February 2, 2009 FEA President's ReportTo: FEA Members and Local Leaders Worldwide
From: Michael Priser, FEA President
Re: FEA President's Report
Date: February 2, 2009
TRANSFER PROGRAM -- The School Year 2009-2010 Transfer Program Agreement between FEA and DoDDS has been completed and is posted on the FEA Web site (www.feaonline.org/transfers.htm). Some details on this year's program are outlined below. First, however, some deadline/timeline information for this year's transfer program:
Feb. 20 - The deadline to submit your transfer application to your administrator
March 6 -- The deadline to amend your transfer application
March 13 -- The deadline for FEA members to submit your transfer application to FEA (via e-mail or fax to 202-822-7867) so we can monitor it during the transfer program
March 16 -- Transfer Round will begin
The transfer program application can be found here.
CHANGES FOR THIS YEAR -- This year's transfer program will be very similar to past years' programs, with a few exceptions. One change is that educators who were declared excess and transferred last year will not be able to apply for a transfer this year unless they are again declared excess. Previously, such employees could apply for a transfer the year after they had been declared excess (but if the employee was not in her RAT year she could only apply to GROUP A locations). Another change is that excess educators will be given 2 weeks after receipt of the transfer program reassignment to request reconsideration.
WHY THE DELAY IN GETTING THE ANNOUNCEMENT OUT? -- FEA was still working with management up until Friday evening on details of the program. It was not signed by FEA until late on Friday and we were waiting for DoDEA Headquarters to also sign the MOU. DoDEA has sent out the announcement as agreed upon. FEA will also add the signed MOU on our website upon receipt.
A CLEAR MESSAGE -- FEA wanted to make sure that there was no confusion on the rules of the Transfer Program. The guidelines that are posted apply to this year's Transfer Program. DoDDS had proposed two additional changes to the transfer program that would apply to the program to be held during spring 2010. FEA has asked that these proposed changes be negotiated next year. First, DoDDS wants to remove Okinawa from GROUP B. Under their proposal, educators who have been at Okinawa continuously for at least 7 years would be in GROUP D, those who have been there less than 7 years would be in GROUP F. Second, DoDDS wants to reinstate the "recency of experience" requirement. This would require educators who want to list a teaching category on their transfer application to have experience teaching that subject or have training in that subject within the past 7 years. FEA cited serious concerns over these management-initiated changes. It appears, however, that management will insist on making these changes in next year's Transfer Program.
FEA will continue our efforts to dissuade management from these changes, but members should plan now in case they are implemented in the spring of 2010: if you anticipate listing a teaching category on your transfer application next year, be sure you will meet the 7-year recency-of-experience limitation; if you are concerned about being in Okinawa 7 years before moving up to GROUP D, you may want to consider not including Okinawa on your application this year. If you are in Okinawa (and meet Group B requirements) and want to ensure that you are considered for GROUP B, this would be the year to apply for a Transfer.
IT PROBLEMS AND DATE CORRECTIONS -- FEA has alerted DoDEA Headquarters about the problems with the server in accessing and completing the transfer application process. DoDEA's IT department is working on this now. Also, the "submission date" for application is February 20 (not February 13). The link to the Transfer Program timeline had the wrong date and this should be corrected soon.
TIPS FOR TRANSFERS -- FEA transfer guru Connie Shanaghan is finishing up her annual Tips for Transfers and we will be posting them on the FEA Web site within the next few days. FEA members can login to our Web site to access the Tips for Transfers, Connie's answers to some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and other information.
READ ACROSS AMERICA -- Only one month to go until our annual celebration of reading, NEA's Read Across America. On March 2, NEA members around the world (thanks to FEA!) will organize events to promote reading among our students and communities. Since its founding in 1997, Read Across America has grown to include tens of millions of readers each year. Get ideas for reading events you can hold; find materials you can use to promote your event and recognize readers; and pledge to participate in this year's event by going to www.nea.org/readacross
BLACK HISTORY MONTH -- February is Black History Month. Here are just a few of the many online resources available to help our members who want to incorporate this event into their teaching in the weeks ahead:
Infoplease.com - includes a history of Black History Month, biographies of many prominent African-Americans, and a "Quizzes & Crosswords" section
History Channel - The History Channel's Black History Month page, including features and timelines on significant moments in our history.
TeacherVision - tons of teaching materials and suggestions from TeacherVision
CIVICS TEACHER AWARD - The Center for Civic Education, the Center on Congress at Indiana University, and the National Education Association are now accepting applications for the 2009 American Civic Education Teacher Awards. Each year, three teachers are selected for recognition of their exemplary work preparing young people to become informed and engaged citizens. The awards are given to elementary and secondary teachers of civics, government, and related subjects who have demonstrated special expertise in motivating students to learn about the Constitution, Congress, and public policy. DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS IS FEBRUARY 23, 2009. For more information and application materials visit
The Center on Congress
MILITARY FATHERS AWARD -- There could never be enough awards to recognize all that our members do to serve military families, but it's also important that we take time to recognize those families for all they do on our behalf. One such recognition is the Military Fatherhood Award, sponsored by Lockheed Martin and the National Fatherhood Initiative. The award recognizes a military dad who goes above and beyond his duties as both serviceman and dad to make sure he and his family stay connected throughout the stresses of military life. Whether you know a military dad you'd like to nominate, or you want to encourage your students to nominate their own military dads, you can get more information at the Military Fatherhood Award site. Nominations will be accepted until February 27, 2009.
THANK YOU -- I want to send a special thank you to all the FEA leaders and members at Fort Jackson and Fort Bragg who made my visit last week so special. It is great to see such outstanding educational programs continuing at all levels. Also, my grateful appreciation goes to the 19 FEA leaders who participated in the NEA Leadership conference in Charlotte last weekend. The information garnered will continue to serve educators and students very well.
Have a great week!