Newsletter May 2018

Teacher Appreciation Week

From your Co-President Jason Crouch

 

National Teacher Appreciation Week is May 7-11, 2018.  FCEA thanks all teachers, educational support professionals, and administration for the hard work they do every day.  You do an excellent job making sure all students in Fayette County get a great education.  Thanks for all your hard work and dedication. 

 

WV PEIA Task Force gets crash course in PEIA operations, expenses 
Phil Kabler, Charleston Gazette-Mail

For about two hours Tuesday (April 10), members of the PEIA Task Force got a crash course in all things PEIA, including how the health care plan provider operates and why, like most health insurance programs, it is seeing its costs increase annually.

“It’s our responsibility to understand this plan,” task force chairman and Justice administration chief of staff Mike Hall told the 29-member panel. “As has been said by many, ‘Fix PEIA.’ Well, you gotta know what you’re fixing.”

PEIA Executive Director Ted Cheatham presented members with an overview of what he called “the wonderful world of PEIA,” encompassing a 100-plus page Powerpoint presentation.

Cheatham went over the basics of the plan, which covers about 230,000 people and pays out more than $900 million a year in claims.

He said prescription drug costs are the primary reason that PEIA claims are increasing in the neighborhood of $50 million a year.

“The biggest driver, by far, right now, is pharmacy expenses,” Cheatham said. “It’s not a state problem. It’s a national problem.”

Dr. Rahul Gupta, commissioner of the Bureau of Public Health, noted that West Virginians lead the nation in total numbers of prescription drugs they take frequently for chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, that can be treated with exercise and lifestyle changes

FCEA Elections

The FCEA elections were held on April 3, 2018 for officers and delegates to WVEA Delegate Assembly.  Here are the results:  Co-presidents Jason Crouch (AMS) and Ted Dixon (RES), Vice President Leonard Walker, Secretary Teresa McVey (RES), and Treasurer Carol Learmonth (FHS).  Delegates for DA are Ted Dixon, Jason Crouch, Teresa McVey, and Carol Learmonth.   

 

Francetta Jackson Memorial Scholarship update

We received many great and wonderful applications this year.   It will be a hard decision for the scholarship committee.  We redacted identifiable information before we sent the applications to the committee.  We are looking forward to announcing the recipients because all of the seniors were so deserving.

 

FCEA, AFT-Fayette, and WVSSPA working together again

FCEA, AFT-Fayette, and WVSSPA hosted a panel with the candidates for the FCBOE elections.  This was done on April 12, 2018 at FHS.  It was an informative forum for our members and friends.  All three organizations also met on April 10 to discuss our organizations endorsements for FCBOE.  We will continue to work together on issues that affect us all.  #55united and #55strong!

 

WV teacher strike helped spark similar movements in Oklahoma, beyond
By Maria Young Staff writer Charleston Gazette-Mail

Weeks before Oklahoma teachers launched a statewide strike on April 2, many were watching the actions of their counterparts in West Virginia as the protests played out on national media.

“I was kind of shocked, because it seemed to me that they weren’t asking for too much. It made me open my eyes,” said Jessica Lightle, an alternative education teacher at Puterbaugh Middle School, in McAlester, Oklahoma.

Around the time the West Virginia strike wrapped up — and led to a 5 percent bump in pay for teachers and other state employees — Alberto Morejon, a teacher in Stillwater, Oklahoma, created The Time Is Now, a Facebook page calling for teachers in his own state to walk out. His post went viral, and, within a matter of days, there were tens of thousands of members on the page, including Lightle, who has relatives in Charleston and closely watched the action here.

“I just thought, ‘We need to follow their example and recognize the power that we have.’ I think that’s the real message. This education system is in our hands, and West Virginia showed us that we could fight for it and win.”

 

 

Nutrition manual repeal on agenda for upcoming WV school board meeting
Staff reports, Charleston Gazette-Mail

The West Virginia Board of Education meets at 10 a.m. Wednesday (April 11), and a recommended vote to repeal its “Policies of Operation Manual, Child Nutrition Programs,” is on its meeting agenda.

The recommendation comes from the state Department of Education, which the school board oversees.

An attachment to the agenda states that the policy is “being repealed with no replacement being provided. The Office of Child Nutrition is working on an internal operation manual that will be distributed as reference tool to counties for successful operation of federal child nutrition program.”

“The policy was last updated in 2002,” the attachment says. “There have been significant changes to federal child nutrition programs by the federal government [the U.S. Agriculture Department] which leave much of these policy and procedure statements outdated and void. The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 provides guidance on numerous areas such as meal patterns and components.

 

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© Terry White