NEA Board of Directors Report—Feb. 2013

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Illinois NEA Directors attending: Jim Grimes, Eric Brown, Alex Wallace, Joyce Bailey, Tom Tully, Vickie Mahrt and Rainy Kaplan.
Also at NEA in Washington were IEA officers Pres. Cinda Klickna, Vice Pres. Kathi Griffin and Sec-Treas. Al Llorens.
Guests and visitors included Illinois’ NEA Foundation Teacher of the Year nominee Josh Stumpenhorst, Lincoln Jr. High, Naperville; Mark Bailey, President Naperville Unit EA; and Bob Kaplan, IEA-Retired, member IEA Legislative Cmte.

President Dennis Van Roekel’s Welcome, Overview and Comments
A moment of silence was held to honor those killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School and in memory of Alabama school bus driver and NEA member Charles Poland, along with all those who we have lost.
Van Roekel thanked all those members who joined Educators for Obama and also pointed out how the 35,000 EFO activists helped win the election for President Obama and save seats for friends of education in the U.S. House and Senate. He also praised political action efforts in the states.
Pres. Van Roekel discussed the history of education reform and NEA’s leadership. He urged the association to move ahead with the effort to ensure a great public school for every student, to take control of our profession, to see public education as a social justice issue. He announced an initiative called “Raise Your Hand!”
Becky Pringle also spoke to this topic. She urged NEA to “embrace the urgency of now,” to quote M.L. King Jr. “We are under attack, overworked, and barred from being in the debate, dismissed, disregarded and disrespected as professionals.” Pringle outlined a four point plan: 1) Successful Students, 2) Accomplished Professionals, 3) Dynamic Collaboration, and 4) Empowered Leaders.
Pres. Van Roekel proposed that the NEA Board and RA approve a new Bylaw 2-7(p) to allow the projected dues reduction for FTE Certified members to be kept as an assessment and allocated to the state affiliates to support projects to reach the goal of Leading the Profession. Details on how these funds, if approved by the RA, would be used will be presented to the Board in May.
The Board of Directors, after debate, passed the Proposed Bylaw 2-7(p) onto the Rep. Assembly for debate and a vote.

Organizational Items
Committee Appointments updated.
ULSP (Legal Assistance) Guidelines amended.
NEA-SEIU-AFSCME Jurisdictional Agreement approved by the Board.
Jim Grimes served as NEA Board representative to this working group.
2016 Presidential Recommendation Process
NEA Dues for 2013-14—Board approved FTE Certified Dues of $179.00.

Report on Constitution, Bylaws and Rules—The Board took positions on
proposed Standing Rules Amendments, Constitutional and Bylaws Amendments:

SAR 1—Object to Consider, return to Roberts Rules wording—BoD Opposes
SAR 2—Object to Consider in Legis. Program, BoD Supports
SAR 3—NBI Group Referral—BoD Opposes
SAR 4—NBI Word Limit of 100—BoD Opposed
SAR 5—Add email of item proponent on form—BoD Opposed
SAR 6—Explain Cost Estimates* on NBIs—Board Opposes
(*Cmte. is working on a FAQ document for this issue.)
SAR 7—Elect Internal Edit Cmte. on Resolutions—Ruled Out of Order
SAR 8—Hold two in-person Resolutions meetings—BoD Opposes
SAR —Eric Brown proposed language on closing debate—Board Opposed

New Bylaw 2-7(p)–$3 Assessment for Leading the Profession—Board Supports

Con. Amend 1—% of Teachers on Cmtes. —BoD Opposed
Con. Amend 2—Remove 75% Teacher on Cmtes. Requirement—BoD Approves
Con. Amend 3—Change 75% to 60% Teachers on Cmtes.—BoD Opposed
Con. Amend 4—Allows Electronic Voting—BoD Supports

Annual Meeting Review Cmte. Report and Recommendations—BoD Adopted
Report of the Executive Cmte.—BoD Approved
Virtual Meeting Protocols—BoD Approved

Presentations/Discussions
NEA Headline News—updates from NEA Exec. Cmte. members and staff.
Report of the Center for Organizing—Jim Testerman and Becky Pascione
reported on efforts to build association membership.

Legislative and Political Update—Karen White, NEA GR—Staff outlined the status of the House and Senate and various state legislatures and issues.
Jerry Weast, Ed.D., Founder and CEO Partnership for Deliberate Excellence
Dr. Weast spoke about how collaboration can be taught to administrators.
He said that without collaboration and involvement of the union, reform can’t work.
Leading the Profession—Phase II (See comments by Pres. Van Roekel above.)

Speakers
Leaders of our partner unions SEIU and AFSCME addressed the board following adoption of the Joint Solidarity agreements by the Board.

SEIU Secretary-Treasurer Eliseo Medina—“We are excited and hopeful about this agreement,” said Medina. “This partnership is coming at a critical moment. Our members share the same values and want the same things and our members are facing the same escalating attacks,” he said. He added that we must address the appalling income inequality we face all today. SEIU represents members in the health care and service industry.

AFSCME President Lee Saunders—“This is history,” said Saunders, it will “move our unions forward, move our labor movement forward, move our country forward.” “Those who provide public service must be respected,” he added. He urged the unions to organize in the public sector and help our brothers and sisters in the private sector to organize. “Our enemies want us to be invisible, to take us out completely.” And he added, “I am so sick and tired of fighting a good fight four our so-called good friends who want to date us, marry us, have a honeymoon with us, then turn on us.” This is an important day, but it doesn’t stop here, this is just the beginning,” said Saunders.

Observances

GLBT Caucus–
Guest Speaker U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin. Senator Baldwin traced the history of gay rights, outlined the ongoing struggle, and highlighted the fight against bullying students, including gays. “Our schools should not be a place of bullying or intimidation,” she said. “All children perform best when they are in a safe supporting environment.” She also commented on the effort to gain marriage equality in the states. She thanked NEA for its long history of support for social justice and specifically thanked NEA Exec. Dir. John Stocks for his help in Wisconsin, his home state.

Black Caucus—
Dr. Julianne Malveaux, Ph.D., a labor economist, commentator and past President of Bennett College addressed the Board in honor of Black History Month. Dr. Malveaux pointed out until the Civil War 17 states had laws making it illegal to teach slaves. Minorities are making progress in educational achievement, but are still behind in some measures including graduation rates. “Diversity is happening, by 2050 minorities will be the majority,” she said. “Engage young people, see who gets technology—computers per student. You as teachers need to weigh-in on these issues—be advocates,” Malveaux added. “If we allow these young people to slip between the cracks, we allow our nation to slip between the cracks.”

Financial Items
Report of the Secretary-Treasurer Becky Pringle –2013-14 Modified Strategic Plan and Budget

Due to a relatively small drop in membership, formula dues for certified full-time members would drop by one dollar to $179.00. And dues for FTE ESPs will remain the same. UniServ Grant allocations will remain the same as the previous year. Projected cuts to the NEA budget are at approximately $1.5 million, smaller than a previously planned $8 million dollar reduction. NEA continues to return 40% of dues to the states, up from the 33% of the past.

Reports
Report of the Vice President Lily Eskelsen
Presented the NEA-SEIU-AFSCME documents, which include: AFSCME-NEA-SEIU Statement of Solidarity, AFSCME-NEA-SEIU Interaction Protocol (Dispute Resolution), and Organizing for Power (a National level agreement and an Affiliate level agreement).
The board voted to approve the agreements.
The next step in this process will be for NEA affiliates to work with their SEIU and AFSCME partners to join in the affiliate level agreements.

Report of the Executive Director John Stocks
John Stocks reported on his attendance at the funeral of Alabama bus driver Charles Poland.  Helmsley Foundation has provided $750,000 to support Core Standards work.  NEA Leadership Curriculum is being developed.
NEA will participate in an international summit on education in the Netherlands.  NEA budget adjustment continues.

Report of the General Counsel Alice O’Brien
Work continues on payroll deduction alternatives.  The office continues work to protect affirmative action.  The General Counsel reported on the status of several court cases.

Read Across America—NEA has partnered with Delta Dental and received a grant of $500,000.00 to launch a program to encourage good dental health and reading. The 2+2+20 program encourages two 2-minute periods of tooth brushing and 20 minutes of reading per day. The Cmte. also reported the reinstatement of the Catavan tour of numerous locations across the country and the distribution of Read Across materials for the next school year.
NEA Board Internal Concerns Committee—presented items for Board consideration. Action was postponed until May.

Information Items
Ballot Measure Legislative Crises Fund
Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)—The group’s report “Our
Responsibility, Our Promise” the CCSSO Task Force Report on Transforming Educator Preparation and Entry into the Profession, was shared with the board. Status Report on Referred 2011-12 Cmte. Recommendations
NEA Exec. Cmte. Activity Reports
Interim Report on Implementation of the 2012 NBIs and Social Justice NBI

NEA Foundation Gala—Awards for Teaching Excellence
Directors and officers joined Illinois nominee Josh Stumpenhorst, a 6th Grade Language and Social Science teacher at Lincoln Junior High in Naperville at the NEA Foundation Gala. Hundreds of attendees honored nominees from NEA affiliates and applauded student artists, musicians, singers and dancers who performed during the event.
The NEA Foundation awards financial grants three times a year. For information about how to apply, the applications, and an instructional video, visit The NEA Foundation’s web site: http://www.neafoundation.org/.

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