Tuesday, April 27, 2010


As you know, hundreds of thousands of educators across the country are receiving "pink slips" -- the situation is critical and growing worse by the day.

NEA is working to save educators’ jobs and we need your help. Join NEA President Dennis Van Roekel on Tuesday, April 27 at 8:10 p.m. EDT to learn how you can be a part of this call to action.

Because of your activism, both in the Association and in your communities, you have been chosen to take part in an unprecedented event – an interactive telephone town hall. You work in our schools every day. You know what educators face and what our students truly need. This special phone call will give you an opportunity to share your ideas and priorities with Dennis.
Out of NEA’s 3.2 million members, only a small number of activists, including you, will receive an invitation to join the call. On April 26, expect a call reminding you about the event. And on April 27 – the day of the telephone town hall – you will receive the call from Dennis that automatically connects you to this historic NEA event.

We need to keep kids learning and keep educators working.

Get ready! Get involved! Let your voice be heard!

Friday, April 23, 2010

NEA INSIDER--April 23, 2010

April 23, 2010


NEA member Michelle from Kansas shares her story:
I love teaching. The constant challenges of public education create the most rewarding experiences in this ever-changing career.

Last spring, I resigned from a safe, stable district where I was a tenured teacher. This year, I teach in an urban high school where roughly 80% of our students are low-SES, about 35% are special education students, and the ever-widening achievement gaps threaten the very existence of our school.

This is it for our secondary students; they have to have a solid education in order to change their future. Every single day utilizes every ounce of my knowledge, experience, training, and creativity. Every single day is worth it. Education has always been the great equalizer, removing limitations and allowing room for life's treasured possibilities.

Recently, our state legislature moved back the school notification of RIFs/nonrenewals from May 1 to May 24. Students will be out of school before I know whether or not I will be back next year. Five years ago, I was the district's nominee for secondary Kansas Teacher of the Year in a different district. Next year, I may not be anyone's teacher in any district.

And I absolutely still love teaching.

Cyberlobbyists - The situation is urgent. Hundreds of thousands of educators across the country have already received "pink slips" and more are to come. Talented educators like Michelle, who have dedicated their lives to the profession and are passionate about educating our nation's children, are losing their jobs. Not one fewer student is coming through our public school doors because of the economic crisis. Children get only one shot at an education and isn't their fault they are in school during this time of economic crisis. Layoffs, ballooning class sizes, and dramatic program cuts are irrevocably hurting our profession, shortchanging our students, and jeopardizing our ability to compete in the global economy.

THERE IS A SOLUTION! Senator Tom Harkin's (D-IA) Keep Our Educators Working Act (S.3206) would provide $23 billion to help stave off educator layoffs. A similar proposal, the "Jobs for Main Street Act," already passed the U. S. House of Representatives in December 2009. But, to save jobs, the Senate needs to pass this bill NOW!

TAKE ACTION: The e-mail you send could help save your job or the job of a colleague!

* Urge your Senator to cosponsor the Keep Our Educators Working Act and to push for its immediate passage.

* Urge the President to support immediate action to save and create hundreds of thousands of education jobs.

* Urge your Representative to cosponsor the Local Jobs for America Act, which Representative Miller (D-CA) has introduced in the House. Although the House has already acted, the Miller bill sends a strong message about the need to get an education job package done and enacted into law.

* Share your story. Is your job in jeopardy? Have you already received a "pink slip?" The key to getting education jobs funding approved by Congress is demonstrating to Senators the huge impact not passing an education jobs funding bill would have on public schools and the economy as a whole. The more stories we can present to lawmakers from a cross-section of the country, the more successful we will be.

* Visit our new Education Votes site to share your story and read about other actions you can take to make sure your voice is heard on the issues that matter the most.

Additional Information:

Read the testimony of Iowa State Education Association President Chris Bern on "Education Funding and the Education Jobs Crisis," presented to the Senate Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Labor-HHS-Education, on April 14, 2010. U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, also testified at this hearing and added his support for an education jobs bill.

Check out NEA's education jobs advocacy packet, including estimates of layoffs and program cuts by state, stories from real educators who have lost or fear losing their jobs, and news clips and videos from around the country on the education jobs crisis.

See how many education jobs the House-passed bill will save/create in your state.

See how much more money your state would get under the jobs bill than it would have a chance to "win" under the competition for "Race to the Top" Funds.

See how much funding your state will lose once monies under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act expire, unless Congress provides more funding in a jobs/economic recovery bill.

Reauthorization of ESEA has kicked into high gear. NEA is urging Congress to work with educators to craft a reauthorization package that:
Promotes innovation and 21st century skills in public schools, using research-based approaches and strong collaboration among stakeholders;
Provides students with a rich, challenging curriculum that allows multiple ways to show what they have learned;
Elevates the profession to attract great educators and leaders for every public school;
Facilitates greater parental and community involvement and engagement in all schools; and
Champions adequate, equitable, and sustainable resources/opportunities for all public schools.


* Tell Congress what students really need to succeed.

Additional Information:

Read NEA's letter and supporting materials submitted to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee for the April 22nd hearing on "Meeting the Needs of the Whole Child." Materials address issues such as student health, safety, and well-being; teaching and learning conditions; parental and community engagement; equity in resources and opportunities; and class size reduction.

Read NEA's letter and supporting materials submitted to the Senate HELP Committee for the April 19th field hearing on "Innovation in Public Schools." Materials include NEA papers on elevating the profession and ensuring every child a quality teacher and links to articles and stories on innovative programs to ensure great educators.

Read NEA's letter and supporting materials submitted to the Senate HELP Committee for the April 15th hearing on "Teachers and Leaders." Materials include NEA papers on elevating the profession and ensuring every child a quality teacher and links to articles and stories on innovative programs to ensure great educators.

Read NEA's letter and supporting materials submitted to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee for the April 14th hearing on "School Turnaround." Materials include examples of successful collaborative transformation models and links to videos highlighting successful transformation programs.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

ISEA President Testifies for US Congress

Millions of public school children to be affected by educator layoffs; At least 125,000 educators expecting pink slips

NEA urges immediate passage of Keep our Educators Working Act

April 14, 2010

WASHINGTON— As the school year winds down, kids across the country are preparing for summer break, camp and family vacations. Yet, as the end of the school year approaches, so does the likelihood that there will be fewer educators there to welcome the students back in the fall. With three months left in "pink slip" season, the National Education Association is projecting at least 125,000 educator layoffs—with that number likely to increase. State and local budgets are at critical levels, more cuts are looming, and the prospect of larger class sizes, less individual attention and more crowded school buses has parents concerned.

NEA is urging immediate passage of the Keep Our Educators Working Act, introduced today by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), chair of the Senate Education Committee.

“When educators lose their jobs, our children lose too,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “The students who were in our schools yesterday will be there again tomorrow. And they will still need individual attention and resources to help them achieve. They will still need counselors, nurses, reading specialists and others to help them succeed. These cuts shortchange our kids, and frankly, they deserve more than that.”

Millions of public school children will be affected by the projected layoffs. School budgets across the country have already been cut to the bone, with some districts moving to four-day school weeks, cutting programs or even closing schools. These layoffs and cuts are coming at the same time that schools are facing demands for better academic outcomes.

Some districts are choosing to cut programs rather than lay off staff; some districts have no choice but to cut both programs and staff. Either way, those actions are a losing proposition for millions of public school students.

“The Keep Our Educators Working Act would provide $23 billion to extend already successful State Fiscal Stabilization aid from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). This would save or fund hundreds of thousands of education jobs, and it would be a tremendous help to states in dire financial circumstances,” said Van Roekel. “But more importantly, it ensures that millions of America’s students will not be bearing the brunt of the nation's economic woes.

“We thank Senator Harkin for introducing the Keep Our Educators Working Act and urge the Senate to act quickly on its passage. We also hope that Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will urge the Senate to quickly pass this important aid.”

At a Senate hearing Wednesday, Iowa State Education Association President Chris Bern testified that the ARRA was critically important to Iowa, funding 6,715 education jobs— teachers, librarians, nurses, and support workers— across the state. Nearly 5,000 of those jobs were funded through the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund.

“The Senate needs to act quickly on an education jobs package,” testified Bern. “This will go a very long way to help avert the crisis that is right in front of us.”

Prospects are bleak for teachers—those who are getting layoff notices as well as those who are being asked to do much more with much less. Read about what educators are saying about crowded classrooms and dwindling resources. Their stories are being shared through NEA’s activism Web site EducationVotes.