While you have been hard at work in our schools this past month, I have been busy on many fronts, including two trips to D.C., hearings at the legislature (before it adjourned-finally!), lobbying during NEA Super Week, a variety of meetings and trainings and events-it seems every day in this position is full of adventure and surprises!
As a result, I have lots of information to pass along to you. Please share this message with others in your local association as we are still finding some folks are not receiving e-mails from MEA. (Be sure to remind them to check their ‘spam’ or ‘junk mail’ or ‘promotions’ folders! And if needed, send along their personal e-mail to us to be sure we have the right one!)
FIRST AND FOREMOST! CHECK OUT THE NEW MAINE EDUCATION ASSOCIATION WEBSITE. Go to maineea.org and be sure to bookmark the new site! You will find lots of valuable information there at your fingertips and you can quickly and easily register there for upcoming events! TAKE A LOOK NOW! And then please read the rest of this message!
Here are several important items for the coming weeks:
Election Day will be here soon–and absentee ballots are available now (for info, see: https://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/voter-info/absenteeguide.html) Please check the list of candidates that groups of local officers and Representative Assembly delegates recommended to the MEA Board and that have been endorsed based on their votes on our issues and/or responses to our questions about our students, public education, retirement issues, and member rights. For the list, click here.
At their September meeting, the MEA Board of Directors voted to endorse Question 1 this November, to establish universal home care to support those with disabilities and our senior citizens. Please take a moment to read more information about this important issue! Go to: https://mainersforhomecare.org/
Department of Education Updates
With the mandate for a proficiency-based diploma removed, there are likely questions that have been surfacing in your districts. I would appreciate hearing from you to gather information directly from you about how this is playing out in your area. Is your district moving ahead with the PBD or not? Either way, how is it going? The DOE (by the way, they also have redesigned their website!) recently posted a chart to show the different diploma requirements. For more information, go to: maineea.org
The Department is also presenting information on Maine’s New Accountability Model and School Report Card. Dan Allen, MEA Training and Professional Development Director, and I learned more about this recently, and our MEA Committees will be hearing a presentation at our upcoming meeting day (October 13th). For more info, go to: https://www.maine.gov/doe/
MEA offers several grants to local associations for Human, Civil Rights and Cultural Affairs, Leadership, and Political Action activities; submit your application by December 14th. For details, go to: maineea.org under Awards/Grants.
Save time and $$$!
As part of a recent New President Training with NEA, I visited the NEA Member Benefits center in Maryland. To say I was impressed with the range of programs, services and products available to our members is an understatement! NEA Member Benefits saves our members money and time-and we know how important they both are! In addition, NEAMB has your back-if you have any questions or concerns, their call center is readily available to you (1-800-637-4636). Check out these and lots of other benefits of being a member!
Events and Resources
Are you new to the profession? MEA is hosting various events for Young Education Professionals (fondly referred to as “YEPs”!) For information on upcoming activities and helpful resources, visit here.
Maine Association for the Education of Young Children (MaineAEYC) is hosting the documentary, “No Small Matter” on October 18th. For more info and to register for this free event, go to: maineaeyc.org. Also, their annual conference is October 27th at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. For more info, go to the ‘events’ section of their website, maineaeyc.org
- The Emera Astronomy Center at the University of Maine, Orono campus, offers a variety of programs of interest to members and students! Check them out at: https://astro.umaine.edu/
- The Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine in Augusta has programs and resources that are of great interest, too. Check these out at: https://hhrcmaine.org/
- If you are thinking about retiring later this year or even in the next few years, remember to register for a Pre-Retirement session. Go to: https://maineea.org/mea-retired/ for more information.
- And while you’re at it, consider joining NEA Retired now! You can save by getting a pre-retired subscriber membership now (before the dues go up!) Contact Dianne Leighton
American Education Week is November 12th-16th. Make plans in your local now to celebrate and recognize colleagues in our many important roles! For ideas, go to: http://www.nea.org/grants/19823.htm
Thanks to the efforts of past president Lois Kilby-Chesley, the MEA will once again be distributing books to first graders! We will be reaching out to teachers soon to get accurate counts, then the fun begins as we deliver these to your schools! Be on the lookout for the request for this information in the coming weeks!
Each year, MEA reviews and updates its Minority Involvement Plan. To see the plan, go to: https://maineea.org/maine-education-association-minority-involvement-plan/
There are still some vacancies on MEA Committees! If you or someone you know is interested in getting a bit more involved and meeting colleagues from across the state, contact me soon!
NEA MLT/WLT Conferences (Minority Leadership Training and Women’s Leadership Training) will be in New Orleans, January 25th-27th. The NEA Leadership Summit will be in Denver, March 15th-17th. Watch for information later this fall.
LAST BUT BY NO MEANS LEAST!
Be sure to keep talking to those colleagues who have not yet joined us! Share your thoughts on the benefits of belonging to the MEA and the reasons why it is important to be a member!
And let’s keep up the efforts to WEAR RED FOR ED ON WEDNESDAYS!