November 16 2011 FEA Pacific Update

Area Director Update
American Education Week
NEA Human and Civil Rights Nomination
FEHB Open Season
LES/Debt Codes
Do you know the Negotiated Agreement? Article 21, 22 & 23
NEA Websites you can use
Legal Eagle Corner --
Mark Your Calendars
Other Tidbits

Area Director Update: The first quarter of the 2011-2012 has come and gone. I hope you have had the chance to celebrate the accomplishments of your student. From October 17 -21 I attended the FEA Board of Directors meeting in Washington, D.C. We also took the time to celebrate the multiple accomplishment of the Association. The Board is keenly aware that management has over stacked our plates, and we continued to make that point with Ms. Marilee Fitzgerald and other DODEA leaders during the week.

October and November so far have been consumed with addressing the immediate needs and inquiries of the membership. Thank you for keeping your FRS and District Presidents informed about the various initiatives, programs and issues being rolled out by management. Last Friday, 4 November, I attended the Pacific Area Advisory Council meeting in Yokota. If there was an issue that you raised in your school or district area council, you can contact your District President to see if it was addressed in the Area Advisory Council. Due to conflicting schedules and DODEA Pacific Director Diana Ohman's announcement that she is leaving the Pacific, we have been force to communicate with the Pacific Area Office solely by phone and email. I plan to schedule a meeting with the new interim DODEA Pacific Director Steven Bloom as soon as possible.

K-3 BAS (Basic Skills Assessment): Teachers in grades K-3 have been trained and are testing their students. The suspense date to complete the testing is November 30th. Your FRS has the K-3 BAS MOU or you can access via If you are unable to complete the testing by the suspense date, please notify your FRS so that he/she can work with the principal. Your FRS will contact the District President if there are issues. Teachers, you will have your chance to provide feedback on the K-3 BAS to FEA in the near future.

American Education Week: 13-19 November is America Education Week. This is the 90th year of the annual recognition of how important education is for us all.

Attached is a proclamation signed by President Obama regarding American Education Week, 2011.
View NEA President Van Roekel's AEW interview which aired today on Channel 9 in the DC metro area
Suggestion: Take time to thank an ESP (Educational Support Person) -- education aide, custodian, clerical support, cafeteria worker, bus driver, bus monitor, supply clerk, personnelist, school secretary -- It truly takes a team to provide our students with a quality education.

A huge thank you for all that you do to provide a quality education for all students at our military installation.

NEA Human and Civil Rights Award Nomination: NEA has a rich history of recognizing citizens across the United States for their human and civil rights efforts. This is a prestigious award and a wonderful ceremony, which is held during the annual Representative Assembly. December 15, 2012, is the nomination deadline. For more information on the NEA HCR Awards visit

FEHB Open Season: Open season for your Federal Employee Health Benefits in 2012 is now open until December 12, 2011. You should have received a number of announcements regarding open season. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) website to assist you with your decision for the upcoming season:

LES/Debt Codes: Do you feel you are reading Greek when you view your LES? Attached are two word documents to assist you in deciphering "pay speak". Thanks to Lisa Ali, Europe AD, for the documents.

Do you know your Negotiated Agreement? Articles 21, 22, and 23 cover teacher leave. Learn about your leave (accumulation/request/paternity/adoption/APL/withdrawal/AWOL/) in Article 21. Article 22 reviews excused absences. Leave without pay (LWOP) is in Article 23. If you have questions, please check with your FRS.

NEA Websites you can use:

NEA Website:
NEA portal to education news and NEA conferences and events.

NEA Academy:
Our goal is to provide high-quality professional development.
We have several courses available and are continuously adding new ones. Every course we offer is carefully screened against a set of quality standards that includes content, design, interactivity, support, and more.
Professional development on your terms. Please check with licensure office (check with your school secretary for the contact information) when planning to use university credits for recertification.

NEA Member Benefits:
The 3.2 million members of the NEA are linked by a common thread--dedication to students, to families, and to community. At NEA Member Benefits, we take pride in serving you! We are dedicated to making the personal and professional lives of educators better through "best in class" programs and services.

NEA Health Information Network:
bNetS@vvy offers useful tools exploring the issues that confront families and educators. These may include cyberbullying, sexting, consumer privacy, and social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for bi-monthly e-newsletters and stay abreast of the latest Internet safety topics.

NEA Read Across America:

About NEA's Read Across America
The National Education Association is building a nation of readers through its signature program, NEA's Read Across America. Now in its thirteenth year, this year-round program focuses on motivating children and teens to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources.
NEA's Read Across America Day, NEA's national reading celebration takes place each year on or near March 2, the birthday of Dr. Seuss. Across the country, thousands of schools, libraries, and community centers participate by bringing together kids, teens, and books, and you can too!

Pacific's Legal Eagle Corner:

Members have asked for more information about entitlements and aging up. If you have any dependents in your household you need to know what happens to your LQA, Post Allowance and travel benefits when there are "personal circumstance" changes in your household.

When any dependent reaches the age of 21, you are precluded from claiming that dependent for LQA and Post Allowance purposes. Your family size must be changed. This is your obligation. You will need to access DAPS and file an electronic SF 1190 stating that your dependent has "aged up".

For dependents under the age of 21, if they are absent from the overseas area for more than 30 days you must also notate this change on an SF 1190. Once the dependent returns you can claim him again.

For example, if you husband is your dependent and he leaves to help take care of his parents in the States, on the 31st day that he is absent from the overseas area, you must notify DODDS. You family size for Post Allowance will be lowered. Upon return to your post of assignment you will have to notify DODDS again of his return and your family size will go back up again for Post Allowance.

What about LQA? Your wife is your dependent and she returns to the States for medical treatment, which lasts more than 30 days. Must you notify DODDS of this change in personal circumstances? The answer is no, not for LQA. Section 132.2.d of the Department of State Standardized Regulations states that the "with family" rate continues for a period not to exceed 6 months when family members are temporarily absent from post. If your wife remains for longer than 6 months then you have to change your family size for LQA.

Regarding return travel to the States, dependents who reach the age of 21 while still living overseas will be limited in the kind of travel that they can receive after aging up. To simplify as much as possible let me just say that your son or daughter must be on your first travel orders after they age up or you will not be reimbursed for any return travel at all.

It's November and your daughter just turned 21. She is attending a local college overseas. You are eligible for RAT during the summer of 2012. If you do not add your daughter to those orders she will not be able to return to the States under any Government orders again. You have one chance to get reimbursed travel for her back to your home of record. If you receive PCS orders before RAT orders then your dependent will have to be on those PCS orders in order to get at free trip back to your home of record. It appears that you can also request early return of dependent orders before you take RAT. Be careful! If you take RAT and fail to add your daughter you will not be able to request early return of dependent after you use your RAT orders.

Again, dependents must be removed from your LQA and Post Allowance effective the date they turn, regardless if the dependent is a full time student or not.

Mark Your Calendars

November National Native American Heritage Month
November 13-19 American Education week
November 14-17 School Psychology Awareness Week
November 24 Thanksgiving
November 24-27 Thanksgiving Break


Stay Informed: FEA and NEA provide a wealth of information to you. Visit,, < a href="" target="_blank">, Remember to have your membership ID ready in order to access information for members only. You will find your ID number on your membership card. Instructions for new members to gain access to are at

Yen and Won Rates: To check the rates go to

Until the next update,

Debra S. Degalis
FEA Pacific Area Director