January 9 2019 FEA Europe Update

Terry's Update

9 January 2019

1. Staffing VSIP/VERA
2. RAT 2019
3. NEH Summer Programs
4. Martin Luther King Jr Day
5. IRS Forms/Publications
6. Open Season Check of LES
7. Mark Your Calendar
8. Congratulations for the Read Across America Grants
9. Checking MyPay for TDY/RAT Payments

1. Staffing Documents VSIP/VERA -- As many know the staffing documents have arrived, and please remember they do change as things move along because of reclama etc. It seems if we can believe the message from the director that VSIP/VERA will be used this year, however, the parameters for it will be important to know therefore stay tuned to know what's possible to receive VSIP/VERA.

2. RAT 2019 -- We are currently working with the area office to get information, and hopefully, step-by-step instructions as to what to do when applying for RAT for 2019. Please do not apply before February as we hope to have the information out to you near the beginning of February. It was complicated last year and we are attempting to avoid that process for members this year. We are also working on the process of getting reimbursed upon return, so stay tuned for the information that should be sent in February.

3. NEH Summer Programs for Educators -- NEH offers tuition-free opportunities for K-12 educators and higher education faculty to study a variety of humanities topics. Stipends of $1,200-$3,300 help cover expenses for these one- to four-week programs. Application Deadline: March 1, 2019. National Endowment for the Humanities Click here to apply

4. Martin Luther King Jr Day - is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. The campaign for a federal holiday in King's honor began soon after his assassination in 1968. President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed three years later. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000. More info here about the national day of service.

5. IRS Forms and Publications -- As tax season approaches, this site has all of the forms and publications that you will need to complete your 2018 tax filing. Most can be done electronically. Also, be aware that most military installations offer tax services for civilians at no cost--check with legal office on your base/post. Find IRS forms and publications here

6. Open Season Check of LES -- During the recent Open Season many of you may have made changes to your benefits. These changes should be reflected in your upcoming LES. Please check to see that they are correct.

7. Mark Your Calendar< br /> January 18 -- Winnie the Pooh Day (The Birthday of Winnie's author A.A. Milne)
January 23 -- National Handwriting Day (re-introduce ourselves to a pen or pencil) also John Hancock's birthday
January 21 -- Martin Luther King Holiday
January 24 -- End of Quarter
January 25 -- Teacher Work Day

8. NEA Read Across America Awards -- Congratulations to Hohenfels ES, Shape ES, Stuttgart ES, Spangdahlm ES, Kaiserslautern ES/MS, Patch ES, and Wiesbaden ES/MS for working to secure funding for their Read Across America Projects from NEA. These schools all will receive $1000.00 or more dollars each to fund projects they submitted to FEA for submission to NEA. Congratulations again to the schools, as well as to Lisa Zimmerman, Therese Blanchard, Danielle Rodriquez, Susan Lamos, Dee Parker, Amy Rush, and Elaine Young our great colleagues that wrote up the projects!

9. Checking MyPay -- As RAT, and TDY payments are no longer included in your LES it is important to check on MyPay for those payments. Once you have logged into MyPay there is a list of options. In this list about 3/4 of the way down the list there is a link called AOP or advice of payment. Clicking on this link will bring you to the travel orders you have used and the amount you were paid for the travel. Again, this is the only place, other than your bank account, that you will see if you have been paid for any RAT or TDY travel as it is no longer listed in your LES.

Terry McClain
FEA Europe
Area Director