NEA Board Meeting–May 2012


Illinois NEA Directors attending: Terrie Tudor, Jim Grimes, Eric Brown, Alex Wallace, Joyce Bailey, Tom Tully, Vickie Mahrt and NEA Student Director Matt Hiser.  Also in Washington were IEA officers Pres. Cinda Klickna, Vice Pres. Kathi Griffin, and Sec-Treas. Al Llorens.

NEA President—Dennis Van Roekel—Welcome and overview.

NEA Reorganization—Executive Director John Stocks—

Review of the challenges facing NEA and our affiliates, budget realities, staff and program reductions and organizational modifications.

2012-14 Strategic Plan and Budget—Sec-Treas. Becky Pringle and the Budget Committee and staff—

NEA is facing unprecedented challenges including:

  • 2011-12 Budget previously  reduced by $17 million
  • An additional $10 million in reductions for 2011-12
  • Membership losses 2011-12
  • Additional staff and program cuts for 2012-13
  • Projected membership losses 2013-14

The NEA Budget Committee built its new budget around the following priorities:

  • Goal 1—Strong Affiliates
  • Goal 2—Uniting the Nation for Great Public Schools
  • Core Function 1—Research, Policy & Practice
  • Core Function 2—Organizing
  • Core Function 3—Advocacy & Outreach
  • Core Function 4—Communications
  • Core Function 5—Business Operations
  • Core Function 6—Governance

Budget Priority Ratio:

Traditional:  33% Program/Governance; 33% Staff; 33% State/Local

Proposed:  30% Program/Governance; 31% Staff; 39% State/Local

Changes and Reductions in the proposed budget include:

  • Elimination of NEA Board December meeting in Washington,
  • Elimination of Regional Leadership Conferences,
  • Have all Committees have one virtual meeting and one face to face meeting.

Dues Allocations:

Full-Time Certified: 2012-13  $180.00;    2013-14  $182.00

Full-Time ESP:         2012-13  $107.50;    2013-14  $107.50

Board Action:  Following discussions, the Board approved the proposed Strategic Plan and Budget.  The budget now goes to the Rep. Assembly for final action.

NEA Vice-President—Lily Eskelsen reported during the May Virtual Board meeting.  She leads a committee continuing the review of governance modifications with the goals of enhancing effectiveness and cost savings.

Board Action:  Approved Board Steering and New Business Committee Appointments.


Joint Committee on Leading the Profession—

NEA will lead the profession with a student-centered agenda that will transform the education profession.

  • NEA and its affiliates, members, and partners will work together to address all elements of policy and practice that have an impact on the education profession.
  • As a result of collaboration and innovation, educators will be given a larger role in defining, measuring, and enforcing standards of teacher preparation, practice, career advancement, and accountability.

Five Domains of Quality:

  • Professionals
  • Profession
  • Schools
  • Unions
  • Education Policy

Teacher Value Proposition Study—

The study is designed to help the Association better understand the values and preferences of members and non-members to:

  • Align the Association’s value propositions with the values of existing and potential members,
  • Tailor campaigns and programs to promote recruitment, retention, and engagement.

Educators for Obama Update—

Members are urged to visit and

and sign up to participate in the critical elections of 2012.

Need more information about what the Obama Administration has done for public education, workers, issues, and people we value and fight for?  Watch this video…and pass it on:

Report of the General Counsel—Alice O’Brien—updates on current court cases.

ESP Membership Survey Report– A representative survey of 1,638 Education Support Professionals nationwide in February found that members know what they want from their union: improved salaries and benefits, defense of their rights, and protection from being outsourced.  The findings were part of a very broad look at job satisfaction, perceptions, attitudes, and other workplace issues of both members and non-members from throughout dozens of school job categories.

Asian Pacific Islanders Observance—Guest Speaker Tong Jessica Chen

The Vermont Teacher of the Year, Chen was recently honoured by President Obama in the Rose Garden.  She has taught Chinese in elementary, middle, and high school and currently teaches Chinese level one through AP Chinese.  She is actively involved in the Journey East Art and Culture Exchange Program, the Governor’s Institute on Asian Culture, University of Vermont’s Asian Studies Outreach Program, and Vermont’s Virtual High School, offering Mandarin Chinese to other Vermont students. She also acts as a translator for Chinese immigrants.

Constitution, Bylaws and Rules Committee— 

Standing Rule Amendments with Board of Directors recommendations:

#1—Oppose; To require the maker of an object to consider motion to submit a written rationale indicating why the main motion should not be considered by the Representative Assembly; and to require the presiding officer to read the rationale to the Representative Assembly prior to the vote on the objection.

 #2—Oppose; To require that the presiding officer ask if there are speaker request forms for delegates wishing to speak to the referral following a motion to refer to committee.

#3—Support; To require a minimum of two one-hour breaks during the Representative Assembly.

#4—Support; To emphasize that adopted new business item texts may be edited to replace K-12 or Pre-K-12 with Pre-K-Graduate School under specific circumstances.

Constitutional Amendments with Board of Directors recommendations: 

#1—No Position (changed at the May meeting); To modify the Preamble of the Constitution to include defending employees’ right to collective bargaining as a stated goal of the Association.

#2—Support; To change the percentage of classroom teachers required on NEA committees from at least seventy- five (75) percent to at least fifty (50) percent. This change would apply to all committees except the Advisory Committee of Student Members.

Bylaws Amendment with Board of Directors recommendation:

#1—Oppose; To establish, as a specific NEA objective, advocating for tax reforms to reduce the gap between the nation’s economic classes.

Reports and Organizational Items:   

     Executive Committee

     UniServ Advisory Committee

     NEA Elections Committee Selections–

                  Illinois members appointed: 

                        Cathy Erickson and Robert “Bob” Kramer

     Officers Compensation Committee

     Affirmative Action Report

     Internal Concerns Committe

     Board Steering Committee

     Friend of Education Award–

The Friend of Education Award Committee recommends Dr. Paul Krugman as the 2012 Friend of Education. Dr. Krugman was nominated by Richard Iannuzzi, President of NYSUT.

Dr. Krugman is a renowned economist, a New York Times columnist, and Professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University. Dr. Krugman has been an important national voice on economic fairness, speaking out against the growing wealth gap in our nation and how it has begun to undermine the essential American values of equality and opportunity for all. He has advocated for the labor movement as an important voice for ordinary workers, and has strongly opposed the recent attacks on public workers, particularly teachers. In his columns in the New York Times he has drawn correlations between the attacks on unions and how they are related to issues such as privatization and tax policy.

In a recent column, “Ignorance is Strength” (March 8, 2012, New York Times) Dr. Krugman wrote:

One way in which Americans have always been exceptional has been in our support for education. First we took the lead in universal primary education; then the “high school movement” made us the first nation to embrace widespread secondary education. And after World War II, public support, including the G.I. Bill and a huge expansion of public universities, helped large numbers of Americans to get college degrees.

But now one of our two major political parties has taken a hard right turn against education, or at least against education that working Americans can afford. Remarkably, this new hostility to education is shared by the social conservative and economic conservative wings of the Republican coalition, now embodied in the persons of Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney…

… So whenever you hear Republicans say that they are the party of traditional values, bear in mind that they have actually made a radical break with America’s tradition of valuing education. And they have made this break because they believe that what you don’t know can’t hurt them.

     2012 Representative Assembly Update

The tentative agenda for the NEA-RA is available at:

A screening of the movie “Bully,” by filmmaker Lee Hirsch is also expected either during the day on July 1 or the evening of July 2.



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