OEA BOARD OF DIRECTORS REPORT
The Board met on Thursday, August 8 in Columbus.
In actions, the Board
- Accepted the financial reports for June 30, 2012.
- Approved a proxy selection process in hiring field UniServ staff during the period of 9/1/12 to 2/28/13.
- Authorized from the Contingency Fund an expenditure of $650,000 to the Political Contributing Entity.
- Approved a change in Board Policy 400.170, Expenses.
- Accepted the report and recommendation of Attorney Michael Hunter regarding the objections to the election that were filed by a member of the Stow-Munroe Falls Classified Employees Association.
- Approved supporting the Ohio Education Leaders (name to be changed) by contributing up to $25,000 for developing and implementing an ongoing public information campaign to promote public education in Ohio.
- Created a statewide task force to examine the support OEA should provide to locals that seek to pass local levies.
- Approved appointments and resignations, including Jerry Oberhaus from the NEA Board of Directors
President Pat Frost Brooks:
- We need to restate what we are doing as the voice of public education. We are the voice for m embers. One-on-one, face to face communications is most effective; we need to have the discussion surrounding public education. Our messages must be our own stories. The re-election of President Obama and Senator Sherrod Brown, the election of Yvette McGee Brown and OEA endorsed candidates, and the passage of Voters First are most important right now; our voices and political influence will be diminished if these candidates and Voters First are defeated.
- We had a good relationship with State Superintendent Heffner; we hope to continue our relationship on a wide variety of issues with the State Department of Education.
- There is a $522 million surplus in the state budget. The Governor wants to provide an income tax cut instead of spending the money on local governments and education.
Vice President Bill Liebensperger:
- Pension legislation action is happening right now. Hearings have been scheduled and OEA has testified as a proponent. The House will be called back into session the second week of September and the legislation will likely be called for a vote.
- School Funding Forums are being held around the state. We want to inform the forum members of current funding and the impact of cuts on programs and services for students in the future.
- All State Board of Education seats up for election are contested.
- We are working with the One Ohio Now coalition and the Reach Out and Read program. Locals and districts are encouraged to get involved with Reach Out and Read.
Secretary Treasurer Jim Timlin
- A presentation was made on the projected August 31 Financial Results.
Executive Director Larry Wicks
- Mr. Wicks discussed Performance Based Education funding and the argument that there is a monopoly of public education.
- We are in a media messaging partnership with the NAACP.
- The fund is up $500 million from last year at this time; the fund is at $64 billion.
Educators Standards Board
- The Board met on June 18/19 and eliminated some cut scores for Praxis II. New Board members are cycling on; OEA member Karen Winston is the new chair.
- The Master Teacher program is in study.
OEA-R STATEWIDE FALL CONFERENCE
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
This drive-in conference will be held from
10:00 am to 3:00 pm at the
STRS Building, 275 East Broad Street, Columbus
Free parking is provided at the STRS building.
Registration begins at 9:30 am.
Your $15.00 registration fee covers the cost of lunch and materials for the sessions.
Information sessions on Campaign 2012, Current legislation, and STRS/SERS healthcare will be presented. Also included are hobbies and entertainment by OEA retirees. Speakers include OEA Officers, OEA and STRS Executive Directors and our OEA-R Staff Liaison.
Join us for an informative and interesting day.
Pre-registration is due no later than September 5, 2012. Pre-registration is necessary to be eligible for a door prize. Make your $15.00 check payable to OEA and send it along with the pre-registration form below to:
OHIO EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
ATTN: BILL OTTEN
5026 PINE CREEK DRIVE
WESTERVILLE OH 43081
Name: ______ OEA District (circle one)
Capital Central Eastern
East Central North Central Northeast
Northwest Southeast Southwest
Phone: ( )
OEA has endorsed the Voters First Amendment, which takes redistricting both for Congress and the Statehouse out of the hands of career politicians and puts it into the hands of Ohio voters by creating an independent 12-member citizens redistricting commission. Delegates to OEA’s Spring 2012 Representative Assembly looked deeply into the Voters First Amendment, and I want to thank them for their support in passing a New Business Item to support it with a special dues assessment. We did not ask members to undertake this expense without first considering everyone’s point of view. Throughout an extensive debate on the dues assessment, delegates had well-reasoned positions on both sides, keeping the debate civil, constructive and focused on the issue. All delegates wishing to speak had a voice on this issue. Following Saturday’s debate, a majority of OEA RA delegates passed the dues assessment by a resounding voice vote. It’s important for all of us to understand how we carry out the dues assessment: • The $22 dues assessment is for regular active members. An $11 dues assessment applies to Education Support Professionals. Students and retirees are exempt. Most members will pay between 50 cents to $1 per pay period. • The dues assessment will be collected for one year only, from September 2012 to August 2013. • The dues assessment will pay for expenses related to the gathering of petition signatures, the actual campaign for passage and any related legal costs. • At the end of this school year, the We Are Ohio dues assessment expires. Then, in September, a smaller assessment for Voters First goes into effect. • “One-time” does not mean or imply OEA will never return to members again for special funds. It only means that the duration for this assessment ends after one year. Now, we will continue our effort to gather signatures, and we will ramp up our efforts to educate even more members and friends about this key issue. Voters First helps OEA go on offense! This changes our approach from constantly defending against attacks by extremist Ohio legislators – on everything from school budget cuts to curtailing our collective bargaining rights. Now we have a proactive solution that puts our opponents on defense. They will have to try and justify gerrymandering and backroom deals to help their friends. Our message is clear: The Voters First Amendment will put more power in the hands of the people, not the politicians. It will give regular Ohioans a stronger voice in our democracy and provide them more control over their representation in Washington and Columbus. Letting incumbent politicians draw the lines for Congressional and Statehouse legislative districts is like letting the foxes guard the henhouse. For decades, politicians have protected their jobs and their friends through backroom deals on re-districting. This amendment puts a non-partisan citizen commission of Ohioans in charge. The Voters First Amendment sets up a 12-member commission to re-draw districts for the 2014 legislative elections, with four Republicans, four Democrats and four Ohio voters not affiliated with a political party. Politicians, lobbyists and political insiders would be prohibited from serving on the commission. They would have specific guidelines to re-draw districts that fairly reflect Ohio’s split political make-up. The commission would need seven members – more than the four from either party – to make a majority decision. ###OEA Task Force Will Explore New Political Action Crisis Fund Many members have asked me why we proposed dues assessments two years in a row, rather than setting up an ongoing political contingency fund. Also, they asked why OEA is coming back for more money after the one-time dues assessment for the fight against Issue 2. Referendum campaigns are expensive, but they can only be avoided if we elect genuine supporters of public education. The Voters First Amendment can, however, deter some extremist attack legislation. Politicians will have to appeal to all voters in order to compete, rather than just win their partisan primaries, so that could well result in more moderate leadership. Recognizing the financial strains on our members and the frequent need to meet difficult political challenges I will organize a new OEA special task force to explore the formation of a new political action “crisis fund” for ballot issues. The task force will consider how to make the crisis fund flexible, powerful and cost-efficient. I will charge the task force with reporting back to the OEA RA in December 2012. Thanks for everything you do! ### Patricia Frost-Brooks President