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October 2 2011 FEA President's Report

To: FEA Members and Leaders Worldwide
From: Michael Priser, FEA President
Re: FEA President's Report
Date: October 2, 2011


IMPORTANT DECISION REGARDING THE DEBT COLLECTION ISSUE -- The Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) has just dismissed DoDDS' appeal of Arbitrator Andree McKissick's decision.
Arbitrator McKissick ruled that DoDDS violated the Debt Collection Act and the Negotiated Agreement when it failed to provide due process (a "meaningful" written notice and a "meaningful" opportunity to obtain records) prior to collecting alleged debts. A full audit must be provided!
This important FLRA decision will be used as the guiding principle for pending debt collection cases.

MAXIMIZE THE LEARNING -- I have just returned from a weeklong visit to great schools in the Pacific as part of the Advisory Council on Dependent Education. It was clear from parents, students, administrators and the military community that our teachers have as a goal to maximize student learning. That phrase was repeated over and over and ACDE heard that our teachers share the goals of providing the best education in the world. While the posters and buttons made it clear to all observers that maximizing education is our goal--it was what the ACDE teams saw in the classroom that hit home. Our FEA members know exactly how to meet the needs of the whole child; delivering great instruction, using data and building partnerships. Thank you for all you do!

SAVE OUR SCHOOLS -- Concerned about the possibility of the Congressional "Supercommittee" suggesting the closure of DDESS schools as a way to cut federal spending? See our information at www.feaonline.org/sos/ (NOTICE: Do not view, download or transmit the information at that link during work hours or while using government equipment)

DoDEA's COMMUNITY STRATEGIC PLAN -- This past week, a group of DoDEA stakeholders met in Arlington to work on a new strategic plan for DoDEA for the next five years. The goal areas continue to be high achievement, world-class schools, organization excellence, building partnerships and an outstanding workforce. While working on these goals, FEA stressed that DoDEA's CSP must receive input from the school level to include educators, parents and students. Acting Director Marilee Fitzgerald, during the closing session, ensured the committee that the CSP framework would be sent out to the field and that every effort necessary would be in place for this to happen. FEA will keep members informed as to the progress on CSP so that every member can participate in giving guidance on this document.

BOARD MEETING -- The FEA Board of Directors will be meeting in Washington, DC, the week of October 17. Your Area Directors always do a great job bringing the concerns of their local members to the full board. Let your Area Directors know if there are any big issues or concerns you want to call to the Board's attention at is upcoming meeting

MEMBER BENEFITS-- In this update, I want to emphasize a huge benefit of Association membership that often gets overlooked as we tend to all concentrate on things like negotiations and legal services.
As members of FEA/NEA, you have access to hundreds of discounts and special programs through NEA's Member Benefits corporation. The Member Benefits Web site at www.neamb.com should always be your first stop to look for deals and promotions on just about anything you need. Everything from life insurance to loan programs to car purchases to restaurant discounts can be found there. It is no exaggeration to say you can save enough every year to more than recoup your Association dues. Be sure not to miss out on this great perk of membership.

SPECIFIC EXAMPLES -- In addition to saving you money on everyday needs, Member Benefits can help you find great deals on resources that will help with your professional development.
* The http://www.neamb.com/home/1209_5382.htm
* Curriki is an online community where you can access open source, peer-reviewed content. Through Curriki, you can collaborate with other educators and share your own content. The site allows members to upload and download as many resources as they like for free. Learn more at http://www.neamb.com/home/1209_5105.htm

PRESENTATIONS IN THE PACIFIC -- Michael Gavin, our NEA Member Benefits representative, will be visiting members in Guam and the Pacific this month to present information on the above-mentioned NEA Academy and other benefits program. So far, Michael Gavin's schedule looks like this:
October 5 and 6 -- Guam (multiple presentations)
October 11 -- Sasebo, Japan
October 13 -- Yokota, Japan
October 14 and 15 -- Tokyo
October 17 -- Daegu, Korea
October 18 -- Osan, Korea
October 26 -- Okinawa
Additional presentation dates are still being worked out. I encourage our members in any of these locations where Michael Gavin is presenting to attend his session and learn more about the many too-often-overlooked benefits of Association membership.

September certainly flew by quickly. I hope the school year so far has been a great one for you.