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May 22, 2013
DVEA demands help with health insurance
Over 50 Del Valle Education Association members turned out to the school board meeting on May 21 to highlight concerns over the recently adopted TRS health insurance. Eight DVEA members addressed the board during public forum to demand that the district increase its contribution to employee health insurance premiums.
May 7, 2013
As the school year draws to a close...
TSTA's local associations are celebrating another successful year of preparing students for a great future. The Harlandale local held an end-of-year party. See photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/tstapublicaffairs/sets/72157633432925345.
April 23, 2013
Pflugerville block walks for school board candidates
Pflugerville Education Association members block walked this weekend for their endorsed school board candidates, Mario Acosta and Carol Fletcher (see photo in banner above). Members volunteered time on Saturday and Sunday to speak with voters in Pflugerville.
April 18, 2013
San Marcos hosts candidate forum
San Marcos Educators/TSTA hosted a candidate forum at the public library on April 16. Both candidates attended, as well as a representative in support of the bond proposal for the district. Members listened to the candidates' visions for San Marcos CISD and had an opportunity to ask questions. After the forum, San Marcos TSTA members voted to endorse Dr. Michelle Hamilton for SMCISD Board of Trustees. See photos on TSTA's Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tstapublicaffairs/sets/72157633271626969. Update -- see a related newspaper article here:
Judson scores school board candidates
Judson Education Association members scored school board candidates running in three races. While there are four seats up for election, one member is unopposed. JEA interviewed six candidates for the three open seats, three of whom were incumbents. Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tstapublicaffairs/sets/72157633278392251.
April 10, 2013
Local association news
What's going on in your local association? Send us an email and we will post it here. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clear Lake student member honored
Dare Rodriguez has received the Local Outstanding Officer Award from her TSTA Student Program (TSTA SP) chapter. According to a release from the University of Houston-Clear Lake, "Rodriguez was recognized by association officials for her dedication and commitment to the organization, which included recruiting and mentoring new members and leading the chapter to be one of the fastest growing and most recognized in the state."
Pictured in the banner photo above, holding her certificate and glass award, is Rodriguez with (left to right) Clinton Gill, TSTA SP liaison; Brandon Swaringim, TSTA SP state president; Rita Haecker, TSTA president; and Noel Candelaria, TSTA vice president.
April 4, 2013
ESPs support Edinburg member
This week, the Edinburg school board heard a level 3 grievance from one of our members, Alfredo Soto, who told the board he had been subjected to retaliation and attempted intimidation as a result of speaking up on issues of concern to employees. The Valley ESP Respect campaign put out the call to activists from across the Valley to attend the meeting to show support for Alfredo. Over 40 members showed up in support, as shown in the photo in the Locals box on the home page.
March 27, 2013
Killeen local hosts school board forum
Killeen Educators Association sponsored a forum Tuesday night to allow voters to hear the views of candidates running for the Killeen ISD school board. TSTA President Rita Haecker and Vice President Noel Candelaria attended. Among the topics discussed: longevity pay, school security and arming teachers, staffing allocations, testing, and school funding.
March 4, 2013
Fostering a love of reading in Region 3D
Region 3D retired member Joanne Peschel loves participating in NEA's Read Across America. Each year, her region collects books, donates them to disadvantaged schools, and reads to students in the Klein, Spring, and Aldine ISDs. "The schools are selected because of their need and because we know someone at the school who is willing to coordinate the reading schedule," said Peschel, who has supported Read Across America from its beginning 16 years ago, when she was still teaching and working with a Future Teachers of America club.
Region 3D members are asked to donate 10 or more new or gently used books. "We know we are going to do this every year, and everyone donates what they can. They collect the books throughout the year from resale stores, garage sales, book sales, and from friends whose children have grown. We especially like the Dr. Seuss books, and so do the children."
She said the schools are grateful for the donations and for the time members spend reading to students. "That's why we do it," she said, and she offered other locals a tip: "We always go on the Friday closest to Dr. Seuss's birthday, because schools are not testing on Fridays."
February 28, 2013
Socorro celebrates Read Across America
Socorro ISD students are celebrating NEA’s Read Across America, the annual campaign to focus attention on the importance of reading, with videos. Videos of community leaders -- including the mayor, school board officers, and Univeristy of Texas-El Paso athletes -- are featured on the district’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/SocorroISD.
January 24, 2013
Examining social injustice in public education
In January, 400 educators, legislators, and community members participated in a forum organized by the El Paso Teachers Association to solve problems caused budget cuts and high stakes tests. Read more at http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_22407552/forum-tackles-how-combat-testing-regime. Photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/nea-hq/sets/72157632587840526 and http://www.flickr.com/photos/tstapublicaffairs/sets/72157632596967110.
January 23, 2013
Del Valle wins on contract renewal notification issue
Thanks to the lobbying and organizing efforts of the Del Valle local, the school board on Jan. 22 voted unanimously to create a local board policy which provides teachers a written guarantee that they will be notified regarding contract renewal/non-renewal at least 45 days before the last day of instruction. Previously, the policy did not contain the 45-day language and only stated renewal notification would be ”in accordance with law.” Consequently, when state law changed, permitting districts to give just 10 days' notification prior to the last day of instruction, teachers were left vulnerable. Several activists from the TSTA local spoke at the board meeting.
January 22, 2013
Brownsville reps invited to SBOE swearing in
On Jan. 15, Ruben Cortez was sworn in as a State Board of Education member by his mother, Justice of the Peace Linda Salazar, at Porter High School, his alma mater. Association of Brownsville Educators (AOBE) members were very involved in his election. Cortez said that he has been reaching out to Valley superintendents and school officials in an effort to give the region a strong voice on the board. His district includes the Valley counties following the Gulf Coast through Corpus Christi and Victoria to Matagorda County, encompassing 17 counties in all. AOBE staff members Tom Puntureri and Lucy Reza-Morales were invited to the swearing-in ceremonies. See photos of the swearing-in and other AOBE activities at http://www.flickr.com/photos/tstapublicaffairs/sets/72157632587057148.
January 18, 2013
Intergenerational Mentoring Program launches in Houston
On January 4-5, TSTA-Student Program and TSTA-Retired met at the University of Houston-Clear Lake to be trained on the Intergenerational Mentoring Program. Students from UHCL and retired members from the Houston area were paired by former NEA staff member Gene Grooms. Both the student and retired members were enthusiastic about the training and have already planned many activities throughout the spring semester.
"This pilot project, made possible through an NEA grant, is the first in Texas that will help mentor our future teachers during their last years in college and their first few years of teaching," Clinton Gill, staff liaison to the Student Program, said. "Research shows that many new teachers leave the profession within the first five years, and it is our hope this program will reverse the trend by providing a support network to new teachers. TSTA-SP and TSTA-R look forward to expanding the program in future years at other universities in the state."
January 14, 2013
Register now: ESP Statewide Conference
The 2013 TSTA ESP Statewide Conference will be held on Sunday, April 14, 2013 at the Houston Downtown Hyatt. For more information and to register for the conference, go to http://tsta.org/about-tsta/educational-support-professionals.
January 10, 2013
AOBE recruits 70 of 76 student teachers!
Two representatives of the Association of Brownsville Educators (AOBE), Lucy Reza-Morales and Tom Puntureri, addressed spring semester student teachers from the University of Texas at Brownsville on Jan. 7. Of 76 student teachers, AOBE signed up 70. The local provided all students and advisors with a Jason's Deli breakfast; Reza-Morales offered tips for their first days in the classroom and explained TSTA/NEA's discounts and services through the member benefits program, and Puntureri spoke about bullying prevention. "The students were awesome and engaged," Reza-Morales said.
December 17, 2012
Fort Worth helps local charity
Fort Worth Education Association held a toy drive to benefit a local charity.
December 14, 2012
Holiday party in Harlandale
Vestal teachers, who have organized their campus and now are 91 percent teacher strong, went to the Harlandale local's holiday social.
December 7, 2012
TSTA locals: action and celebration
A sampling of activities found on TSTA local associations' Facebook pages this week:
- NEA-Dallas thanked its members for lobbying school board members which "ended teachers' 45 minute extended day tug of war."
- Fort Worth Education Association thanked everyone who came to their Dec. 1 holiday party. "The dinner and dancing were great, and you brought some cool gifts for Safe Haven. A big thanks to our vendors who donated door prizes and to the elves who prepared the food and set up the party. Cantu, Ms Debra, Ms Sheila, Larry & friends, both Sandras (who do a LOT of great stuff for us every day): You are the best."
- Rio Grande Valley ESP "Respect" Campaign announced holiday socials: Region 1E, Dec. 8, Milanos in Weslaco, 6:30 p.m.; Harlingen, Dec. 8, Platillos Mexican Restaurant, 11:00 a.m.; San Benito, Dec. 14, El Gallito Restaurant, 5:30-8 p.m.Education Austin protested charter schools.
- Klein Education Association made plans to attend the Klein ISD board meeting Dec. 10 at 7:00 p.m.
- Del Valle Education Association TSTA/NEA leaders sent invitations to their holiday party and picked up the new DVEA Tshirts.
- Hays Educators Association TSTA attended the special school board meeting where Carter Scherff was again named interim superintendent.
Judson celebrates American Education Week
Judson Education Association purchased Hersey Chocolate Bars for each employee of Judson ISD. Each chocolate bar was labeled with a sticker: “Happy American Education Week! Compliments of JEA.” The candy was placed in baskets, and association representatives picked up the baskets for their school along with a placard.
Member publishes poetry book
Marshall High School animation teacher Renita Smith has published a collection of poetry, “Reflections of My Inner Self: Contemporary Writings for Self Empowerment.” It’s available through Amazon.com in paperback or Kindle format (search for her name under Books).
Laredo United takes to the streets
Early morning commuters were welcomed with these signs on the morning of Oct. 25, as Laredo-United TSTA/NEA worked to elect its endorsed school board candidate. TSTA members all over the state are working hard for their candidates. Please vote on Nov. 6, if not during early voting.
Pflugerville gets an update on TRS concerns
At their October meeting, Pflugerville Education Association members were updated on the Teacher Retirement System and pension reform. The meeting was well attended, and two new leaders stepped up as campus leaders for their buildings. In the photo on the home page, PEA President August Plock is speaking.
AOT 4, the northeast Texas region, held leadership core training on Saturday, Oct. 6. A photo taken at the training is shown in the banner at the top of this page.
TSTA Retired member wins iPad
Letha Grace McCoy, a member of TSTA Retired, won an iPad at the NEA Representative Assembly; it was presented by Brandon Watson, California Casualty representative, at the TSTA-R Board Meeting on September 12 in Austin.
Laredo leader elected to community college board
Rene De La Vina, president of Laredo-United TSTA/NEA, was reelected to a six-year term on the Laredo Community College Board of Trustees. "I ran because I want your children and their children -- and generations to come -- to have the best education," he told voters. De La Vina, who has served since 2006, was unopposed.
Local membership activities: send us photos!
TSTA local associations throughout the state are participating in new employee orientations and hosting other membership activities. We are posting the photos on our Flickr site at http://www.flickr.com/photos/tstapublicaffairs/sets/72157631085878384. If you would like us to include photos of your events, pick two or three of your best shots and email them to email@example.com.
NEA volunteers revitalize school
More than 400 college students, teachers, retired educators, higher education faculty, and education support professionals -- some of them from Texas -- picked up shovels and dug in on June 27 to give a Maryland school a much-needed facelift.
The NEA Student Program’s “Outreach to Teach” corps descended on Johnson Middle School in Lanham, Maryland, where they grabbed hammers, shovels, brushes, and mops to repair, landscape, paint, clean, and decorate the school.
The award-winning “Outreach to Teach” program is celebrating its 16th year of community service. Each year, a high-needs public school located in the host city of the NEA Annual Meeting is selected to receive a free makeover, thanks to hundreds of NEA volunteers.
“Ensuring every child’s basic right to a great public school starts with providing children with an environment that is safe, healthy, and conducive to learning,” NEA President Dennis Van Roekel said. “We are here today because students and school employees deserve to learn and work in clean and cheerful surroundings. Together, we must invest in our students and our public schools to give every child the opportunity to succeed in school and in life.”
“Outreach to Teach is an extremely rewarding experience,” said Tommie Leaders, NEA Student Program chair. “We work hard, but at the end of the day, you know that it was worth it—because every student has a right to attend a public school that is clean, safe, inviting, and up-to-date.”
Deer Park local names friend of education
Deer Park Education Association named Scott Thompson as its 2011-12 Friend of Education and honored him at the local's May meeting.
But that's not all. When the school district heard about the award, "Our Deer Park ISD superintendent personally extended an invitation for him to be recognized at the June 18 board meeting," Jocelyn Jones, a fourth grade teacher at Deepwater Elementary School, reported.
Thompson, who works at Lubrizol, has worked with the Transportation Scholarship Committee to give out 25 $500 scholarships in four years. He rolls up his sleeves to help, donates money, and lets DPEA use his barbeque pit.
"He loves doing what he does, and he loves kids. He is one of the most caring people I know," transportation employee Cheryl Smith said. "If we need something, he's there. And if you ever get a chance to eat his barbeque ribs, do so, because he won grand champion ribs at the Houston Rodeo. The man is a great cook, and he has stayed up all night cooking briskets for us while we get some sleep. He is a very good friend to education."
TSTA member tours Chinese schools
The NEA Foundation selected Beth Huckabee, a science teacher at Flour Bluff High School in the Corpus Christi area, as one of 32 Global Learning Fellows to tour China June 19-28. Huckabee won TSTA's Ermalee Boice Instructional Advocacy Award in 2011.
With a goal of helping teachers prepare their students for an increasingly interconnected world, the Pearson Foundation Global Learning Fellowship is an expansion of the NEA Foundation’s annual Awards for Teaching Excellence program. The tour included visits to schools in Beijing and Shanghai, where the fellows observed instruction and interacted with Chinese teachers and administrators.
Photos from El Paso Teachers Association's win
El Paso Teachers Association is now the exclusive consultation representative for El Paso ISD employees. And, as a result of the June 1 election's focus on the differences among organizations, more than 100 employees joined EPTA, bringing its total membership to over 1,000 members.
The win was the culmination of a weeks-long organizing campaign waged by EPTA, led by President Norma De La Rosa; El Paso area TSTA local associations; members of the TSTA Student Program chapter at the University of Texas at El Paso; and TSTA leaders and staff, including state President Rita Haecker and Vice President Noel Candelaria. See the photos on our Flickr page here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tstapublicaffairs/sets/72157630241224424.
A victory in Port Arthur: watch the videos
The issue for the Port Arthur Teachers Association (PATA) was the phrase in their new contract that said, "regardless of the actual number of hours or days not designated on the school calendar," language recommended to school districts by the Texas Association of School Boards. It meant they could be required to work extra hours or days.
PATA members had lobbied the school board in the weeks leading up to the May 24 school board meeting. By 5 p.m. May 24, TSTA Organizational Development Specialist Randy Johnston and the AOT 3 team had set up a table full of T-shirts and "CHANGE THE CONTRACT" signs. By 7 p.m., more than 100 teachers were there, wearing the T-shirts and carrying the signs.
Five PATA members addressed the board. "When the speeches were given, there was thunderous applause," Frances Smith, president of Cy Fair TSTA/NEA and NEA Director, said. "At least a couple of pastors from the city were there, one a former board member, and they were appalled with the language and the issue of even more work for the teachers, who are already overburdened."
"Retired board president Dr. Kenneth Marks admonished the board for allowing things to spiral downward, and he stated that, 'We will all be held accountable, so let's do the right thing for the teachers,'" Johnston said.
The following day, the school district's human resources director informed PATA that Dr. Brown planned to send a memo to all employees stating the new contract language would be removed, and they will be using the old contract language. The changes will be presented at the next scheduled board meeting. Watch three videos at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRvU0LcP3yc&feature=BFa&list=ULQpqV0WNHUmc.
Del Valle celebrates the end of the school year
In the banner at the top of the page, Del Valle Education Association celebrates another great year at its end of school social at Patsy's Cafe on Hwy. 71. The local has a lot to celebrate: they've grown from 45 members to 250 members in just 18 months and have successfully lobbied the district administration and school board on a range of issues important to employees.
Laredo leader honored by Bar Association
The Laredo Bar Association awarded the Defender of Justice Award to Laredo United TSTA/NEA president Rene De La Vina. It was the first time the group had bestowed the award. The ceremony took place during a luncheon at La Posada Hotel in front of local attorneys and judges. "It is indeed an honor and a tribute to the hard work Rene does for teachers, school employees, and TSTA," TSTA organizing specialist Ernest Davila said. Congratulations, Rene!
TSTA-Conroe hosts district banquet
Each year, TSTA-Conroe hosts the Conroe ISD Teacher/Humanitarian of the Year Banquet; this year it was held on May 1. Shown in the banner at the top of this page: the TSTA-Conroe Executive Board with CISD Superintendent Dr. Don Stockton.
Locals host candidate forums
TSTA's local associations in the Hays and Killeen school districts have both hosted candidate forums for their local school board races.
Northside bus drivers go before board
Northside TSTA bus drivers spoke at the Northside ISD (San Antonio) school board meeting on April 24 about the need for a pay raise.
Senator Rodriguez signs TSTA petition
Sen. Jose Rodriguez signed the Stop the Cuts petition and spoke about the importance of funding public schools at a meeting April 12. “The University Democrats and the TSTA Student Program Chapter from the University of Texas at El Paso sponsored a Town Hall Meeting with Sen. Jose Rodriguez as guest speaker," El Paso Teachers Association President Norma De La Rosa said. "Members of the two organizations along with members of the Texas Faculty Association chapter and the El Paso Teachers Association were present to hear Sen. Rodriguez speak about the legislative process which included information on the budget, the cuts to education, and his role in serving his constituents in El Paso County. While talking about education and answering questions about the cuts and issues and concerns coming up in the next legislative session, Sen. Rodriguez stopped and confirmed his commitment to education by signing the Stop the Cuts petition. He stated that, without education, our children would not be able to buy the houses or the automobiles that the automobile dealers and realtor companies are trying to sell. He also stated that education needed to be everyone's priority."
Houston area student teachers sign petition
Twice a year, the University of Houston hosts a Student Teacher Conference for a number of universities in the Houston area. TSTA conducted two of the sessions this spring: Bullying Awareness by Bryan Weatherford and Mark Maldonado, and Tap Dancing On Legal Quicksand by Sam Blackman and Dardon Ann Hayter (part time staff from Pasadena). TSTA is the only professional organization that participates in the planning and conducting of this conference, whose official title is "Student Teaching Inter-Institutional Conference and Job Fair."
TSTA had a registration table where the student teachers filled out a registration form with their graduation date, email address, and any current professional organization membership at their university. During the Job Fair, school districts set up signing tables for openings in their districts. There were 35 school districts from Texas, as well as districts from as far away as Denver and Little Rock, and foreign areas such as the Taiwan Embassy in Houston.
Dr. Frances Smith gives the welcome from TSTA and NEA; this year, she spoke on the Stop The Cuts campaign, which resulted in a large number of the student teachers signing the petitions -- more than 350.
More than 25,000 signatures and counting!
Read about the Stop the Cuts Now petition drive on a special Facebook page dedicated to the drive: www.facebook.com/stopthecutsnow!
Killeen members address board about exploitive language
They may not have won this round, but they learned from the experience, and they felt the pride that comes from standing up for yourself and your peers. Ann Fitzgerald and other Killeen Education Association leaders spoke out at the March 6 board meeting over exploitive language in teachers' 2011-12 contracts that "has opened the door to teachers' workload being greatly increased with no additional compensation."
The language comes from the Texas Association of School Boards: "The District shall pay you according to the compensation plan adopted by the Board each school year. Your salary includes consideration for all assigned duties, responsibilities, and tasks, regardless of the actual number of hours or days (including days not designated on the school calendar) that you work during this Contract. Your salary shall be reduced for absences in excess of authorized, paid leave."
"According to this language change, the teacher has agreed to work as many days as the district requires, regardless of whether those are 'contract days,'" KEA said. "The...teacher can be required to work every single day of their 10-month contract, regardless of whether it is a 'work day.' This means a teacher could be required to work 300 days instead of 187. Furthermore, it does not say who sets the teacher's assigned duties, responsibilities, and tasks. Since it is administrators who determine duties, responsibilities, and tasks, extra duties can be assigned at will and some teachers will find themselves working longer hours than colleagues, and have little recourse for redress.
"It is not enough to accept good faith assurances that this will not happen. If it is not the district's intent to exploit such a language change, why include it in the contract?" the local asks.
Other locals can learn from the strategies KEA employed. They emailed members and nonmembers a video, a link to a petition, and an invitation to a meeting on Feb. 29. Thirty people attended and signed commitment cards stating they would attend and speak about the issue at the school board meeting March 6. Two members also wrote letters to the editor of the local paper at the meeting.
Valley and Houston take 'Core Curriculum' training
TSTA's "Core Curriculum" covers four subject areas: organizing, political action, advocacy, and local capacity. Each training is three hours. This is regionalized training, in seven regions defined by geographic area (not by TSTA region). On Feb. 18, the Valley and Houston areas participated in the first round; the Houston area was trained in local capacity and advocacy, while the Valley studied organizing and political action. They will swap trainings in March, so participants get the second half of the curriculum.
Laredo United passes 600 signatures and counting
Laredo United TSTA is activating its extensive network of Association Representatives to gather signatures building by building on the Stop the Cuts petition. So far the local has gathered 610 signatures, and the work is continuing. Laredo United has passed on the report below on the numbers, broken out by building and district, to show the result of moving systematically through their worksites gathering signatures. Congratulations to president Rene De La Vina and all of the Laredo United ARs.
Here are some numbers to add to our 193 signatures for Laredo United TSTA. The following were submitted by Laredo United ARs.
74 signatures from Transportation—LISD
63 signatures from Salvador Garcia ES--UISD
56 signatures from Nixon HS—LISD
52 signatures from Cigarroa HS—LISD
45 signatures from United South HS—UISD
35 signatures from Kawas ES—LISD
31 signatures from Bruni ES—LISD
26 Signatures from Salinas ES—UISD
21 signatures from Santa Maria ES--LISD
14 signatures from Christen MS—LISD
In addition, Laredo United leaders De La Vina, Hilario Cavasos, and Mario Zaragosa had a letter published in the Laredo Morning Times on the Stop the Cuts issue. The letter reads, in part, "Both Laredo school districts have made many changes in response to the budget cuts by the state. However, Texas continues to sit on billions of dollars in its Rainy Day Fund. With $7.3 billion by the end of the current budget cycle (Aug. 31), why should we go through another round of cuts for the 2012-2013 school year?"
North Lamar ISD touts support of Stop the Cuts Campaign
The administration of North Lamar ISD has sent out a news release to area media endorsing the Stop the Cuts campaign and featuring a photograph of Superintendent James Dawson being the first in the district to sign the petition. North Lamar is showing the way, demonstrating that local efforts like this one, to enlist support of school districts and local public officials in the campaign, should play a major role in the Stop the Cuts effort.
Check out Lorenzo Hernandez on the district website
In an article on the school district website, Lorenzo Hernandez, head custodian at Dishman Elementary in Harlingen CISD, talks about what association membership means to him.
Hays teachers win against TASB recommendations
After a long and detailed discussion, the Hays CISD Board of Trustees on Jan. 23 made a bold decision to reject the Texas Association of School Board's recommended policy change, regarding the timeline of contract non-renewal notification for teachers. Hays Educators Association and its state affiliate, TSTA, commend the school board for listening to teachers' concerns and making the right decision, and they thank all who signed the petition or got involved in the campaign by contacting school board members. (A video was emailed to all teachers in the district, along with an invitation to sign a petition calling for the continuation of the 45-day policy. The petition filled the inboxes of board members, and that was noted in the board's discussion.)
As a result of the decision to retain current policy, teachers now have a written guarantee that they will be informed of the district's intent to non-renew their contract no later than 45 days before the last day of instruction.
"The power of collective action never ceases to amaze me," said Esperanza Orosco, president of Hays Educators Association. "When educators stand alone, we are taken for granted; standing together, we command respect. I am proud to work in a district that not only makes a commitment to employee morale, but takes the extra step to make that commitment real by demonstrating a clear respect for its educators. I can only hope that neighboring districts follow our district's courageous lead."
Harlingen, San Benito celebrate a great fall
The key? Monthly meetings for association representatives and great communication on every campus and work site. On Nov. 30, the two TSTA local associations celebrated the hard work and many hours they have spent in training and structuring their AR systems this fall. Both groups have been giving school board presentations and received approval from their local superintendent to link their web page to the school's web page.
San Marcos spending $79K for election
As a result of its decision to keep school board elections in May instead of November, the San Marcos district will spend an extra $79,000. That's money needed for the kids, local president Susan Seaton says.
Congratulations to Cy-Fair and Alief!
Congratulations to President Frances Smith and all the members of Cypress-Fairbanks TSTA/NEA and President Ovidia Molina and all the members of Alief TSTA/NEA for their victories Nov. 8 in important local school board elections. All four TSTA-endorsed candidates -- Christine Hartley and Thomas Jackson in Cy-Fair, and John P. Hansen and Ann Williams in Alief -- won with over 60% of the vote. These victories demonstrate what we can achieve when local members take an active role in shaping the direction of the school boards that play such an important role in what happens in our classrooms and campuses. The TSTA Public Affairs Division helped with robo calls and mailers.
Political action tops Region 4 agenda
Region 4 held a Presidents and Leaders Summit in October that featured TSTA President Rita Haecker, Vice President Noel Candelaria, and Public Affairs Director Ed Martin. Local school board members Charles Wilson of Marshall ISD and Bruce Parrot of Dallas ISD were among the speakers.
In August, TSTA members proved the value of local activism in at least three locations.
Waco TSTA/NEA saves local leave days
ESP campaign begins in El Paso
El Paso area education support professionals met this summer to kick off a countywide membership campaign. The meeting drew 55 ESPs, 26 of whom signed “commitment cards” to help with the campaign. El Paso, Ysleta, Socorro, Canutillo and Clint were all represented.
Hays rejects TASB's extra days with no extra pay
Hays Educators Association has become the second TSTA local after Del Valle Education Association to achieve a victory for teachers with regard to the exploitative contract language that has appeared in teacher contracts around the state. The troubling language emanated from Texas Association of School Boards and opened the door to teachers working up to 300 days without additional compensation beyond their base salary.
San Angelo had a great spring
San Angelo has recruited about 100 new members. "That places our current membership at about 264 members," President Art Rios said. "This is just from campuses. San Angelo has fall visits planned with transportation, maintenance and cafeteria workers."
Del Valle: School board rejects TASB language
In a stunning victory for the fledgling Del Valle Education Association and district teachers, the Del Valle ISD school board on April 19th voted 8-1 to approve an addendum to the teacher term contract which effectively deletes the exploitative Texas Association of School Boards recommended contract language which had opened the door to teachers working up to 300 days without a penny of additional compensation.
Previously in Del Valle
Del Valle EA urges board to reject class size increase: Michelle Cardenas, president of Del Valle Education Association, spoke to the Del Valle ISD school board on Feb.15, exhorting them to reject a proposal to increase the class size ratio for grades PK-4 from 22:1 to 24:1.
Helping the community
On behalf of the San Benito local, President Patricia Sandoval recently presented a donation to James Flores, who works for the San Benito Food Pantry. The pantry feeds up to 250 families a week. San Benito TSTA Local is proud to partner with them to help families in need in San Benito.
Klein TSTA/NEA speaks out against RIF
Threatened with a reduction in force (RIF), teachers and support staff turned out in force for the Klein ISD board meeting Jan. 10. Klein TSTA/NEA President David Casillas and Vice President Darlene Sentesi addressed members' concerns with an agenda item proposing to use evaluations rather than seniority to determine the RIF.
NEA program helps Pflugerville schools adapt
Using NEA's KEYS program, Pflugerville schools asked teachers, administrators, parents, school board members and others in the community how they thought the school system should be fixed. The result was a goldmine of valuable suggestions on how to change the schools to accommodate the stampede of new students.
TSTA-Conroe school board candidates win
TSTA-Conroe hosted a very successful brunch Saturday, Oct. 30 at Denny's in Conroe for members to meet the candidates for School Board. There were 4 out of 7 candidates in attendance with 23 members in audience. Vice President Jessica Powell moderated the event with timed questions and then opened the forum to the floor.
All three endorsed candidates win in Laredo
Last night Ernest Davila stated “the union is hot” after all of our three endorsed candidates swept the school board elections. Indeed we are “hot” and most folks in Laredo are taking note, especially the top brass in administration who normally have a big hand in the outcome of school board elections.
News from locals on fall recruiting
Edgewood signed up 30 members at a luncheon for new teachers. Southwest Educators Association invited 52 new teachers to lunch and signed up 32. Brownsville has met its goal of 4,000 members!
Building a power plan
Waco TSTA/NEA's executive committee works on its "building full capacity" power plan. Locals all over the state are working on their power plans this month, as a result of training at the TSTA Leadership Institute in July.
Region 1B builds a member advocacy team
Region 1B had member advocacy team training for professional and ESP members from Harlandale, Edgewood and North East, locals that are building their MAT teams to deal with local issues for members. The teams have committed to attend many hours of training and retraining to build their advocacy skills.
NETA's new transportation representatives
North East Teachers Association President Cindy Marthes with newly elected Transportation ARs; from left to right, they are David Maldonado, representing BAC; Maurice Phillips and Dennis Johnson, representing North Barn; and George Rodarte, representing Central Barn.
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