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April 30, 2001
+ New EIA Report Now on Internet. Tribute for a Light: Public Education Spending & Staffing is now available via e-mail (582 kilobytes) or through a link on the EIA web page. The report has already received coverage on Fox News, and in the Washington Times and Deseret News. The full report and individual tables are posted as Adobe Acrobat files (*.pdf). Of course, you can still receive a hard copy by calling 916-422-4373, faxing 916-392-1482, or e-mailing Single copies are free. Please include your preferred mailing address.

+ NEA Helps Bail Out Texas Affiliate. On March 26, EIA reported that the Texas State Teachers Association would be facing a nearly $1 million deficit next year, prompting the TSTA leadership to speak openly of staff layoffs. Now, sources in Texas and Washington DC tell EIA that the NEA Executive Committee recently approved a $3 million loan extension to TSTA to see it through its current troubles. The arrangement involves no new money flowing from DC to Texas, but rather extends the time for repayment of previous loans made to TSTA. In exchange, TSTA agreed to give NEA oversight and approval authority of any major budgetary moves.

+ Wisconsin Union Establishment Beats Back Challenge. Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC) Vice President Stan Johnson easily won election to WEAC’s presidency on Saturday despite a concerted challenge from a candidate backed by the union’s Madison affiliate. Johnson received 68 percent of the vote of the delegates to the annual WEAC Representative Assembly, held over the weekend in Green Bay, defeating Thomas Hagen of the Northwoods Education Association and one other candidate.

Last Friday, The Capital Times of Madison, Wisconsin, ran two stories on the rift between WEAC and Madison Teachers Inc. -- one on the front page. The newspaper explored the ins and outs of their battle over the affiliation of the South Central Education Association. But you, dear reader, are already familiar with the controversy, having read the lead item in the March 5 EIA Communiqué headlined "Mutiny in Madison."

+ Hawaii Teachers' Strike Nets $148. Hawaii's teachers came out ahead after their three-week strike was settled, but by how much? The deal gave teachers a retroactive bonus totaling $1,100 for the two years they worked without a contract, plus a 16 percent increase spread over the final two years of the agreement. With the average Hawaii teacher earning $40,416 (source: AFT), that's not a bad deal. But the state's last offer before the strike was a 14 percent increase with no retroactive pay. Well, the teachers still came out ahead, right? They got the $1,100 and an extra 2 percent, right? Well, for the average teacher, that extra 2 percent comes to $1,263. Add in the $1,100 and you have a $2,363 total gain.

But the deal did not include reimbursing teachers for the time they were out on strike. Even if salary were spread over 365 days, the average teacher lost $2,215 by striking. By going on strike, the average Hawaii teacher will end up with $148 more by the end of 2003 than if he or she had simply accepted the state's last offer.

+ NEA Executive Committee Race Starts to Spool Up. There are two open seats on the nine-member NEA Executive Committee, and campaigns are launching in earnest. Seven candidates will vie for the positions: Michael Billirakis of Ohio, Richard Malizia of New Jersey, Michael Marks of Mississippi, Becky Pringle of Pennsylvania, Marsha Smith of Maryland, Lynette Tanaka of California, and Kathleen Trongo of Michigan. Tanaka has the home field advantage, as this year’s NEA Representative Assembly will be in Los Angeles, insuring a relatively large turnout of California delegates. Malizia picked up the sole endorsement of the National Council for Educational Support Personnel, an internal NEA interest group for ESPs. Marks has lined up an array of NEA state affiliate officers to back his campaign. The other four must be considered long shots in this field.

+ Why Administrators Get Bad Press. EIA provides, in full and without comment, the following memo from an administrator in a Southern California high school:

RE: Calendars and dry erase markers

Some staff have reported that the calendars are not wiping clean. We have checked with several of you and found this to be true. The problem appears to be with some of the blue and green markers. They do not clean off white boards very well either. I have contacted the manufacturer and he is checking on the problem, and a possible solution.

Until then I am recommending the following:

1. Do not throw the calendars out! (they cost $8.00 each).

2. Clean all writing off the calendars and remark them in black. (or restart them as soon as you get them clean)

3. If you have a problem cleaning use the following procedure:

A. Remove from the wall

B. DO NOT USE any liquids on it to start

C. Rub with a dry paper towel or terrycloth rag

D. Use Windex or cleaner after most material is off

E. A slight colored tint will remain and will fade with time

4. If you have a VIS-A-VIS marker for overhead transparencies these work the best and cleanup completely.

5. In the future use no more than 4 weeks at a time....the ink will not set into the plastic in that amount of time.

If you have any questions, or you have solved the problem...please let me know.

If you need a calendar because you did not get one, please place a note in my box as soon as possible.

+ Quote of the Week. "The process would be easier if more teachers knew how to use (word processing) technology. Some of them are paying people to type up their reflections. We have teachers who are not proficient in word processing skills and so the past year for them has been a nightmare." -- Susan Taylor, newly elected president of the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers, explaining one of the changes she proposes to make to the district’s landmark performance pay system. (Cincinnati Enquirer, April 26)


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