Thursday, February 26, 2009

PAC News

Last night at the Region 9 PAC Meeting (Political Action Committee) we heard there is a lot of opposition to the retirement incentive bill from the retired MEA members. They were able to defeat Proposal 5 because they didn't like it and they may do the same here. We encourage you to contact your legislators and ask them to support this measure. The Senate bill was introduced on Thursday of last week and it was sent to the education committee.
See the link below to get in contact with your state legislators.

There is not much new legislation news at this time, just some democratic caucuses.

I asked them about President Obama's stand on charter schools, and our opposition to them. The speaker said that where Obama came from, they were more like alternatives to Christian or Parochial schools. I think that they are just covering for the fact that their candidate is in favor of charter schools.

Jeanne Hewitt: KEA PAC Chair

Does America Need Labor Unions

There is a national poll on Parade Magazine entitled, "Does America Still
Need Labor Unions"? We encourage you to take a moment and vote. You can find the Poll at:

Thursday, February 19, 2009

UpComing Events

Stay tuned for these upcoming events.
1. Online voting for Region 9 Officers. We are going paperless and your AR will help you make it happen.

2. KEA Shirt Logo Contest: Your AR will put flier in your box. Are you creative and have design talent, prizes will be involved. Check it out! Contest only open to KEA members.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Did You Know? Tenure, Certification, Crimes and Medical Insurance

Did you know that if you are a tenured teacher and you let your certificate expire,you are NOT protected under the Tenure Act? Once you re-validate your certificate you are again covered.

Did you know you MUST report within 3 calender days to your district superintendent and the state superintendent if you have been charged with a crime? Failure to do so can result in dismissal.

Did you know that if you are laid off you are still provided with medical coverage for a period of time? The following chart will help you determine the length of benefit coverage:

Continuous Medical Coverage Benefit Period
  • 1-3 years service equals 3 month benefit
  • 4-6 years service equals 6 month benefit
  • 7-9 years service equals 9 month benefit
  • 10 plus years service equals 12 month benefit

For more information contact MESSA at:
1475 Kendale Blvd., P.O. Box 2560
East Lansing, MI 48826-2560
MESSA website:
Contact Messa: :

Contribution By Patti Lovelace, KEA Secretary

Friday, February 13, 2009

Free Kent ISD Tech Class

Check this out:

March 9 through May 11th. This will run without classroom sessions, you can do it from wherever you can access the web!

Friday Inservice Fun

Even though we were eagerly anticipating the Mid-winter break on Monday and Tuesday, middle school teachers were attending some good sessions on Friday afternoon. Sessions offered included Differentiated Instruction, Formative Assessments, Curriculum Crafters, and Technology in the Classroom.

Greg Mileski did a great job showing how to use Google accounts, RSS feeds, Bookmarking, and Blogs. Basically, if you have web access, you can access your materials and sources by using these tools. For a great example check out Mike Kaechle's blog that is replacing the paper in his classroom.

Curriculum Crafter is a great program from Kent ISD that will allow all KPS educators to access lessons, benchmarks, standards, assessments, and curriculum webs. Need a lesson? Find it at

As Greg said the average coal miner uses more technology than the average classroom teacher. WOW!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Contact Your Legislator

How often lately have you asked, "What is my legislator thinking?" Well, one of the things we will attempt to give you in this Blog are links to the local legislators who affect our lives as teachers. As Jeanne Hewitt, KEA PAC Chair, so often tells us, the people in Lansing just don't hear from teachers often enough. They only hear from the lobbyists or the people who have an idea, but have no idea what takes place in the classroom. The demands we face everyday are big enough without having an well-meaning but uninformed legislator putting another brick on our load. So....check the links and send them the information they need to vote as fully informed public servants.

Here are the links!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Welcome to the NEW KEA Blog!

The KEA Blogspot is alive and well....getting started for you.
I am sitting here at Cobo Hall designing a new web blog that will be used to keep you informed about current issues in the KEA community. It will hopefully be a valuable tool for association communication. So bookmark, and check back often.

2008-2009 MEA Bargaining Conference

Well, it was a frosty -12 on the readout of President Dan Magennis' Explorer as we headed towards Detroit on I 96 this morning.
Dan Magennis, Steve Cavazos, Mike Dimick, and I were heading down to Cobo Hall for the MEA PR/Bargaining Convention. A great group from Kentwood, including Michelle Thomas, Chief Negotiator, Deb Irvine, Denise Saganski, Julie Brill, and a few more to be noted later were already in attendance to represent the KEA.
Gratefully, neither the cold, traffic, or Dan's 250k Explorer held us back and we were able to make it to the first sessions on time. There are a lot of great sessions we will be attending in order to bring back the best information to our members. This BLOG is one of the tools that we will be providing members with a source of information on current bargaining issues. So, bookmark this spot, and we will be back with more soon.
The MEA/PR Bargaining Conference runs from today, February 5 to Saturday, February 7.

Chas Schaner, KEA Communications