This Week at MCEA

Mar 11, 2024
  1. Apple Ballot Candidate Endorsement Announcement!
  2. MCEA Budget Update
  3. New Business Item (NBI) Update
  4. Urgent Call for Action: Tell the County Executive and Council that our Students Deserve More!
  5. Summer Opportunities at MCEA: Save the Dates
  6. MCEA Members: Making Our Voices Heard at Our Worksites!
  7. Attention Conditionally Certified Members: FREE Live Praxis Support Available
  8. MSEAIPD Conference Opportunity
  9. Register Now! 2024 MSEA Retired Conference 


1. Apple Ballot Candidate Endorsement Announcement!

We are pleased to announce that on March 6, our Representative Assembly endorsed three candidates for MCPS Board of Education in the 2024 election: 

  • Natalie Zimmerman for District 2
  • Laura Stewart for District 4
  • Rita Montoya in the At-Large Race

Ms. Zimmerman is an MCEA member and second-grade teacher at Wheaton Woods Elementary who wants to bring her knowledge of the classroom experience to the board. Ms. Stewart is a long-time community education advocate, state PTA leader, and parent of two MCPS graduates. Ms. Montoya is a current PTA president, parent of two MCPS students, and a former juvenile public defender with a track record of fighting for young people’s rights. 

After an extensive vetting and interview process of the many candidates who sought our endorsement, we are confident that these are the candidates who will fight for us and our students. Zimmerman, Stewart, and Montoya displayed an understanding of our work, our needs, and our communities. We look forward to working together to ensure these pro-public education candidates are elected to MCPS Board of Education in November. 

Take action to get our Apple Ballot recommended candidates elected! Early voting starts May 2, 2024, and runs through Thursday, May 9, 2024. There are early morning, morning, mid-day, afternoon, and evening shifts available at multiple locations throughout the county. Sign up for your Apple Ballot shift here! 


For more information, please contact Alicenne Passavanti at [email protected]


2. MCEA Budget Update 

The MCEA Budget Committee presented the Board’s proposed MCEA operating budget for the fiscal year 2024-2025. The budget is focused on using current resources available to strengthen our union and increase member engagement. On April 3rd, there will be an all-member virtual town hall to learn about the budget. Stay tuned for more information on how to RSVP to attend the town hall.


 3. New Business Item (NBI) Update 

NBI 24-02, which called for MCEA to sign on to and publicize a statement in support of a ceasefire in Gaza, was ruled out of order by Representative Assembly (RA) Chair Nikki Woodward after MCEA President Jennifer Martin received notification from MSEA General Counsel that the NBI was outside the scope of the governing documents of MCEA. In short, the legal advice provided was that MCEA should be focused on local issues and that our state and national affiliates are the bodies that handle state and national affairs.  


4. Urgent Call for Action: Tell the County Executive and Council that our Students Deserve More! 

Once again, the board of education disappointed us by proposing a budget to the county that will not address all our students’ vital needs. It is now in the hands of County Executive Elrich and the county council to make up where the board of education has fallen short. We must speak up to our elected officials and tell them to save our school system by fully investing in our staff and students.  

Click the link to send an email to the Montgomery County Executive and the County Council. We must urge them to honor the board of education’s FY25 budget request so that our wages and benefits are funded. They must also work to bring additional investment in students back to pre-recession levels. Our students and communities deserve the investment. 


Write to the County Executive and council now! 


 5. Summer Opportunities at MCEA: Save the Dates 

Union Summer Program 

MCEA’s Union Summer program is an exciting opportunity for MCEA members to improve their organizing skills by doing outreach to new educators, non-members, and members about critical issues we face in our schools.  

MCEA’s Union Summer Program will be held from July 8 – August 16, 2024. Stay tuned for the program announcement and application in April.  

New Educator Orientation (NEO) 

New Educator Orientation is an inspiring time of year. We get to welcome our new educators to the union and build relationships with our new colleagues. New Educator Orientation will be held on Tuesday, August 13 and Wednesday, August 14, 2024.  

For more information or to volunteer at orientation contact the MCEA Help Desk at [email protected]. 

New Educator Action Team (NEAT) Store 

The New Educator Action Team will host the New Educator Supplies (NEAT) Store at MCEA on Thursday, August 15 during NEO, and again during Pre-Service week, Monday, August 19 – August 23, 2024. 

The New Educator Supplies Store will accept your gently used classroom supplies at the end of the school year. Stay tuned for dates and times. If you have any questions, contact the MCEA Help Desk at [email protected]. 


6.MCEA Members: Making our voices heard at our worksites!  

 Members at Loiederman MS successfully advocated for the expedited renovation of the HVAC system at their worksite! They are experiencing unsafe air quality due to HVAC issues, but through their organizing efforts, work on the system will begin this summer. Their achievement is a testament to the power of our union: Loiederman members organized with PTA members, reached out to individuals with MCPS, and provided testimony to the BOE. In addition, they collected over 40 signatures on a grievance, which was filed to obtain air quality data. Their fight continues. 

See air quality data from your worksite here. 

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 

Burnt Mills Ewears Red for Ed! 

We celebrate Red for Ed every Wednesday! Don’t forget to wear your red this week, Wednesday, March 13, 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. Attention Conditionally Certified Members: FREE Live Praxis Support Available 

Are you looking for support to help you with certification? Do you want to schedule your Praxis test but would like some help studying? Praxis Live Support Programming from MSEA is back! From sessions on dealing with testing anxiety to a variety of content and level-specific classes, MSEA has tailored this season’s courses to meet your individual needs. 

To see the full list of courses or to sign up, click here. For additional questions, please email [email protected].


8. MSEA IPD  Conference Opportunity 

Come inspire and empower fellow educators at MSEA’s IPD Conference! The IPD Committee, led by member experts, develops strands of workshops designed to meet the professional needs of MSEA members. The theme for the 2024 conference is Collaborate, Celebrate, Connect: Making a Difference Together. From keeping up with the demands of an increasingly challenging education environment to meeting the needs of a diverse range of students, the IPD Conference will prepare members to deliver the best possible outcomes for students. Participants will come away with strategies that can be employed right away. You may also win door prizes and a raffle for an IPEVO! (Must be present to win.) Free to members. Registration is required. Learn more and register here. 


9. Register Now! 2024 MSEA Retired Conference

The 2024 MSEA-Retired Conference will be held on April 25, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Doubletree by Hilton in Annapolis. This year’s conference will have speakers presenting on the 2024 Maryland legislative session, an update from Doug Prouty of the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System, estate planning, NEA Member Benefits, and more. Participation is free to all NEA-Retired members. Learn more and register here. 

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