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Volume 25, Issue 1
Negotiations Began August 13
The Lyon County Education Association (LCEA) and the Lyon County School District (LCSD) negotiation teams met at Silver Stage High School for their first meeting to discuss the 2003 - 2005 negotiated agreement.
Carol King, chairs the LCEA committee. The members are Noreen Albers, Steve Fargan, and Chuck Fletcher. Al Bellister, Uniserve director for our county, is also advising and attending whenever his schedule allows.
Mary Goodman is the chair for the LCSD team. Her members are Sean Moyle and Karen Watson. Nat Lommori will attend whenever his schedule allows. Bonnie Castiglione is the recorder for LCSD.
At the first meeting the teams developed and agreed upon the ground rules for the negotiations meetings. LCEA also presented their initial proposals. These proposals were based upon the responses received by the team to the questionnaires circulated last spring.
The next meeting is set for September 22, 2003.
NEA Annual Meeting and RA Held During July in New Orleans
NEA's Annual Meeting is held every July. the first two days are devoted to meetings, conferences, and exhibits. The highlight of the Annual Meeting is the four-day Representative Assembly or "RA". This is the Associations' highest decision-making body. In addition, with over 9,000 delegates, the RA is also the world's largest democratic deliberative body. Delegates debate issues that impact American public education and set policy for the 2.7 million member Association.
Views from an RA Delegate
By Val Friskey
The RA I attended this year in New Orleans was my third RA in the past eleven years. They are always so interesting because so many of the issues presented are the ones we discuss in our own schools.
With everyone anxious about the "No Child Left Behind "(NCLB) legislation, it was extremely interesting to hear exactly what NEA is proposing as the 108th congress looks at potential amendments to "NCLB".
Again the importance of our own political action was emphasized. We have to let our opinions be known to both state and federal legislators. We need to contact our Senators and Representatives and let them know exactly how we feel.
Our days at RA were long ones. We began at 7 a.m. and ended around 7 p.m. It is a really exciting to be a part of the largest democratic voting body in the world.
More Notes from RA
Nearly 10,000 delegates left New Orleans mobilized to meet the laudable goals of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act - also referred to as No Child left Behind - while vowing to actively challenge its broken promises with a lawsuit.
In his keynote address NEA president Reg Weaver said, "NEA has always been dedicated to leaving no child behind-- that is nothing new to us. The stated goals of NCLB-- closing the achievement gap, ensuring highly qualified teachers, improving academic achievement-- are a page from our very own book. NEA's concern with this legislation lies with the implementation of, and lack of adequate and equitable funding for, these laudable goals." Weaver also told delegates, "Our members are angry, and they're frustrated. But behind all of that is emotion. There is energy. I have seen it.... It is our job to help our members unleash that energy."
Senator Paul Wellsonte (D-Minn) received the Friend of Education Award, NEA"s highest honor.
Betsy Rogers , a first and second grade teacher from Jefferson County, Alabama was the 2003 National Teacher of the Year. Martin "Marty" Meyer, the head custodian at an elementary school in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, was the NEA National Education Support Professional of the Year.
(Reprinted from nea.org newsreleases 2003)
Summer Leadership Conference Held at Carson Valley Inn July 30 -31
By Sandy Gustafson
This year's Summer Leadership Conference, organized by Washoe Education Association (WEA) and Uniserv Council (UCN), was held in Minden. LCEA representatives in attendance were Chuck Fletcher, President of LCEA, Sandy Curtis (FES) Jane Claar (FES) Dick Mesna (SSHS) and Sandy Gustafson (CES). Summer Leadership sessions were, as always, informative and sometimes fun.
Sandy Curtis, an elementary librarian and NEA board member, taught two practical and inspiring sessions entitled Trade Books and Test Scores and Literacy. Both of her classes were filled with delighted participants, who took with them book lists, bookmarks, and ideas for classroom activities.
Other practical sessions included such topics as: parent involvement in the schools, strategies for test preparation, grant writing, dealing with bullying, stress management; and retirement planning. Topics of particular interest to associations were: legal trends, rights and responsibilities and new leader training.
Special emphasis was given to the challenges and successes for education in this year's embattled legislative session. Your emails, postcards and phone calls along with the tremendous efforts of the Nevada Education Association (NSEA) helped obtain funding for our public schools.
Summer Leadership devoted much time to NEA's and NSEA's plan for addressing the daunting issues presented by No Child Left Behind. Each student, teacher, school district and state is affected by NCLB.
New Teacher Luncheon Held at SSHS on August 18, 2003
There were several new employees Lyon County School District for the 2003-2004 school year.. Upwards of sixty. (Sorry I don't have the exact number)
Pete's Catering from Silver Springs served grilled chicken breast, beans, potato salad, green salad, rolls and butter and chocolate chip cookies. Thanks for a great lunch Pete.
Chuck Fletcher welcomed the new employees and introduced the executive board and building representatives who were present. Mary Goodman also greeted and welcomed the new employees.
Presentations were made by Sierra Schools Credit Union and Horace Mann Insurance.
The hour sped by quickly.
New employees received a packet containing the negotiated agreement, a membership form for LCEA, NSEA and NEA, a booklet made especially for new teachers and information about NEA member benefits. The majority of new employees did join the association.
GPO/WEP Lobby Day - Oct. 1
NSEA invites all members to take part in NEA's GPO/WEP Lobby Day -- October 1, 2003. We need Congress to repeal the Social security Offsets. In Nevada we are penalized for being teachers and support professionals. If we have qualified for Social Security we will most likely receive a reduction in benefits because we are members of the Public Employees Retirement system. Also widows or widowers will lose their spouses Social Security..
Flood Senator Ensign's office with phone calls, and e-mails telling him educators are concerned with his stand against repealing Social Security Offsets (SB349). Senator Ensign is the only member of the Nevada delegation who has not signed on in support of the repeal of the penalties for public service.
To e-mail your senators and representatives go to www.nsea-nv.org and click on "Contact your Legislator" on the right hand side of the screen. Then just enter your zip code and you are ready to send your e-mail.
Also e-mail your members of the House of Representatives and ask them to urge Congressman Clay Shaw from Florida to have a hearing on the Social Security Offsets. He is chair of the House committee which controls Social Security and has refused to hold any hearings despite the fact that 258 members of the House have signed on as co-sponsors of HR 594 to repeal the offsets.
Despite Long Hours and Low Pay, Teachers Love Their Profession
(Aug.. 27, 2003) Washington, D.C. - a national survey released today shows that America's public school teachers spend much of their own time expanding their knowledge and skills, and hundreds of their own dollars purchasing classroom supplies, books, and materials for their students. And not surprisingly, in spite of the long hours and low pay, a majority would return to the classroom if they had it all to do again.
These findings are among the thousands of fascinating facts about the professional and personal lives of today's teachers contained in Status of the American Public School Teacher. The survey, conducted by the National Education Association (NEA) represents the most comprehensive look at today's public school teaching force.
Some key findings of Status of the American Public School Teacher include:
? The average teacher has 15 years of classroom experience and more than half of today's teachers (56 percent) hold a master's degree or 6-year diploma. Nearly one-quarter (23 percent) began full-time teaching within the past five years.
? Teachers spend an average of 50 hours per week on instructional duties, including an average of 12 hours each week on non-compensated school-related activities such as grading papers, bus duty, and club advising.
? More than three-quarters of teachers (77 percent) participated in system-sponsored professional development activities during the school year; more teachers than ever (35 percent) participated in such activities during the summer.
? Teachers spend an average of $443 of their own money each year to meet the needs of their students.
? Three-fifths of teachers (60 percent) said they would become teachers again. More than one-fifth (21 percent) said they would not choose teaching as a career if they could start over again.
Electronic versions of the complete survey report and a review of survey highlights are available.. For more information see www.owl.org/application.
Public School Investment and Needs Out of Sync
Despite rising enrollments and a growing need for qualified teachers in many areas of the country, the average expenditure per student and the average salary of a public school teacher for the 2001-02 school year increased only slightly over the previous year according to NEA's Rankings & Estimates: Rankings of the States 2002 and Estimates of School Statistics 2003.
Over the last 10 years, teacher salaries have remained flat, growing just 2.4 percent or approximately0.2 percent per year when the cost of living is factored in. Average teacher salaries from 1991 to 2002 declined in 19 states and the District of Columbia.
While the average per-pupil spending for the 2001-2002 school year rose 3.5 percent to $7548, twenty-nine states fall below the average. (Nevada ranked 45th last year) Federal funding was only 7.5 percent in 2001-02--too little to prevent state and local governments from sacrificing other programs in order to meet federal mandates.
By failing to fully finance the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, the federal government has undermined state and local governments' ability to attract qualified teachers, modernize existing schools and build new ones, and provide students with the programs, materials, and books they will need to meet the high standards envisioned by the new law. The complete report can be found at www.nea.org/edstats/images/03rankings..pdf.
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