A bright spot amidst the fiscal gloom of spring 2016 is that Governor Fallin has now signed House Bill 2957, which eliminates the quantitative component of the TLE Appraisal System. The state never developed a viable quantitative system and wasted teachers' time with failed pilot efforts in Other Academic Measures and Student Learning Objectives along with multiple years of the senseless Roster Verification for several years of Value Added Measures that never became part of teacher evaluations.
Bartlesville's own Senator Ford co-authored the bill; we are grateful that he has seen the light and, in his final term, led the effort to abandon quantitative measures in teacher appraisals.
Teachers should abandon the current Roster Verification process. It has been rendered moot by the new law.
As I sit here, it dawns on me that this is my last message to you. Where has the year gone? In a few short days the long anticipated summer break will commence. I am so proud and privileged to have served as your president this year. I’m thankful for all the wonderful members that were willing to step up and help out when help was needed. It was a pleasure to work with a great team of officers so dedicated to the BEA.
OEA Delegate Assembly in Oklahoma City. It was great to collaborate with other local leaders from around the state as well as the OEA staff members. It was an honor to pick up an OEA Golden Apple for Judy Allen’s work on our BEA Line and to be recognized as a 5 Star Local. Please join me at our last meeting of the year on May 18th.
The May 2016 edition of the BEA Line newsletter is attached to this post.
At the April 18, 2016 meeting of the Bartlesville Board of Education, future superintendent Chuck McCauley conveyed proposed changes to the district budget for 2016-2017. Developed as part of the annual budget process and vetted by the Superintendent's Budget Development Committee, the proposal calls for $1.9 million in cuts, anticipating a loss in state funding and attempting to begin rebuilding the district's fund balance, eroded by state revenue failures and other funding cuts.
To help retain staff, the budget proposal funds the district's usual step increases at a net projected cost of $141,000. This includes adding a Step 28 to the district's salary schedule, noting that its peer districts' schedules average 33 steps. The average teacher advancing on the salary schedule would receive a 1.2% increase in pay; administrative increases are pegged to that percentage but then prorated for additional days worked. The proposal includes the district's usual 18 cents/hour increase for classified staff. Step increases are vital in retaining qualified staff in an era in which the district is sometimes unable to find certified teachers to fill vacant positions.
Here are links to detailed documents released at the board meeting:
Soon the annual BEA Teacher Survey will be sent out, asking teachers for their opinions on various topics for the June 2016 bargaining session with the Board of Education's team. Your feedback is vital in helping the union leadership gauge your priorities in regards to the budget, along with various other workplace issues.
On March 15, a group of BEA members, BPS parents, and students made an impromptu trip to OKC to advocate for public education. The event was loosely organized by the Facebook
group “Oklahoma Parents and Teachers for Public Education” and drew several hundred to the capital. Senator Ford and Representatives Dunlap and Sears were gracious enough to
agree to my last minute request for a meeting and visited with our group for well over an hour. It wasn’t how any of us planned to spend a day of our break, but I think we all felt that it was worthwhile and enlightening. I was thankful and proud to be there with great teachers, and supportive parents and students fighting for public education.
Please be informed about the choices our representatives are making and let them know you are watching and care. Things won’t get better until we stand together and demand change.
See the attached April 2016 issue of the BEA Line newsletter.
Oh my, it’s March already. That means conferences and spring break are upon us. We had a great rep meeting last month. Ivy Riggs from OEA gave us a simple overview of the bills floating around at the capital. Jean Oliver briefly spoke about her ambition to fill Senator Ford’s seat. Her plans include visiting with teachers in every building about their thoughts and concerns. As a former educator, she understands how important funding is to our schools and what we as teachers go through day in and day out. We hope to hear from Julie Daniels at the next meeting. It will be interesting to hear her plans for education.
The polls are open on the OEA website. There is only one section to vote for, the members-at-large delegate. It takes about 3 minutes from start to finish. Please the time to vote. The OEA poll closes March 15th.
We have another election to think about as well; the local BEA election. We have two offices open, president-elect and OEA delegate. Have you been a member for a while? Are you ready to stand with us to fight for teachers and public education? Well, maybe it’s time to be an officer and help implement change!
There’s no better time than now. I would love to hear from you.
See the attached BEA Line for March 2016.
I’m hearing almost daily from teachers who are worried about what the future holds in light of our state’s revenue failure and deep mid-year cuts to education. Our governor, Mary Fallin, believes this 900.8 million dollar budget hole is an “opportunity” that will require
“creativity and hard-work” to find ways to pay for things that need to be paid for.
Our legislators are already “working hard” on some "creative” legislation aimed at taking away fully paid health insurance (HB 3154) and sending tax dollars to private schools (HJR 1062).
Ivy Riggs, OEA’s Legislative and Political Organizing Specialist, will be with us on February 17 to give us a legislative update. Please come and be informed! If you are unable to attend, there are legislative updates on the OEA websites (along with representative contact information) almost daily.
Let’s use this “opportunity” to stand together and fightfor teachers and public education!
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