April 14 2017 FEA President's Report

TO: FEA Members and Leaders Worldwide
FROM: Chuck McCarter, FEA President
RE: FEA President's Report
DATE: April 14, 2017


Voluntary Early Retirement Authority and Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay are being offered to school level employees in DDESS. The window to apply is open until April 17, 2017. Any DDESS employee interested in applying for VERA VSIP should do so. Applying for VERA VSIP does not guarantee it will be offered. The employee can still decline it if an offer is made.


April 19 will be the next teleconference between the unions (FEA, FEA-SR, OFT and ACEA) and the Education Directorate at DoDEA HQ. This is an opportunity for the Association to ask questions and to share concerns about DoDEA education policies and issues. One of the major concerns I have shared in the past is the quality of the CCRS trainings. FEA has continues to advocate for more relevant training, which includes the curriculum materials which teachers will use with students. We also continue to advocate for more differentiated training to better fit the needs of our educators. If there is new information shared at the coming meeting, we will be sure to share that with members.


April is the Month of the Military Child. Remember to visit so you can print and display our poster honoring military children.


April is also School Library Month. NEA has posted tips you can use to promote reading at this page


As noted in my last Update, HT and I will be traveling to Germany for meetings and school visits there April 17 -- 24. We are also currently working on plans for visits in the Pacific in May. As always, check with your local leaders for more information. Also, please excuse any delay in our responses to your email while we are "on the road."


DoDEA has opened a "Customer Satisfaction Survey" on the DoDEA website. There is a portion of the survey, which has been extended through April 30, intended for teachers. While the Association encourages teachers to voice their opinions through this voluntary survey, we question whether DoDEA will take any action to improve working conditions in our schools as a result of this. We continue to say that "Educators' working conditions are students learning conditions," but DoDEA does not seem to understand that basic concept.


If you are retired, and are receiving our Updates, etc, thank you for your continued interest in FEA and the issues which impact our schools, our members, AND our retired members. Another great source of information about your "new" location of residence can be the NEA local or state affiliate in your area. If you have a hard time finding information about your local, check with the NEA state affiliate for your state and they can certainly put you in contact with the local.


National Teacher Appreciation Week will take place April 30-May 6. FEA has a sample article posted at that local associations can download. Customize it and send it to your local media to call attention to your events celebrating the week.


The FEA Annual Membership Meeting will take place June 29 and 30 in Boston, at the Sheraton Boston Hotel. The meeting is open to all Active and Retired members of FEA and offers members an opportunity to meet with FEA leaders and fellow members from around the world. For more information, go to this page.