December 18, 2014 FEA President's Report

TO: FEA Members Worldwide
FROM: Chuck McCarter, FEA President
RE: FEA President's Report
DATE: December 18, 2014

I know some of our members received an early Christmas present with the news that a transfer program would be held this year. FEA has been working diligently with management on the details of the transfer program. The official announcement will come out shortly after we return from Winter Break.

Information about VERA/VSIP will also be announced when we return in January. If you are considering VERA/VSIP, be ready to apply in early January.

This week, DoDEA HQ told us that staffing documents for SY 15-16 should be reaching the schools soon. FRS's and Building Reps should work with their administration to see how any changes will impact your members. Please note that we have been assured that any teacher who is declared excess will receive VERA/VSIP if they request it. If you want VSIP/VERA and have the opportunity to volunteer to be excessed, that may be a good option for you.

I know many of our members were on pins and needles waiting for Educational Travel orders for their dependents for the holidays. Once the DOD budget was passed at the last minute, DoDEA Resource Management worked through the weekend to process these orders. Many thanks to Claudia Shaw, Teresa Moore and the rest of the Resource Management team for their efforts. If you are still having problems, contact Claudia Shaw at this address.

For those in our overseas bargaining unit, if you plan to retire at the end of the semester or before the end of the year, be sure to file a "goodbye grievance" and elevate it before your last duty day. If you need forms or more information, see your FRS.

DoDEA has announced that our schools will implement College and Career Core Math Standards in Grades PK-5 during next school year. The Association will be represented on the work group that is developing a plan for this implementation. In working with NEA, we have heard about states that have successfully implemented new standards and those which have had very poor implementations. FEA will continue to advocate for adequate time and training in order to make this a successful implementation. We will also continue to remind DoDEA that time and resources are limited and we must continue to narrow our focus so that teachers have time and energy to do what we do best, teach our students. FEA will keep members informed of information concerning this implementation.

If you are still looking for holiday gifts, don't forget about the deals available to NEA/FEA members on the NEA Member Benefits site.

This is the last President's Report scheduled before the holiday break (barring any urgent news). On behalf of the entire FEA staff here in Washington, I want to wish all FEA members a wonderful holiday season and best wishes for a bright and happy New Year. We know 2015 will continue to bring changes and challenges, but hopefully also rewards and opportunities. See you in 2015!