Early College High School in Cumberland County and was selected from a field of nine finalists representing the state’s eight education districts and charter schools. Known to her students as the “Science Mom,” Stover is a former intelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force. She began her teaching career 11 years ago, and has been teaching Biology, Earth and Environmental Science, and AVID for the last three years. She earned an undergraduate degree in Biology from the United States Air Force Academy, has two master’s degrees in education – one in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis on STEM education from Adams State University in Colorado and another in secondary science education from Western Governors University in North Carolina. Stover said her students understand that her commitment to them extends beyond the 90 minutes of classroom instruction they receive each day. “My students are my ikigai,” she said in her Teacher of the Year submission. “In the Japanese culture, ikigai means life’s purpose. My ikigai is helping my students develop academically, socially, and emotionally as they transition from adolescence into adulthood. I have found that one of the most important parts of being a teacher is the relationships I form with my students.” Beyond helping students achieve academic success, Stover added, “My role as a classroom teacher is to be part giver of knowledge, part cheerleader, part counselor, part mom, part nurse, and part what my kids need me to be that day.” As the teacher of the year, Stover said she hopes to advocate more for teaching social and emotional learning to students. She said schools do a good job of teaching reading, writing, and other content, but worries teachers sometimes “lose focus” on helping students with social-emotional needs. She also said that one issue she hopes to see get more
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traction this coming year is movement on the long-running Leandro case. “I would really like to see the implementation of the recommendations from the Leandro report,” she said. “I am excited that we’re going to begin putting them into action this school year.” As the Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year, Stover will spend the school year traveling the state as an ambassador for the teaching profession. During her second year of service she will receive the use of a new vehicle and the opportunity to attend a seminar at the N.C. Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT), a mobile device from Lenovo, an engraved vase, a one-time cash award of $7,500, a trip to the National Teacher of the Year Conference and International Space Camp, and the opportunity to travel abroad through an endowment sponsored by Go Global NC. She will also serve as an advisor to the State Board of Education for two years and as a board member for the N.C. Public School Forum for one year. NCAE member Tonya Smith, the Triad Regional Teacher of the Year, will serve as part of the Teacher of the Year Team with the seven other finalists. She is a vocal and general music teacher at Elkin Middle and Elkin High schools in the Elkin City Schools System. In her 24th year of teaching, Smith said she became a teacher in hopes of making a positive difference in the lives of others. “I want students to celebrate themselves and each other in the most radically inclusive way possible.” She said the greatest thing about teaching is the relationships she forms with her students. She loves watching them grow, succeed, and reach their full potential. It’s also challenging. The biggest challenge, she added, is being aware of inequities and not being able to fully assist them or guarantee a resolution to their problems. When asked what her hope for the future of education is, she said, “My hope is that we will be able to eliminate inequities in educational programs and provide equitable opportunities for all students across the state and nation.”
NCAE News Bulletin
We Need Your Help With Targeted Races for Pro-Public Education Candidates We can’t express enough that the 2020 Election is one of the most important elections we have experienced in years. NCAE has endorsed a host of propublic education candidates and some of the targeted races will be competitive. Your help is needed in order to ensure a successful outcome – whether it be phone banking or distributing campaign materials at the polls. Below is a list of those House and Senate districts and the counties they represent: Senate -- Targeted Districts SD1
SD3 SD7 SD9 SD11 SD13 SD17 SD18 SD19
Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hertford, Hyde, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrrell, and Washington counties Beaufort, Bertie, Martin, Northampton, Vance, and Warren counties Lenoir and Wayne counties New Hanover County Johnston (part) and Nash counties Columbus and Robeson counties Wake County Franklin and Wake (part) counties Cumberland County
SD24 Alamance and Guilford (part) counties SD25 Anson, Moore, Richmond, and Scotland counties SD27 Guilford County SD31 Davie and Forsyth (part) counties SD36 Cabarrus and Union (part) counties SD37 Wake County SD39 Mecklenburg County (part) SD40 Mecklenburg County (part) House – Targeted Districts HD1 HD2 HD7 HD9 HD12 HD19 HD20 HD21 HD22 HD35 HD36 HD37
Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Perquimans, Tyrrell, and Washington counties Granville (part) and Person counties Franklin and Nash (part) counties Pitt County (part) Lenoir and Pitt (part) counties Brunswick (part) and New Hanover (part) counties New Hanover County (part) Sampson (part) and Wayne (part) counties Bladen and Sampson (part) counties Wake County (part) Wake County (part) Wake County (part)
HD43 Cumberland County (part) HD45 Cumberland County (part) HD46 Columbus (part) and Robeson (part) counties HD47 Robeson County (part) HD51 Harnett (part) and Lee counties HD55 Anson and Union (part) counties HD59 Guilford County (part) HD63 Alamance County (part) HD66 Montgomery, Richmond, and Stanly (part) counties HD74 Forsyth County (part) HD82 Davidson County (part) HD83 Cabarrus County (part) HD93 Ashe and Watauga counties HD98 Mecklenburg County (part) HD103 Mecklenburg County (part) HD104 Mecklenburg County (part) HD105 Mecklenburg County (part) HD118 Haywood (part), Madison, and Yancey counties HD119 Haywood (part), Jackson, and Swain counties NOTE: To see a complete list of candidates that NCAE has endorsed to date, please visit the NCAE Votes website. This website is being updated as NCAE local affiliates continue the endorsement process.
Support NCAE-Endorsed Candidates By Giving to the NCAE PAC Throughout the years, NCAE has had a significant impact in electing propublic education candidates thanks to members’ contributions to the NCAE Political Action Committee (PAC). The funds distributed by the PAC are instrumental in helping NCAE’s endorsed candidates get one step closer to being elected to the office for which they are running. Now is the time for NCAE to build its war chest for the 2020 election. Your investment will help advance a studentcentered, pro-public education agenda.
In 2016, because of the NCAE PAC, NCAE was able to elect Governor Roy Cooper, Attorney General Josh Stein, and took back seats on the N.C. Supreme Court, and break the supermajority in 2018. “In order to obtain the public schools that our students deserve, we must support our pro-public education candidates. One way to do that is through the NCAE PAC,” said President Tamika Walker Kelly. “This is one of the most important elections we have experienced and we must do
all we can to get our candidates, from the top to the bottom of the ballot, in office. These candidates will make our students and their needs a priority, and have respect for the education profession.” There are several PAC Club levels from which members can choose: Legislator’s Club -- $100, Governor’s Club -- $250, Congressional Club -$500, and President’s Club -- $1,000. Click here to download a copy of the PAC form.
NCAE News Bulletin
Do’s and Don’ts When Volunteering for a Campaign Here are some Do’s and Don’ts that you should keep in mind when working on a candidate’s campaign. If you have any questions or concerns, contact the NCAE Government Relations Department at 1-800-662-7924.
Do’s Beware of local school policies that govern the distribution of information via school district courier services and/or mailboxes. Consult with your UniServ director or the GR staff when in doubt. Members should take personal or annual leave when away from work to do campaign work, such as working at the polls. Discuss and distribute political or legislative materials and PAC forms at Association meetings if they are held during off-duty times. Discuss candidates, political legislative issues, or make calls to candidates during off-duty times. If you are working the polls on Election Day, remember that you must stand at least 50 feet away from the building entrance in order to distribute campaign materials. Collect employees’ home e-mail addresses and send email from home to home e-mail addresses regarding candidates, political, and legislative issues. Volunteer for virtual phone banks, virtual canvassing, candidate forums, and other Get Out the Vote Efforts.
Don’ts Don’t let candidates or party committees use Association resources – staff, phones, printing service, space, etc. – for free. “Fair market” cost must be charged. Don’t place candidate-related or NCAE PAC fundraising materials in a school mailbox. Do not use school e-mail or equipment for any political communications. Don’t use your public local affiliate website to promote the candidacy of any individual running for public office. Don’t use school phones or computers to call voters, NCAE staff, or NCAE members about a political campaign. Do not use work time or school computers to campaign on behalf of a candidate or NCAE legislative or political campaign. Do not invite a candidate to speak to members during on-duty times. Do not use school mailboxes or e-mail to distribute legislative information or information regarding elections. Political or legislative materials should be hand-delivered to members outside of work time. Don’t coordinate with campaigns for NCAE-endorsed candidates. NCAE cannot schedule times or activities for members to volunteer in candidates’ campaigns. Members can choose to volunteer on their own. NCAE can direct members to campaigns by providing them with a candidate’s website address.
IMPORTANT DATES Voter Registration Deadline: October 9
Early Voting: October 15 - October 27
Absentee Ballot Submissions: September 27 - October 27
Election Day: November 3
NCAE News Bulletin
Voting By Absentee Ballot? Here Is What You Need to Know Practically like everything else over the past few months, COVID-19 is going to change how some of us will vote this year. If you are considering voting by absentee ballot in North Carolina for the November 3 General Election, here are some things you need to know: • Any North Carolina registered voter qualified to vote in an election may request and receive a mail-in absentee ballot for any election in which absentee voting is allowed. • All registered voters may request an absentee ballot for the November 2020 General Election. A photo ID is not required. • No special circumstance or reason is needed to receive and vote a mail-in absentee ballot. • Most voters who want to vote by mail must request a ballot for each election. • Returning the Absentee Ballot Request Form -- For the November 2020 General Election, completed State Absentee Ballot Request Forms may be e-mailed, faxed or hand-delivered to the voter's county board of elections by one of the following: 1) the voter, 2) the voter’s near relative or verifiable legal guardian, or 3) a member of a multi-partisan assistance team (MAT). Forms delivered by any other person will not be processed. • The deadline for requesting an absentee ballot in order to vote in the November General Election is 5 p.m. Tuesday, October 27, 2020. Returning the Voted Ballot • For civilian absentee voters, once the Absentee Application and Certificate is completed with all relevant signatures, the voted ballot (placed inside the container-return envelope) must be returned to the county board of elections no later than 5 p.m. on Election Day.
• Absentee ballots received after 5 p.m. on Election Day will be timely only if they are received by mail no later than 5 p.m. on the third day following the date of the election, and postmarked on or before Election Day. • The envelope may be mailed or delivered in person to the county board of elections office or an open early voting site during the early voting period. • Only the voter or the voter’s near relative may possess the absentee ballot to return it to the board of elections. For more information about absentee ballots and absentee voting, visit https://www.ncsbe.gov/voting/vote-mailQualifications to Vote Registering to vote in North Carolina is easy and simple. But to do so, you must meet the following qualifications – be a U.S. citizen, and live in the county of your registration and have resided there for at least 30 days prior to the date of the election. You must also be at least 18 years of age, or turn 18 by the date of the General Election. Residents who are 16 or 17 years old may pre-register to vote (17-year-olds may vote in a primary election if they will be 18 at the time of the General Election). Visit the North Carolina State Board of Elections website at https://www.ncsbe.gov/index.html or the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles website, https:// www.ncdot.gov/dmv/offices-services/online/Pages/voterregistration-application.aspx, for additional information on voter registration. Please encourage your family members, friends, and colleagues to register to vote.
Patriot Day September 11, 2020
NCAE News Bulletin
Back Our Students Whether virtual or in-person, some children will begin the school year behind. Their families cannot afford the school supplies they need in order to be successful. Give these students the tools to start strong by giving to the North Carolina Foundation for Public School Children. Donations are tax deductible. Click here or visit the Foundation’s website, www.ncfpsc.org.
Make Wednesday your day to stay connected. To help keep you connected, Horace Mann is offering a “Wednesday Webinar” series of no-cost virtual workshops over the next several weeks on topics important to educators. Topics will include student loan forgiveness, DonorsChoose funding, retirement planning and more. Plus, if you join a webinar you’ll learn how to enter Horace Mann’s $ , DonorsChoose sweepstakes! Check out the entire webinar series here and register soon, as space is limited. Horace Mann and its affiliates enter into agreements with educational associations pursuant to which Horace Mann or its affilia e pa he ed ca ional a ocia ion o p o ide a io e ice ha a e aimed a familia i ing he a ocia ion members with the Horace Mann brand, products or services. For more information or to ask questions about your educational a ocia ion e ice ag eemen plea e email o inq i o firstname.lastname@example.org.
NCAE News Bulletin
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for NEA Members
Dates to Remember
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N C A E
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September 4th 7th 8th 11th 12th 15th 16th 18th 21st 22nd
National College Colors Day Labor Day (NCAE Offices Closed) International Literacy Day Patriot Day National Day of Encouragement International Day of Democracy National School Backpack Awareness Day National Respect Day International Day of Peace First Day of Autumn
International Speak Out Month National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month National Suicide Prevention Month National Preparedness Month Self-Improvement Month
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B U L L E T I N
Positions stated in this publication do not necessarily reflect the official position of NCAE unless so identified. The NCAE News Bulletin, a journal of the Association, is published by the North Carolina Association of Educators, 700 S.Salisbury St., Raleigh, NC 27601, 1-800-662-7924. Linda Powell-Jones, Editor/Designer
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