This Week at MCEA

Feb 20, 2024

1. MCEA Voter Turnout Breaks All Records in Union Elections! 

2. Urgent Call for Action: Tell the BoE Our Students Deserve More! 

3. Be Part of the Process! Join the Apple Ballot Candidate Interview Team 

4. RSVP for the IN-PERSON March 6 Representative Assembly (RA) 

5. Get an Early Start on Early Voting 

6. MCEA Members: Making Our Voices Heard! 

 7. Enforcing Our Union Contract: Involuntary Transfers and Seniority 

8. Four Finalists Named for MCPS Teacher of the Year 

 9. NEA Update 


1. MCEA Voter Turnout Breaks All Records in Union Elections! 

Election results will be certified soon for MCEA, MSEA, and NEA elections. Look for an update later this week.


2. Urgent Call for Action: Tell the BoE Our Students Deserve More! 

The Board of Education is finalizing the budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 on Thursday, February 22. Important services, programs, and positions are at risk. ACT NOW by clicking here to send a letter to our BoE members and tell them to: 

1. Invest $21.3 million dollars to fund an additional “special” at every elementary school in the county.

2. Increase special education staffing to levels that will ensure legal compliance with IEPs.

3. Reduce caseloads for behavioral and mental health staff by meeting the nationally recommended ratios. 

  • School Counselors (ASCA) 1:250 
  • School Psychologist (NASP) 1:500 
  • School Social Workers (SSWA) 1:250 

4. Restore and increase the substitute salary allocations and expand the highly successful and collaboratively developed permanent substitute program. 

5. Cease the practice of unpaid coverage, such as “sprinkling,” which results in increased class sizes and an inability to meet the needs of every learner. Earmark MCEA-specific lapse and turnover dollars to compensate for coverage instead of reallocating unspent salaries to fund other parts of the budget each year. 

6. Restore allocations for speech-language pathologists and eliminate the use of subcontractors who aren’t held to the same high standards as MCPS staff. 

7. Restore the $500k for Go Guardian, the application that enables teachers to effectively monitor student use of digital media to ensure their safety and maintain their focus on learning. Without Go Guardian, teachers will spend valuable instructional time observing students’ individual screens rather than providing meaningful instruction. 

8. Provide additional funding to ensure that we have adequate support for new EML students who arrive mid-year. Additional EML counselors and ELD teachers should be allocated to schools with larger EML populations. 

9. Restore the reduced Consulting Teacher positions and invest more funds for three additional Consulting Teachers. This will improve our ability to train our novice and early career educator workforce. This is especially important as the system has increasingly been relying on conditionally certified new hires who lack teacher training and classroom experience. 

3. Be Part of the Process! Join the Apple Ballot Candidate Interview Team  

Ensure we are endorsing the candidates who best represent our voices at the local and state level. Join the Apple Ballot Candidate Recommendation Interview Team to interview candidates and determine whose names will appear on the educator-approved Apple Ballot: 

  • New Date: Sunday, March 3, 2024. 
  • Mandatory Training starts at 10am sharp. Candidate interviews will likely last until 6pm. 

Sign up here. 

4. RSVP for the IN-PERSON March 6 Representative Assembly (RA) 

Building reps will gather IN-PERSON to make recommendations for MCEA’s Apple Ballot endorsements, discuss the MCEA FY2025 budget proposal, and other union business. 

  • 4:15pm – Doors open with refreshments available 
  • 4:45pm – Meeting start  

RSVP to attend this IN-PERSON RA here

5. 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] 

6. MCEA Members: Making our voices heard!  

Members Taking Action on Worksite Climate 

First-grade teachers at Meadow Hall were overwhelmed by the negative impacts of overcrowded classes and understaffing in their Focus School. They attempted to improve the situation with their principal, but realized further action was required. They wrote a letter to the Area Director to describe the negative impact on their students and staff, to ask for an additional first grade teacher, and to request a meeting to discuss and resolve their concerns. Within a week, 87% of the educators in their school signed the letter. The school’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA) sprang into action. The PTA met with the principal to support the teachers’ demands, wrote a letter to the Board of Education (BoE), and wrote an additional letter to fellow parents, asking them to contact the BoE. Within a week, the Area Director responded and scheduled a meeting. Stay tuned for updates on the action at Meadow Hall! 

Since December 6, 2023, over 25 schools and worksites have taken 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 at the foundational levels of the system, our worksites. We will continue amplifying our collective voice and make bold demands. To get involved and join other worksites in our climate campaign, reach out to your MCEA Building Representatives, your assigned MCEA Uniserv Director, and/or learn more about how to take action at

McAuliffe ES wears Red for Ed! 

We celebrate Red for Ed every Wednesday! Don’t forget to wear your red this week, Wednesday, February 21 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 you and your colleagues taking action! 

7. Enforcing Your Union Contract: Involuntary Transfers and Seniority  

With transfer season approaching, many members wonder how seniority is calculated. The MCEA-MCPS Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) refers to “a unit member’s length of MCPS service, as defined in Article 7.A.7.” Article 7.A.7. gives this definition: “MCPS Service—Service earned working in a permanent MCPS position in the bargaining unit, minus any military, transferred, or purchased service.” The years do not have to be contiguous.  

However, there are additional factors in involuntary transfers, and seniority is not the only consideration. Here is information from Article 26:  

  1. A. Notification to MCEA— MCPS will provide MCEA with a list of unit members identified for involuntary transfer based on initial staffing allocations by the third Friday in March. The list of involuntary transfers shall include:    

a. Subject  

b. Full Name  

c. Ethnicity  

d. Gender  

e. MCPS Hire Date  

f. Years of Experience  

g. Total Full-Time Equivalent  

h. Priority Placement Type  

i. Location Transferring From  

j. Job Description  

k. Department  

l. Certification Subject Area 

8. Four Finalists Named for MCPS Teacher of the Year  

Congratulations to four teachers who have been named finalists for the 2024–2025 MCPS Teacher of the Year!  

Janie Earle, Kindergarten teacher at Poolesville Elementary School;  

Carrie Kraynak, English Language Development teacher at Flower Hill Elementary School;  

Morgan Patel, Social Studies teacher at Montgomery Blair High School; and  

Melissa Porter Parks, English Language Development teacher at Gaithersburg High School.  

Learn more about these educators here.

 9. NEA Update 

The National Education Association’s board of directors issued a new press release:

You can join the NEA call to action here:

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