Friday, February 27, 2009
These changes mean that Senator Ford and others are listening to your calls and emails. While the amendments change the original bill, Senate Bill 834 is still a bad bill for kids, teachers and schools.
Elimination of the class size rules makes it extremely difficult for all kids to have the attention they deserve. Class size is one of the most important issues for parents and teachers.
The use of non-certified teachers (not the same thing as highly qualified) and the elimination of professional learning opportunities are serious teacher quality issues impacting children. The single best determinant of a child's success in the classroom is the quality of the teacher.
The lifting of caps on a variety of costs measures, including restriction's on a districts carryover balance will ensure money won't go where it's needed most--to kids and their classrooms.
A bad bill is a bad bill. Please continue to contact your elected officials and voice your opposition to SB 834.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Last week, I visited Sapulpa where we spent a good deal of time discussing SB834 and its impact to our schools. The Building Reps were united in their opposition to this piece of legislation and are making their voices heard to their respective representatives.
Sapulpa President Carla Cale is doing a great job representing her members. Carla ran a very informative meeting while her BR's did a good job of representing their schools. After the meeting Carla, on my right, posed with me and OEA Communications Specialist Marty Bull (l) and Pat Smith (r) OEA Legislative and Political Organizer.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Some of you may be wondering what took place at the Western Region Leadership Conference held in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the middle of January. Sadly, all I have is this 6 second video from the Minority Leadership Dinner before I became very ill and bed-ridden.
The OEA had 50 participants and many of our members and staff presented at the conference. All of the attendees had a great time with workshops and they also did a tremendous job in raising funds for the NEA Fund for Children and Public Education.
Friday, February 20, 2009
At Lake Park, Principal John Lunn poses with Donna McMullen's class and representatives from Feed the Children Erin Carlstrom, Gary Sloan, James Hart, me and the Cat.
In the final picture, Mrs. Slavin's class thanks us for their books
The program will continue throughout the rest of February and March and is the largest Read Across America Program in the Country.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
The Senators will vote on SB 834 in the coming weeks. The bill is this year’s end-all deregulation bill. It threatens your local association’s right to negotiate a contract and would eventually deregulate all Oklahoma Public Schools.
This bill eliminates the teacher voice and adversely impacts kids with no limits on class size, while doing away with certified teachers and teacher quality through up-to-date professional development.
By eliminating the teacher's voice and school employee's voice, we won't be able to bargain contracts and working conditions including salary, and health benefits. The bill also eliminates due process rights.
Supporters are telling us that "teachers will be taken care of" with this legislation, but it will destroy years of working relationships between superintendents, school boards and our local associations.
Tell your local senator that this is not good for our public schools and they need to vote no on deregulation.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Please tell the Senate members you are opposed to Senate Bill 834. The bill is this year’s end-all deregulation bill. It threatens your local association’s right to negotiate a contract and would eventually deregulate all Oklahoma Public Schools. In addition, you will lose the following rights:
*No class size limitations
*No teacher quality
*Bargaining a contract
*Minimum salary schedule
*No guaranteed salary
*Personal leave days
*Payroll deduction of dues.
This is part of the most recent OEA Legislative Update that went to our members on February 11th. We need you to be actively involved in the decisions made at the Capital and you do that by contacting your Senator and Representative and let them know how you feel about legislation that affects your students, your classroom and you.
Please make sure you address SB834. Under Oklahoma law, school districts already have the right to deregulate. This is unnecessary and is more of the same "so-called reform" that is bandied about when legislators don't want to address investing in our kids. Tell your Senators to vote no on SB834.
Don't forget about our OEA Lobby Day on March 25th. For more information and to register go here.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
In a quote from the "Oklahoman" Scott Meacham said, "The governor had hoped avoid cutting education, health care, transportation and public safety, but because those agencies make up about 80 percent of the budget that no longer is an option. "
Supporting the economic recovery bill will save jobs and provide funding for all of our districts. Take action and let your voice be heard.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
The House and Senate bills now move to a “conference committee,” which will work out differences between the two bills and bring a final agreement back to the House and Senate for a vote.
Contact your Members of Congress Today! Tell Members of the House and Senate to support as much money as possible for education in the final economic recovery package.
Monday, February 09, 2009
Thanks to your e-mails from last week, the threatened cuts to education in the Senate economic recovery proposal were largely averted. A compromise reached this weekend leaves much of the education funding that flows directly to local school districts untouched.
This economic recovery package is very important. It will help save jobs and put more money immediately into struggling local economies. It will also reduce pressure on state budgets so more cuts to important programs can be avoided.
The package includes funding flexible funding for local school districts, increased funding for Title I and special education, and tax credits to help school districts finance school modernization and repair.