November 2013 Words from the Prez

Post date: Nov 14, 2013 3:58:25 PM

For those of you who don’t know me, this is my 31st year in the classroom. My time in education will soon come to an end, but my commitment to public schools will never change. Strong public schools are essential for a stable society and informed citizens are critically important in a democracy. Once upon a time, most Americans understood this and were advocates for our public schools. Today, I’m afraid, advocacy is up to us.

It’s important that we take the time to become informed about education legislation and candidates for state offices. I’ve already seen one very slick political ad that will sound reasonable to anyone who doesn’t understand school finance; we must be prepared to counter that misinformation with facts.

I know everyone is busy, so I have some simple suggestions to help you stay informed:

1) Attend the general membership meeting November 20th in the Mid-High library. Jeff Savage from OEA will be here to discuss several important issues including proposed legislation affecting our retirement system and testing. OEA would like to become more pro-active in shaping legislation and they need input from members.

2) An easy way to stay informed is to “friend” OEA on Facebook. Most people check Facebook routinely and it’s easy to scan the OEA posts. In addition to their own posts, OEA has been re-posting education news from a variety of sources. I recently watched a re-post of Superintendent Barresi on Frontline – it was an interesting interview and gave me additional insight into her leadership decisions.

3) Attend our monthly building representative meetings. We try to meet in a different school every month (dates and locations are posted in the BEA Line) and any member is welcome to attend. Jeff Savage from OEA frequently attends or sends information for dissemination to members.

It’s November already and the legislative session begins in less than three months. We also have some critically important primary elections next spring. Please stay informed so that you can become an effective advocate for public schools and the children we teach.

Cheryl Fentress BEA President