- Union Voting Starts Today!
- Snow Day Update
- Snapshot: 1/25 Budget Rally at the BOE!
- Urgent Call for Action: Tell the BOE to address Underfunding, COVID Leave, Special Education Retention, and Sprinkling
- Update: MCEA on OIG Report
- Get an Early Start on Early Voting
- MCEA Members: Making Our Voices Heard!
- Inspire and Empower! MSEA IPD Conference Call for Proposals
1. Union Voting Starts Today!
Now is the time to choose new union leadership for MCEA, MSEA and NEA! Today, ballots are being sent to all members non-work emails. You can also read about the state and national candidates and access the ballot at https://marylandeducators.org/elections-nominations/. You will need your member ID# and the last 4 digits of your SSN to cast your vote. MCEA candidate bios are available in the 2024 Advocate here.
MCEA Representatives have endorsed Paul Lemle, a teacher and past president in Howard County Education Association and our own Nikki Woodward, current MCEA Vice President and an MSEA/NEA Director.
If you need your member ID#, contact your building rep or Jackie Thompson at [email protected].
Remember – All chapters that reach 50% voter turnout for MCEA elections will be entered in a raffle to win BREAKFAST AT YOUR WORKSITE! There will be at least one winner chosen from ES, MS, HS and NSB chapters.
2. Snow Day Update
As you may know, MCPS recently signaled their desire to immediately pick a make-up date for the most recent snow day. MCPS initially only considered two choices, both grading and planning days, January 29 and April 10.
The school calendar is an illegal bargaining subject, so we must rely on our collective power to push MCPS to do the right thing. MCPS has now released a survey of their own, through their January 25th “Things to Know” message to stakeholders, that addresses important concerns we raised. It includes dates that were not previously communicated to MCEA as viable options.
MCPS has not yet decided on a plan. We need to make our voices heard through their survey. Get the word out in your building and urge your colleagues to find the January 25th “Things to Know” email and complete the survey as soon as possible.
Tell MCPS when and how you want to make up the snow day. Please also share this link with your colleagues so they can weigh in as well. We continue to advocate for sensible policies that are communicated clearly and timely. We will continue to share more information on this topic as it becomes available.
3. Snapshot: 1/25 Budget Rally at the BOE!
We turned out to the BOE in force despite the drizzle!
MCEA members with red umbrellas stood behind an educator dressed in a waiter’s uniform, holding a silver platter with the sign “Can I get you anything else?”
Dozens of members turned out Thursday night to tell the MCPS Board we demand fully funded schools now. We heard from members who spoke about how critical funding issues affect their classrooms before heading inside to witness the budget hearing. Several MCEA members and President Martin provided testimony at the hearing. Read President Martin’s testimony here.
4. Urgent Call for Action: Tell the BOE to address Underfunding, COVID Leave, Special Education Retention, and Sprinkling
MCEA has continued to exhaust all efforts possible to encourage MCPS decision-making authorities to act in the best interest of students, educators, and school communities by addressing major and ongoing system-wide concerns. MCEA has repeatedly extended a hand of cooperation, and asked MCPS senior leadership to work with educators in good faith by taking concerns about working and learning conditions with the seriousness they deserve. Unfortunately, it has become clear that at the highest levels of decision-making authority within MCPS, there is little or no political will to truly address major deficiencies within the school system’s operations.
If you have been impacted by one or more of the systemwide issues below, TAKE ACTION NOW! Click the link and ask the Board of Education to direct MCPS Superintendent Dr. Monifa McKnight to take immediate steps to address the critical issues that impact our working conditions.
5. Update: MCEA on OIG Report
We released the following statement to the media on January 24 in response to the Office of the Inspector General’s latest report on MCPS:
We are continually disheartened and disgusted by the continuing revelations of corruption, malfeasance, and unsafe working conditions in MCPS. Said Danillya Wilson, MCEA Secretary and Vice President-Elect, “At a time when we should be working together to demand a budget that meets the actual needs of our students, we are constantly sidetracked with additional stories of MCPS’s mismanagement.”
Today’s release of the Office of the Inspector General’s (OIG) report on MCPS complaint processing makes clear that the superintendent and other top executives, either due to incompetence or willful avoidance of duty, allowed credible allegations of sexual harassment and bullying to go unaddressed.
This failure to put systems in place and follow them with fidelity–even after receiving multiple warnings about shoddy processes–indicates a callous disregard for the safety and wellbeing of staff and further erodes our confidence in senior leaders entrusted with oversight of this work.
As the OIG wrote, “Not taking action on observed deficiencies and choosing not to implement recommendations contributes to MCPS’s inability to appropriately respond to serious employee health and safety risks, degrades confidence in MCPS, and may leave staff vulnerable to other employees’ misconduct.”
The Board must put a swift end to the chaos. They should appoint leaders who will work to address the challenges we face in our work each day, such as staffing shortages in special education and other crucial areas, unfilled substitute teaching positions and related unpaid class coverage, and concerns over a lack of covid leave.
There’s ample evidence that changes in top leadership are needed if we are to restore trust in the system.
President Jennifer Martin stated, “Every day that the current controversy continues, the system is failing to support the 14,000 educators who strive to give our students the excellent learning opportunities they need and deserve. MCEA calls on the board to choose leaders who can restore trust in the system and who will support the critical work we do with students each day.”
6. Get an Early Start on Early Voting
Take action to get our Apple Ballot recommended candidates elected! Early voting starts Thursday, May 2, 2024, and runs through Thursday, May 9, 2024. We need your help passing out Apple Ballots at the early voting sites each day of early voting. There are early morning, morning, mid-day, afternoon, and evening shifts available at multiple locations throughout the county.
Please sign up for your Apple Ballot shift here!
For more information, please contact Alicenne Passavanti at [email protected]
7. MCEA Members: Making our voices heard!
Educators at Stonegate ES on their way to present a letter to administration
Since December 6th, 2023, over 25 schools and worksites took action to address climate concerns. Through our organizing efforts, we are making bold demands to MCPS administration, imploring them to work with us to improve working conditions and students’ learning conditions. Let’s continue amplifying our collective voice: get involved and join other sites in our workplace climate campaign. Reach out to your MCEA Building Representatives, your assigned MCEA Uniserv Director, and/or learn more about how to take action at https://bit.ly/MCEAmembermaterials.
Educators at Burnt Mills ES wear Red for Ed
We celebrate Red for Ed every Wednesday! Don’t forget to wear your red this week, Wednesday, January 31, to build union solidarity and awareness at your school or worksite. We love to share our actions with each other, so please email [email protected] with pictures or videos of your action.
8. Inspire and Empower! MSEA IPD Conference Call for Proposals
Are you passionate about education, collaboration, and innovation? Do you have valuable insights to share with the Maryland educators? We invite you to be a part of our upcoming 2024 IPD Conference on the theme: “Collaborate, Celebrate, Connect: Making a Difference Together.”
This is your chance to showcase your expertise and ideas to a diverse and engaged audience. MSEA is seeking proposals from MSEA members that align with three session strands:
>Turning Pages, Forging Paths: Career Transitions In Education
>Transformative Discipline: Shaping Future Learning Environments
>Making Connections, Building Relationships: Inclusivity
Proposal Submission Deadline: February 9, 2024
This is your opportunity to contribute to a dynamic conference that celebrates collaboration, innovation, and the transformative power of education. MSEA cannot wait to hear your ideas and insights.
Don’t miss out! Submit your proposal and be a part of something extraordinary. Together, we can make a difference! For submission guidelines and more information, visit: bit.ly/3vDU9J6 for an application.
Questions: Contact [email protected] or Géraldine Duval