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November 11 2010 FEA President's Report

To: FEA Members and Local Leaders Worldwide
From: Michael Priser, FEA President
Re: FEA President's Report
Date: November 11, 2010


ADDRESSING STAFFING NEEDS -- FEA has been in discussions with Acting DoDEA Director Marilee Fitzgerald regarding the staffing needs of our schools. Ms. Fitzgerald will use program needs, along with staffing formulas, to determine what personnel is needed in the schools. She plans to add several hundred positions to address unique needs in some schools and to handle the expected increase in enrollment our schools are facing. She has already made cuts in above-school-level administrative positions in order to meet the educational needs directly in the schools. FEA strongly supports this approach to staffing and partnership.

COACHES EXPENSES -- FEA and DoDEA have signed off on a settlement agreement to reimburse coaches for hotel expenses when they are required to stay overnight with their teams in a hotel. Under the settlement (which can be downloaded here) any coach who was not reimbursed for hotel expenses since School Year 2006-2007 may submit a claim for reimbursement. Claims must be submitted to DoDEA Headquarters by December 10, 2010. A legal update on this settlement and the reimbursement process has been sent out to FEA members and is also available online. For information on how to submit claims and other details of this settlement, please see that legal update. The settlement also resolved several specific cases of coaches who were not reimbursed in the past for hotel expenses.

VISITS TO DDESS SCHOOLS -- I am looking forward to visiting a number of DDESS schools from November 15-22. I will be offering members a brief update on a number of issues including the Education Review of DoDEA being conducted by the Pentagon, how pre-decisional involvement will improve decision making in our schools, streamlining the Advanced Ed certification process, clarification on data walls, and the impact of new initiatives and curricula implementation in our system. I am working with the local Presidents in setting up school visits. We have scheduled some lunchtime and after school meetings. All FEA members are invited and encouraged to attend.
* Monday, November 15: Fort Bragg--Bowley ES after school meeting
* Tuesday, November 16: Fort Bragg--Gordon ES at lunchtime/Devers ES after school meeting
* Wednesday, November 17: Camp Lejeune--Tarawa Terrace II ES after school meeting
* Thursday, November 18: Fort Jackson--Pierce Terrace ES at lunchtime/Pinckney ES after school meeting
* Monday, November 22: Laurel Bay--Galer ES at lunchtime/Bolden ES after school meeting

100 PERCENT -- Kinser Elementary School in Okinawa has joined the ranks of school buildings to achieve 100 percent FEA membership this school year. Congratulations, and a very big "thank you!" to the local leaders and members there at Kinser. If your school reaches 100 percent membership, please let us know by e-mailing fea@feaonline.org

IN THE MAIL -- The November issue of the FEA Journal newsletter is now in the mail to our members. There is valuable information about the ongoing glut of debt letters members have been receiving, as well as information about running for an FEA Area Director position and more. You can also read the newsletter in PDF format at the FEA Web site.

THANK YOU -- We had a great response to the printed survey FEA sent out to members this fall, asking you help us prioritize issues of importance. Our office recently finished collecting the completed surveys and sent them off to be tabulated. In the months ahead, we'll be reporting on the results in this update, at www.feaonline.org and in the February FEA Journal. Thank you to all of our FRSs/building representatives for their work in distributing, collecting and returning the surveys, and thanks especially to everyone who gave us your feedback by completing the survey.

AMERICAN EDUCATION WEEK -- Remember, American Education Week is next week, November 14-20, and Education Support Professional Day is November 17. Congratulations to all FEA members. Although faculty and staff deserve to be praised every day for all their hard work, it is very gratifying to have this week set aside as a special tribute to the work you do.

OPEN SEASON -- The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Open Season is underway now through December 13. Go to www.opm.gov/insure/health/ for more information.

VETERANS DAY -- I want to close by encouraging all FEA members to take time to reflect upon the meaning of Veterans Day and to thank those who have served in the armed forces, as well as those who serve currently. I especially want to recognize the many FEA members and DoDEA employees who are veterans. Thank you for all you have done and all you continue to do!

Since this will likely be my last update until December 1, let me be the first to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving, and a great weekend.