April 1 2012 FEA President's Report

TO: FEA Members Worldwide
FROM: Michael Priser, FEA President
RE: FEA President's Report
DATE: April 1, 2012

TRANSFER PROGRAM -- The Pentagon has placed severe budget restrictions on DoDEA's budget when it comes to travel and reassignment funds, which have significantly reduced the number of transfers authorized this school year (DoD Efficiency Initiative). DoDEA HQ, working within those restraints, acknowledges that the number of transfers this year may be half the number that has been allowed in past years. As of Friday, March 30, FEA expects to have transfers within Groups A+, A, B, and C, through matched vacancies. Transfers in Groups D and F, will only be made after spring break through June 1, should additional funds become available.

The opportunity to transfer periodically to a new location within DoDDS is one of the most attractive aspects of working for the system. It also strengthens our school system by allowing educators to share expertise worldwide within our military community. FEA knows a diminished transfer program will seriously hurt employee morale, retention and professional development. We will continue to push for more transfer placements this year and keep our members updated on any progress we can make.

While DoDEA continues to work with the Pentagon to check and double check the numbers, the notifications to those who did receive transfer placements will be delayed. FEA will let members know as soon as possible as to when those notifications are sent out. Once all notifications have been sent out, FEA will be able to answer questions about individual transfer applications. Members can send their questions to the email address. Please be sure to include your transfer group and SCD with your question.

BAS -- FEA and DoDDS continue to negotiate an MOU on the use of the Benchmark Assessment System (BAS) in DoDDS schools. We hope to have the MOU finalized and signed in the next week. At this time, no decision has been announced on a possible second administration of the BAS. As a result, no DoDDS educator should feel compelled to use the BAS this spring. Educators may use the BAS, however, if they wish to do so of their own volition. We will put out more information on this issue once the BAS MOU has been completed.

STATESIDE MEETING -- Many thanks to the FEA Stateside Region leadership team and all the DDESS Local Presidents and members who hosted the recent Area Council meeting I attended. Also attending the meeting along with me were FEA Director for NEA Brian Chance, FEA Executive Director/General Counsel H.T. Nguyen, and FEA Director of Communications Gary Hritz. The leaders in DDESS are such strong advocates for their members that it always makes attending this meeting informative and inspiring. Along with discussing many issues affecting members, I was able to present "Plus 1" pins and certificates to those presidents who had membership growth in one or more school buildings this year. Again, many thanks to everyone for their hard work and hospitality.

WINDOWS/OFFICE MOU -- FEA and DoDDS have completed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) covering DoDEA's proposed pilot of Windows 7 and Office 2010. The MOU can be found here. (login required)

OPERATION TOMODACHI HEALTH REGISTRY ONLINE -- It's been over a year since the horrendous earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster in Japan. In the aftermath of that event, many DoD employees are naturally very concerned about the long-term effects of any radiation they may have been exposed to. DoD maintains that none of its personnel (particularly none at any DoDDS locations) were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation. In an effort to provide its employees with more information, however, DoD has been working to create an online database that will show all DoD employees who were in Japan during spring 2011 the estimated levels (based upon testing done by and for DoD) of radiation to which they were exposed.

This database, called the "Operation Tomodachi Health Registry", is expected to be available online soon and DoDEA will inform employees when it does become available.

This information is applicable to any DoDEA employee who was working at any of the following locations from March 11, 2011 to May 11, 2011:
* Arnn ES
* Byrd ES
* Cummings ES
* Edgren HS
* Ikego ES
* Japan DSO
* Kinnick HS
* Lanham ES
* Joan K. Mendel ES
* Sollars ES
* Sullivans ES
* Yokosuka MS
* Yokota West MS
* Yokota MS
* Yokota HS
* Zama American MS
* Zama American HS
* Any other support offices in the Kanto plain and Misawa AB areas (e.g. transportation, student meal program, etc.)