Register for Fall Focus!
They are making some changes with this year’s Fall Focus, starting with simplifying the registration process. Instead of county and local associations filling out and mailing in paperwork, each member will simply register online at njea.org/fallfocus. It only takes a minute or two and it works from your computer, tablet or phone. Attendees will be asked for their meal choices and to choose one of four discussion topics: ESSA, Privatization/Corporatization of Public Education, Chapter 78 relief, and pension funding.
The second big change is that they are instituting two windows of registration. The first window allows county and local presidents and their designated members to register. During the second window of registration, invitations will go out to the general membership of any county. The goal in opening registration is to make sure as many members as possible can attend these discussions and become new activists.
Leaders from each county will be receiving their invitations, via email, approximately one month before the date of the county’s Fall Focus meeting. The final registration deadline is seven days before your county’s Fall Focus. Please make sure you register well ahead of time. The registration deadline for all attendees to our county’s Fall Focus is seven days before.
All staff attending any Fall Focus meetings should use the link to register.
For Atlantic County, the event is at The Carriage House on October 19, 2016.
The ACEA is aware that the radical increase of our healthcare premiums is negatively impacting many members especially since all members are now on tier 4 of Chapter 78. The Negotiations Team is looking at all of our options regarding health insurance. We are working diligently to obtain a tentative agreement as soon as possible. I urge you to attend a Special General Meeting on September 1st at the ACHS theater at 3:20 for a negotiations and insurance update.
Voucher/Tax Credits Update
All members should be aware by now that the Atlantic City Council voted in favor of placing two questions on the ballot in November. The questions are: 1. “Shall the State of New Jersey designate the City to begin offering vouchers to families with children ages 6-10 so they can select the school they want to attend and 2. “Shall the State of New Jersey designate the City of Atlantic City to begin offering property credits to families with children ages 6-16 who choose to home school? Please be assured that the ACEA is vigorously fighting against these proposals. Make sure you go to our website @ www.atlanticcityea.org on regular basis for updates in this crucial issue!
Activities and Workshops
Please see your Senior Building and/or the ACEA website @www.atlantccityea.org for the forms for upcoming workshops. All members must be aware that NJEA is going “paperless” for professional development workshops. Our first PD workshop is “All Students Reaching Their Potential: Closing the Achievement Gap” which will be held on 10/19 at 4:00 at Angelo’s. Members must submit their email addresses on the PD workshop forms. Prior to the workshop, I will send the link to all participants.
There are no changes in the delivery system for our advocacy workshops (e.g., “XYZS of Retirement”, “Family/Medical/Sick Leave/Maternity Leave Workshops”. These workshops give important information about retirement, family medical and sick leaves. I urge you to attend these informative workshops.
Let’s make this the best year ever for the ACEA! Come out to out General Meeting and attend our social activities including the “Old Meets the New” on 9/23 at the Irish Pub. I will also see you in your buildings at ten meetings!
CONTACT: Marcia Genova, ACEA President FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 23, 2016
ACEA statement on latest scheme to shortchange Atlantic City’s students
ACEA President Marcia Genova released the following statement in response to reports of a voucher scheme that could potentially strip public funds from public school students.
“We are getting legal advice and more details about the proposed voucher scheme. However, it is unconscionable for anyone to even contemplate stripping even more funds from Atlantic City’s public school students,” Genova said.
“Atlantic City’s public schools continue to provide an excellent public education for every child, and provide much-needed support and services at a critical time. Stripping public funds away from public schools would only hurt our city’s children at a time when they need more from us – not less.
“Atlantic City’s school employees have stepped in and shown their dedication and commitment to their students and this city, even as we have faced layoffs and a lack of materials due to the district’s budget cutbacks.
“What Atlantic City needs now is to pull together to face the economic and social crises in our community. The members of the Atlantic City Education Association have shown their willingness to work collaboratively to solve problems in order to ensure that every student has what he or she needs to succeed. It is demoralizing to think that anyone would try to capitalize off of this city’s economic crisis to benefit themselves financially.”
May 2016 Message
During these turbulent times in Atlantic City, it is crucial that all members stay united and informed. If you have not already signed up for text alerts, do so now! (See the newsletter for directions.) Attend your building’s ten minute meetings and check our website @www.atlanticcityea.org for updates on the financial crisis in our city and district. I also urge you to attend Board meetings to keep informed. The Board meeting schedule is on the district’s website at www.acboe.org.
Make sure you attend our General Meeting on 5/9 at the ACHS Cafeteria B at 3:15. Find out the latest news on negotiations, grievances and more!
Knowledge is Power!
Marcia Genova, ACEA President
Concerning Today’s News:
The ACEA is pleased that the municipality has once again made a payment to the public schools. For those of us who live or work in Atlantic City, there will be no end to the crisis facing our schools, our community, our friends and our neighbors until everyone is working together on a long-term approach to Atlantic City’s crisis that ensures the health, safety, and educational quality of the city’s residents. As always, we are committed to putting our students and their needs first and we welcome the opportunity to work with all stakeholders to maintain excellent services for our students. (4.20.16)
Concerning Today’s News:
“The parents of public school students in Atlantic City have a legal right to a thorough and efficient education for their children guaranteed by the state constitution. The State of New Jersey bears the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that every child in Atlantic City has access to quality public schools. Closing Atlantic City’s public schools is not an option.”
Judge Mendez’s 4/8/16 Ruling
ACEA Leadership’s Message on the NJ Department of Education’s Announcement
Also, NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer called on the state to ensure funding of the city’s schools in order to protect the children of Atlantic City from further cuts.
“Atlantic City’s public school students cannot afford to wait,” Steinhauer said. “The need is immediate since without adequate funding, the school district may be forced to close. This is a scary situation for students and their families.
“The school district has been struggling for more than a year as a result of the city’s economic crisis,” said Steinhauer. “In 2015, 225 school employees lost their jobs as a result of inadequate funding. Class sizes have skyrocketed in the district, resources have dwindled, and vital student services have been reduced or cut completely.
“Ultimately, the state is responsible for ensuring that the school district is able to finish the school year. We have to work together to fix this problem and protect our students.
“The members of the Atlantic City Education Association and NJEA are ready and willing to work with elected officials to ensure that every child in Atlantic City continues to have access to a great public education.”
During these turbulent times in Atlantic City, it is crucial that all members stay united and informed. If you have not already signed up for text alerts, text ACEA to 55469. Attend your building’s ten minute meetings and check our website at www.atlanticcityea.org for updates on the financial crisis in our city and district. I also urge you to attend Board Meetings to keep informed. The Board meeting schedule is on the district’s website at www.acboe.org.
We have begun negotiations for our next contract. The ACEA will continue to inform you each time we meet with the Board and will give you a report after each meeting. As you know, due to the team’s confidentiality agreement, we cannot give you specific details until we reach a tentative agreement. If you have any questions about the negotiations process, contact Gary Melton, Negotiations Chair and Senior Vice President at gmelton <at> njea.org.
Knowledge is Power!
Preparing for our first Door-To-Door event, meeting and listening to our members to serve them better.
ACEA members and NJEA staff working together on our Door-To-Door event.
Our Door-To-Door Leadership!