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Rainbow, Illesheim Closings

On Wednesday (April 29) the garrison commander at Ansbach, Germany, formally announced that Illesheim Elementary and Rainbow Elementary schools will both be closed at the end of the current school year. The sudden announcement of these closings is of course a shock, most especially to those students and educators located at these schools. While it is known to all DoDEA employees that schools exist to serve military families and those families must sometimes be relocated, the short notice of this announcement is particularly upsetting.

In all 45 positions at the two schools are expected to be lost due to the movement of troops and their families to other locations. An additional 5 positions at Ansbach Middle/High school will also be lost due to the decreased enrollment.

DoDEA is working on procedures to accommodate all those affected by these changes, including the possibility of VERA/VSIP for those at the affected schools. FEA will review those plans and alert DoDEA to any questions/issues we foresee. Details are likely to be announced in a day or two. The process of finding placements for those excessed from these schools, along with the 15 remaining excessed educators from the DODDS transfer program, is expected to begin next week. FEA will have representatives present throughout the process to monitor and ensure that employees' rights are protected.

For more information, see the May 1, 2015 FEA President's Report.

DODDS SALARY INCREASE

from the April 21 FEA President's Report

FEA met with representatives of DoDEA and the DOD Wage Setting Authority last week to review and finalize the data used to compute DODDS salary schedules for the current school year. As a result, we are happy to announce that, for the first time since school year 2010-2011, DODDS will implement the new salary schedule as required by law and salaries will be increased.

The specific rate of increase for each lane and step on the salary schedules will vary, but here are the overall average rates of increase (compared to the SY 10-11 schedules everyone has been paid under during the salary freeze) for each position:
Classroom teachers -- 3.0%
Guidance counselors -- 3.2%
School psychologists -- 2.6%
Speech/Language Pathologists -- 3.6%
(please remember: these are overall average rates of increase. The percentage of increase for your specific step and lane of the schedule may be higher or lower.)

The full SY 2014-2015 DODDS salary schedules have now been posted on the FEA Web site.

For more info on the pay raise and an update on FEA's lawsuit over the illegal freezing of DODDS salaries, read the full April 21 FEA President's Report.

Transfer Program Concludes

updated April 21, 2015:
DoDEA Headquarters has confirmed that the transfer reassignment letters have all been sent out. Placements will continue only for excessed educators who have not yet been placed and those excessed educators who have requested reconsideration under the reconsideration guidelines. All new vacancies must continue to be sent to DoDEA Headquarters for these placements.


posted April 14, 2015
The DODDS Transfer Program has concluded and transfer reassignment letters are now being sent out by DoDEA Headquarters.

A total of 132 offers were made before DoDEA reached its budget limit. All of those offers were made to applicants in the A+ transfer group. This means that about half of the A+ applicants received a transfer placement, but there will be no transfer offers to applicants in Groups A, B, D or F. FEA has voiced its displeasure that additional funds could not be found to pay for more transfers.

Only true vacancies were used for the above A+ placements. Backfill vacancies, as well as the true vacancies not used for the A+ placements, were used to place excessed educators.

All but 15 of the 96 Group C (excessed) applicants were placed. The cost of these transfers was taken from a separate budget. Headquarters has indicated it may offer additional VSIPs to place the remaining excessed educators.

Group C applicants may request reconsideration for the following reasons:

1. To remain in their current district if placed outside of that district;
2. If placed in an area that will not meet their medical needs, or;
3. If placed in a teaching category in which you have had no experience or training in the last five years.

Reconsiderations will continue until May 1.

FEA cannot release specific information about placements until DoDEA Headquarters has sent out all the transfer reassignment letters. If you have a question about placements, please contact Connie Shanaghan at cshanaghan@nea.org. Be sure to include your SCD and transfer group.

FEA realizes that many of our members will be disappointed that they did not receive a transfer. Since the time DoDEA announced that it would hold a transfer program this year, FEA has called for additional funding to increase the number of reassignments that could be made. Unfortunately, such funding was not made available. Although we are glad to see that well over 100 educators will receive transfers this year, we know there are hundreds more who want similar opportunities. FEA will continue to advocate for a full and robust transfer program in the future.




#February 2015 FEA Journal
February FEA Journal Now Online

Accreditation changes, contract negotiations and the end of the DODDS salary freeze.
Read the February FEA Journal in PDF format

ESEA Reauthorization

IMPORTANT: The law (5 U.S. C 7211) give you the right to petition Congress on matters of concern to you (within the limits of the Hatch Act). With that in mind, do not click on, view or disseminate information from the link below, or engage in any activities promoted by the link below, while on government duty/time and/or property, or while using government equipment (computers, copiers, e-mail, etc.). Furthermore, do not send information on this topic to any government e-mail account, such as DoDEA Outlook mail.

Members of the House and Senate are focused on ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) reauthorization. It is the most serious effort to rewrite the law, better known as No Child Left Behind, since it passed in 2002. NEA views this reauthorization of ESEA as an opportunity to set a new vision of shared responsibility for a public education system that promotes opportunity, equity, and excellence for all students.

Learn more, including how you can tell Congress to make sure the new ESEA provides more opportunity for students to learn, by going to this site.



Background Checks

Posted January 30, 2015

This week, FEA and DoDEA management signed off on an MOU governing the implementation of background check investigations for bargaining unit members (that MOU can be found on the FEA Web site at this link). The background checks are a federal mandate being implemented by DoDEA.

Meanwhile, FEA has received numerous concerns about letters members have been sent by area office HR specialists requiring them to complete background checks. Please be aware that these forms and timelines are NOT the ones to which FEA agreed for these mandated background checks. In response to our concerns, the Acting HR Director at DoDEA HQ has given us the following guidance/clarification:

"…regarding teachers getting emails requesting they submit documents related to child care background investigations. Please tell them that we will be providing guidance to all teachers from Headquarters and that they need not complete the requests they are receiving until that guidance comes out."

FEA has worked very hard to lessen the impact of this mandate on our members. Please see the MOU posted on our website for details about what has been agreed to and we will send additional guidance out as soon as we receive it from DoDEA.

Note: the above information applies to DODDS only. FEA's Stateside Region has signed its own MOU with DDESS. That MOU can be read here.

Update on Stateside MLA Bargaining

The update, posted January 30, also addresses background checks and VSIP/VERA/RIF news. Read the update from the FEA Director for DDESS here.



NPR Highlights DOD Schools, Military Dependents

National Public Radio has been running a series of stories about military dependents, the issues they deal with, and the world in which they live. As we all know, military children are among the bravest, most resilient, and most amazing children anywhere. One of the NPR stories focused specifically on Department of Defense schools and the important role our schools play in supporting and nurturing these wonderful students. You can read or listen to the audio of that story by going to this site.

Other stories in the NPR series cover early education for military kids, public schools that have large military child populations, and helping military children who have lost a parent. You can find the entire series at this page.

Teaching Channel: Videos that Inspire Teaching

The Teaching Channel website offers a growing library of short videos to inspire K-12 teaching. These video lessons - in English language arts, math, science, and history/social sciences - include lesson objectives, questions to consider, homework ideas, and more.

Free registration provides access to:

See the Welcome to Teaching Channel video.

Updates for our Members

Read the FEA President's Report and sign up to have updates from FEA's Washington office sent directly to your e-mail (member login required).