NEA Board of Directors – Oct. 2012 – Washington, D.C.


NEA Directors attending: Jim Grimes, Eric Brown, Joyce Bailey, Tom Tully, Alex Wallace, Vickie Mahrt, Rainy Kaplan.  Also attending NEA events were IEA Pres.  Cinda Klickna and Sec-Treas. Al Llorens. 

President – Dennis Van Roekle – Welcomed the board and attendees and outlined the agenda and issues facing NEA.

“Headline News” NEA Department Reports: NEA Membership Groups briefed the board on their activities. 

Vice President – Lily Eskelsen reported on the effort to review how NEA governs itself.  She is heading the Leadership Core Curriculum project, with the goal of developing leaders.  She is looking for people with the skills, agility and drive to mobilize and organize.

Secretary-Treasurer – Becky Pringle reported that after last year’s $27 million decline, the financial picture of the organization doesn’t look quite so bad.  However, NEA still faces the potential loss of additional members with an additional $8 million dollar loss.  The focus on organizing is geared to stem those losses.

Executive Director – John Stocks reported on the Culture of Organizing and our emphasis on growing NEA membership.  Stocks outlined efforts to reorganize the NEA staff to reflect the new emphasis.  Staff will be focused on NEA Leading the Profession, Organizing, Advocacy and Politics, Communication, and Leadership.  He discussed how organizing comes in many forms including:  collective bargaining, direct action, values based actions, relational organizing—talking one-on-one to members and potential members, partnerships, leaders, reciprocal accountability—being truthful, Using new tools and ideas, focusing on issues we find important at our work sites, and Social Justice Unionism.

Government Relations Director – Mary Kusler expects the debt ceiling and sequestration debate to put immense pressure on Congress during the lame duck session following the election.

General Counsel – Alice O’Brian reported on NEA’s involvement in important Supreme Court cases, federal cases and state cases.  O’Brian also reported on assistance to state affiliates, Educators for Obama, and other activities.

Reports to the Board:  NEA unveiled an “Education Votes Action Center” to allow members to get more active in the presidential election.

Board Action Items:

The Board discussed the following items during the two-day meeting and voted to:

  • Approve Ballot Measure Crisis Fund expenditures of $2.8 million for Idaho, Michigan, Florida and South Dakota.
  • Allocate $250,000 to fight charter school initiatives in Washington State.
  • Approved expenditures to cover the costs of New Business Items passed at the Representative Assembly of just under $100,000.
  • Adopted the NRA Delegation Policy to the Education International World Congress
  • Adopted updated guidelines for the NEA Unified Legal Services Program, formerly known as the DuShane program.

American Indian and Alaska Native Observation – Laura Harris, executive director of Americans for Indian Opportunity spoke to the NEA board.  She highlighted political action and involvement by Native Americans and showcased the Alaska Native involvement in the victory by Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-AK.

Women’s Observance — Day of the Girl – Eliana Stanislawski, a 16-years old student from Chevy Chase H.S. in Bethesda, MD, spoke about the Oct. 11th national observation Day of the Girl.  She spoke about the challenges faced by girls worldwide including:  illiteracy, lack of schooling, violence, forced marriage, and body image issues.

Board Breakout Discussions

RA Announcements: The 2013 Representative Assembly will be held in Atlanta, GA.  The 2014 RA will be in Denver, CO.  Miami is out and Orlando in for RA 2015.  Later conventions are planned for:  2016—Washington, DC; 2017—Boston, MA; 2018—Minneapolis; and 2019—Houston.

Human and Civil Rights Awards nominations are now available.  The deadline of Dec. 10th.  Visit NEA for more information at:

Training Conferences:  Due to budget reductions, regional leadership conferences (including the Midwest Leadership Conf.) have been cancelled. Minority Leadership Training and Women’s Leadership Training will be presented in Albuquerque, NM, Jan. 25-27; and in Tampa, FL, Feb. 22-24.  In 2014 new training summits will be held east and west. NEA will continue to hold other traditional trainings and conferences in the spring of 2013.

A Dialogue on Social Justice will be held in Washington, DC on Dec. 7 and 8.

NEA Committee Appointments: 

    • Committee on Legislation—Jim Grimes
    • Membership Advisory Cmte.—Higher Educ.—Frank Brooks
    • Ethnic Minority Affairs Cmte.—Gladys Marquez
    • Health Information Network Board—Eric Brown
    • Social Security Fairness Cmte.—Joyce Bailey
    • NEA-Retired Executive Council—Mae Smith
    • Resolutions Cmte.—Higher Ed. At-Large—Gaziur Rahman
    • State Media Advisory Cmte.—Charlie McBarron

NEA Directors also participated in events including:

Social Security Fairness Task Force, UniServ Advisory Committee, Board Steering Committee, Educational International briefing, Board Black Caucus, Midwest Region Caucus, Midwest Leadership Planning Conference Planning, Board Forum, Higher Education, and GLBT Caucus.


To read the Common Core Standards that have been adopted by states, go to

Legislative Action Center –

Education Votes –



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