March 10, 2017 FEA Europe Update

Lisa's FEA Europe Update 
10 March 2017

Training Opportunity for Graduate Credit
LLI Text Removed due to Anti-Semitic Drawings
Retirement Articles
Hiring Freeze update
This Day in History
Problems with Separation Orders
Reading Street
NEA RA Election
Quote for the Week
Interesting Fact

Training Opportunity for Graduate Credit:  FEA will be sponsoring the course, "Leadership Skills in the 21st Century: LGBT Issues",  on the weekend of 17-19 March at Feltwell Elementary School Media Center.  All teachers are welcome to attend.  This course may be taken for 1 semester hour of Graduate credit through either USD or Ashland.  For more information, please contact Lisa Ali or John Crowe.

LLI Text Removed due to Anti-Semitic Drawings: In 2016, your FEA HCR program worked with DoDEA to remove the book "Jack and the Beanstalk" from the LLI curriculum due to anti-Semitic illustrations. When presented with the information that contained comparisons of the book's illustrations to Nazi era and contemporary propaganda, DoDEA HQ concurred that the illustrations were inappropriate and sent direction to the field to remove the book from the curriculum while also providing replacement lessons for LLI programs. The memo and replacement lessons are attached so LLI teachers can ensure their program is abiding by this directive and keeping their curriculum free of ethnic bias.

Just like the member who brought this issue to the attention of our HCR program, you can make a difference in the fight to eliminate bias from our curriculum. If you see a problem with racial, ethnic, gender or any other bias in your texts/resources, please let your school, district, area, and/or FEA HCR coordinator know so we can do something about it!

Alina Rozanski
FEA Human & Civil Rights Coordinator

Retirement Articles: Thrift Savings Plan Returns: Monthly and Annual - G, F, C, S, I and L Funds Updated: March 2, 2017
SSA Reverses Course, Again, on Mailing Benefits Estimates
Understanding TSP Annuity Options

Hiring Freeze Update:  Recently representative of FEA and NEA took our concerns about the federal civilian hiring freeze to lawmakers on Capitol Hill.  Concerns were shared regarding the negative impact the freeze is having on our schools. For the most recent information on the Hiring Freeze and other topics affecting our teachers, please follow the hyperlink to sign up to have these updates delivered directly to your inbox.

 This Day in History:  March 10, 1926: First Book-of-the-Month Club selection is published. Lolly Willowes, or The Loving Huntsman, the first Book-of-the-Month Club selection, is published by Viking Press. The book was written by English novelist Sylvia Townsend Warner, who had intended to become a musicologist, not a writer. To that end, she edited a 10-volume work called Tudor Church Music. Warner claimed she became a poet and fiction writer accidentally when she ran across a piece of paper with "a particularly tempting surface." She was intensely interested in established religions and the occult and used her knowledge of witchcraft in Lolly Willowes, a story about a widow who scandalizes her relations by moving to a town involved in witchcraft. The Book-of-the-Month Club's 4,000-plus members were not pleased with the novel. However, Warner was used to being controversial. As an openly gay woman in the early 1900s, she was the object of much hostility throughout her life. Warner later published 144 short stories in the New Yorker, as well as more novels, poetry, and translations. She died in 1978 in Dorset, England.

Problems with Separation Orders:  We have received several concerns with separation orders not being received in a timely manner due to a lack of fund citation.  Below is the response received when this concern was elevated to the European Area Office. 

Due to the Continuing Resolution Act ending on 28 April any travel after that date will not be approved until the CR is extended. At this point, we must wait until the budget has been signed or the CR extended. As individuals submit their requests in TOPS, HQ Travel Section is preparing the orders right up to the point of approval so that once the budget is approved, orders can be approved and forwarded immediately.

This concern has been elevated up the chain to FEA Washington where it is being addressed with DoDEA HQ.  

Reading Street :  FEA has recently received information that Reading Street will be the Reading Curriculum used in our schools for next year, but there will be no online access to resources in PearsonSuccessNet.  Apparently the current contract extension will end on 30 June and will not be renewed. Teachers will therefore be without the online portion of the contract until SY 18-19, when the ELA program will be provided with new instruction materials to accompany its entry into CCRSL. This matter has been elevated up to FEA Washington for consultation with DoDEA HQ. 

 NEA Representative Assembly Election: Ballots have been sent to FRSs for the Summer 2017 NEA Representative Assembly, being held in Boston this summer. Biographical information on candidates has also been disseminated.  For more information on the Representative Assembly, check out this NEA website:

Quote for the Week: 
"Do Spinach and grapefruit really make a good substitute for fries and a sundae?" ---Clues for Real Life The Classic Wit and Wisdom of Nancy Drew. 

 An Interesting Fact: In 2013, two-thirds of British children aged 5 to 13, could work a DVD player, but fewer than half could tie their shoelaces.


Lisa Ali
FEA Europe West Area Director
Isles, Wiesbaden, Stuttgart, Cuba