November 15 2017 FEA President's Report
TO: FEA Members Worldwide
FROM: Chuck McCarter, FEA President
RE: FEA President's Report
DATE: November 15, 2017
THREAT TO STATESIDE SCHOOLS
An article in the Military Times newspaper this week reports the White House is again resurrecting the threat to transfer Stateside DoD schools to local communities, apparently in hopes of finding budget savings to help pay for the budget cuts they are trying to pass in Congress. The article says the administration is first considering a transfer of the two schools at Marine Corp Base Quantico, Virginia, as a test case. The quality of these schools and their value to the families who utilize them is beyond question. The fact that we must continually fight to justify their existence as a major benefit to military families is shameful! FEA and NEA will work with FEA-Stateside Region and our Stateside locals, especially at Quantico, to educate decision makers and local communities about this threat. The fact it is coming at a time the administration is increasing threats against the public schools that would be expected to absorb these DoD students is particularly galling. You can read the Military Times article here.
Details of the SY 18-19 DoDEA Transfer Program have been released and can be viewed at this page. You can also find a link to the online application at that same page. The deadline to apply is December 15, 2017. There will be no VSIP or VERA offered this year. Funding for the transfer program remains at $4.5 million, the same as last year's program, though DoDEA Director Tom Brady told the FEA Board of Directors at its meeting last week he would commit additional funding if necessary to make sure the overall number of transfers made in this year's program is no fewer than the number arranged last year.
During the week of November 6-9, the FEA Board of Directors met to work together to address the issues and concerns facing our schools and our Association. We had long days of good discussions and were also able to meet with numerous NEA officers and staff, as well as DoDEA Director Tom Brady.
AMERICAN EDUCATION WEEK/ESP DAY
This week, November 13-17, we celebrate American Education Week and November 15 is especially designated as Education Support Professionals (ESP) Day. Congratulations and a huge THANK YOU to all our members for the amazing things you do every day. FEA is honored everyday to serve you in the important work you do.
MILITARY FAMILY APPRECIATION MONTH
November is Military Family Month. This annual event celebrates the Military Family and honors the commitment and sacrifices made by the families of the nation's service members.
The December issue of the FEA Journal is now in the mail and posted at feaonline.org. The new issue highlights several legal actions the Association is pursuing in reaction to DoDEA management's unwillingness to meet its obligations to bargain working conditions, details a big win by FEA-Stateside Region for members at Laurel Bay, and outlines the liability insurance coverage provided to all Association members. You'll also find information about next summer's NEA Representative Assembly in Minneapolis (and FEA's Annual Membership Meeting in St. Paul) among other news items.
Celebrate the Thanksgiving season in the classroom with lessons, quizzes, activities, games, trivia, books, and more, including many focusing on Native Americans, go to this page.
As we celebrate American Education Week this week and look forward to Thanksgiving, I want to thank the wonderful educators working in our schools around the world. American Education Week celebrates the great work our public schools do, and our DoDEA schools are great examples of that work. Through the years, our educators have provided a world class education for our military connected students and have given DoDEA a record and a reputation to be proud of. I am very thankful for the chance to represent such great educators!
My best wishes for a very happy Thanksgiving to all FEA members and their families, as well as to our DoDEA students and families, particularly those with a loved one currently deployed or family far away. Though our thoughts are often occupied with the many challenges we face, as DoDEA employees we also have much to be thankful for. Whether you stay at home or travel, I hope you have a wonderful holiday.