Thursday, January 31, 2013

ISEA Academy Expands to Include More Classes

The ISEA is among the nation's leaders when it comes to helping educators improve their skills and knowledge. To help members improve their practice, ISEA's teaching and learning programs cover a wide variety of topics and issues that aren't typically addressed in traditional school district in-service or AEA professional development programs. They are team taught by a lead teacher with either a master's degree or who are nationally board certified and with at least one additional licensed Iowa educator. The courses are typically developed by teams of practitioners with the experiences and knowledge to meet the everyday challenges of the classroom and meet both licensure requirements and the higher education institutions' requirements for graduate credit.

HIT READ MORE to find out about the licensure renewal credits, the online courses, the brick and mortar possibilities for LC, audit courses and more.

LCEA Friends of Education 2012-2013

The Lewis Central Education Association is comprised of nearly 200 Lewis Central educators and is the professional voice of the profession within Lewis Central Schools.  For the third year in a row, the LCEA is using its collective voice to thank and recognize some of the many individuals and organizations that make Lewis Central Schools a place with a “Proud Past and Promising Future.” 

The LCEA is thankful for these friends in making sure that our traditions are advanced and our future looks bright.

A large group of members, administrators, community members joined in the celebration on January 24, 2013 in the Lewis Central High School Media Center.


Caldecott, Newbery Winners Announced

Among numerous awards recognizing excellent work in writing, illustrating, and publishing for children and young adults, the Caldecott and Newbery Medals are by far the most anticipated. The American Library Association's annual Youth Media Awards were held yesterday in conjunction with the association's midwinter meeting. Awards ceremony attendees—even those listening in by livestream, as I did—will have remarked the palpable anticipation as Carolyn Brodie, president of the Association for Library Service to Children, announced the Caldecott and Newbery winners.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Use Your Union Won Weingarten Rights

Your Weingarten Rights


The right of employees to have union representation at investigatory interviews was announced by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 1975 case (NLRB vs. Weingarten, Inc. 420 U.S. 251, 88 LRRM 2689). These rights have become known as the Weingarten rights.

Employees have Weingarten rights only during investigatory interviews. An investigatory interview occurs when a supervisor questions an employee to obtain information which could be used as a basis for discipline or asks an employee to defend his or her conduct.

If an employee has a reasonable belief that discipline or other adverse consequences may result from what he or she says, the employee has the right to request union representation. Management is not required to inform the employee of his/her Weingarten rights; it is the employees responsibility to know and request.

When the employee makes the request for a union representative to be present management has three options:

Sequestration and its Impact on Education

The White House has released its plan explaining how the sequester’s mandatory spending cuts to defense and domestic spending will be implemented in 2013. Here’s the background on what the sequester is, how it happened and what happens from here:
What is the sequester?
It’s a package of automatic spending cuts that’s part of the Budget Control Act (BCA), which was passed in August 2011. The cuts, which are projected to total $1.2 trillion, are scheduled to begin in 2013 and end in 2021, evenly divided over the nine-year period. The cuts are also evenly split between defense spending — with spending on wars exempt — and discretionary domestic spending, which exempts most spending on entitlements like Social Security and Medicaid, as the Bipartisan Policy Center explains. The total cuts for 2013 will be $109 billion, according to the new White House report.
Under the BCA, the cuts were triggered to take effect beginning Jan. 1 if the supercommittee didn’t to agree to a $1.2 trillion deficit-reduction package by Nov. 23, 2011. The group failed to reach a deal, so the sequester was triggered.


What Losing the Legislature Means to More of Our Friends--Kansas Educators Likely to Pay a Heavy Price

Kansas Legislature Mulls Bill To Limit Teacher Union Rights.

LCEA NOTE: We frequently ask our members to commit to involving themselves in coffees, writing legislators and more. Kansas teachers--who came to Pottawattamie County several times to help with Election 2012--are likely to lose many hard-fought gains because both chambers and the Governor's office are now filled with anti-public-education policy makers. Please answer the call to help us in this session. We are truly "one Gronstal" away from Wisconsin.

The Topeka Capital-Journal (1/29, Llopis-Jepsen) reports that a committee of the Kansas state House is considering legislation to "limit the negotiating rights of teachers unions and strip them of their status as exclusive bargaining units. The amendments to the Professional Negotiations Act would allow teachers who aren't part of their local unions to negotiate contracts individually or in other groups." The measure would remove teacher assessments from the "list of negotiable items," along with "the length of classes and number of periods per day."

KCTV-TV Kansas City, MO (1/30, McCallister, Lee) reports online that the bill "would change the way schools could negotiate contracts with teachers," adding that legislators "have proposed bills targeting public sector unions and Tuesday focused on teachers." Noting that teachers and other education stakeholders are protesting the bill, the article quotes a local teachers union leader saying, "They're going to try and silence our political voice."

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Urgent Action Needed for Allowable Growth

Urgent action needed for Allowable Growth!

Please contact your state legislators now. Let them know they need to set the 2013-2014 Allowable Growth Rate.

As educators, we are deeply committed to the success of every child. We know that failing to set an Allowable Growth Rate hurts Iowa students and our schools.

• Adequate, predictable, and sustainable funding is critical for planning purposes and for making important financial decisions in our school districts.

• A statewide education coalition— the Iowa State Education Association (ISEA), the School Administrators of Iowa (SAI), the Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB), the Urban Education Network (UEN), and Area Education Agencies (AEAs)—agrees that setting Allowable Growth at 4 percent for the 2013-2014 school year is critical to the success of Iowa’s students and schools.

• It’s the law! Iowa statute calls for the establishment of a statewide Allowable Growth Rate for schools within the first 30 days of the legislative session.

• By failing to establish an Allowable Growth Rate, legislators will force school administrators to issue staff reduction notices, thereby potentially increasing class sizes, reducing course offerings, and decreasing other important school resources.

Go to and click on the “Take Action Now” button on the right-hand side of the page to email your legislators or to find a Legislative Forum in your area.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Educators Say Mental Health Awareness Key to Preventing Gun Violence

By Cindy Long

In January, the nation has marked the second anniversary of the mass shooting in Tucson, listened to the emotional testimony at the court hearing for the Aurora movie theater gunman, and watched brave elementary school students return to their classrooms after the shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary last month in Newtown, Connecticut. And then on Friday, January 11, yet another shooting took place at a high school in California, underscoring the urgent need for national action on gun safety.

In the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, President Obama promised to take concrete steps to reduce gun violence and on Wednesday he announced expansive new policies, including background checks for all firearms buyers and a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips. He also announced more federal funding for mental health and school safety initiatives, reflecting recommendations NEA submitted to the White House.

Think Politics Don't Matter? Take a Look at Your Paycheck

Payroll Tax Holiday Ends, Hits Take Home Pay

January 07, 2013| By Harold Brubaker, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer

Despite all the drama leading up to New Year's Day, the tax deal signed Thursday by President Obama did virtually nothing to change the trajectory of the U.S. government's debt-laden finances.

The deal raised some taxes, but not enough to prevent the slow starvation of federal programs to help the poor and elderly, according to advocates for such programs.

By leaving spending cuts off the table for the most part, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 set up what is sure to be an ugly fight over raising the nation's debt limit by early March.

In the meantime, all wage-earners will see 2 percent less money in their paychecks, because the law did nothing to prevent the end of the so-called payroll tax holiday.

CLICK READ MORE to answer some questions and answers on key aspects of the law: