OEA - February 2014 - Ogden

February 2014
Ogden Education Association
Ogden/Weber UniServ Link
Volume XXVII No. 6
Clay Kirkham
OEA Vice President
The Link is published
monthly through the combined efforts of the Ogden
and Weber Education
939 25th Street
Ogden UT 84401
Tina Cordero, Editor
[email protected]
Contact us at:
So where do we go from here?
Clay Kirkham, Ogden Education Association Vice
Educational standards are
constantly evolving and
changing. In order for educators to survive, we have
learned to evolve and
change as well. Why is it
that teachers, and the teaching profession, are under
attack from “reformers”?
Teachers around the country
are dealing with negative
rhetoric from all sides. They
are taking the brunt of financial shortfalls within the
communities and states they
serve. This misguided perception has targeted the
classroom teacher as fair
game. Collective bargaining,
lanes and steps compensation, pay cuts, higher class
size, merit pay, lay-offs and
furloughs, higher accountability, and even the grading
of teachers and schools have
become combative concerns
for teachers.
School Districts are adopting teacher accountability
systems to grade teachers
with little consideration being given to class size,
demographics such as poverty, students who live without stable homes and are
considered homeless, and
those who are English Language Learners. It is important to remember that all
schools and classes are not
the same. Some schools are
more challenging with a
difficult population when
compared to other schools.
Yet these schools are treated
the same with the same ex-
pectations, and the teachers
are held to the same standards regardless of the population they might serve.
Research tells us that the
economic strength of our
cities and towns have a direct correlation to the
strength of our local school
system. Why is it then, do
you think, that with this
knowledge, “policy and law
makers” continue to make
poor decisions that weaken
education rather than
strengthen it? Teachers are
paid 14 percent less than
professionals in other occupations that require similar
levels of education. In real
terms, teachers’ salaries
have declined for 30 years.
The average starting salary
is around $39,000 dollars
and the average ending salary is around $67,000 after
25 to 30 years in the profession. In some metropolitan
areas of the country teacher
salaries price teachers out of
home ownership and makes
raising a family on one salary nearly impossible.
Here in Utah, the Governor
is proposing the following
increases for public education funding.
●Public Education enroll ment growth for 10,300 new
students ($61.2 million)
●A 2.5% increase in WPU
($61.6 million)
●One time funding for Alternative fuel school buses
and infrastructure ($14 million)
●Beverly Taylor Sorenson
Elementary Arts ($4 mil-
●Educator evaluation implementation ($450,000)
●Enrollment growth, educator salary adjustment ($2.9
●STEM Action Center ($3
●Utah Futures and student
counseling program ($2 million)
●Teacher Supplies ($5
●Utah Data Alliance ($1.2
●Maintain ongoing funding
for early intervention/all –
day kindergarten ($7.5 million)
According to the UEA, the
proposed education budget
will leave funding flat. That,
along with an existing 9.6
percent decline from the
2008 pre-recession funding
levels, will allow us to only
break even. It would take
$283 million in additional
funding above the governor’s proposed budget to
bring us back to prerecession levels.
As educators we need to be
proactive rather than reactive. Call your representatives and express your concern. Attend a legislative
session through Educator on
the Hill (sponsored by UEA
ever Friday of the legislative
session). Support UEA and
OEA by becoming an active
member who cares about the
future of education in Utah.
Now more than ever we
need to support and dedicate
our time and efforts to union
concerns and to supporting
each other.
Ogden/Weber UniServ
Volume XXVII No. 6
Page 2
What’s That Noise?
Matt Ogle, Ogden/Weber
UniServ Executive Director…
Hear that? That’s the sound
of legislators in the Utah
State Capitol tinkering with
how and what you teach,
what rights you have and
don’t have as a teacher in
Utah, how many students
you will have in your classrooms, and what your pay,
benefits, and retirement will
look like. That other noise
across the state is the sound
of politicians gearing up to
run for national, state, and
locally elected offices. All of
these people will have the
power to impact you, your
working conditions, and the
education your students receive.
You have a choice facing you
right now. You can be passive and not get involved. It’s
easy to think that what is
going to happen will happen
whether you get involved or
not. Or it may be a matter of
time (or lack thereof). Or it
could be a feeling that one
person can’t possibly make a
difference. I am here to tell
you that this choice, the
choice of inaction and apathy, will have a certain outcome: nothing will change.
So, I encourage you to get
involved this year in our collective action to impact education policy at all levels.
Here’s how we need you to
Please pay attention to what
is happening. UEA publishes
“Under the Dome” online at
This gives a day-by-day analysis of the actions the legislature is considering that will
affect you and your classrooms. The more you know,
the better informed you will
be when you talk to your legislator. That bring us to…
We need your time to make a
difference. Please consider
giving 8 hours of your time to
help the cause of promoting
pro-education ideals and proeducation candidates. Some
options are to come to UEA
Educator on the Hill Day,
which is held every Friday
during the legislative session. This will give you the
opportunity to talk face to
face with your legislators.
Most legislators have no educational background; so,
telling them your story puts a
human face on the problems
they see on paper. If you cannot give a whole day, please
actively write, email, or call
your legislator and tell them
about why additional funding
and reducing the number of
educational mandates will
allow you to provide your
students a better education.
We are asking for a pledge of
$1 per month. OEA/WEA,
UEA, and NEA each have a
political action committee
(PAC) that gives support,
both through endorsements
and contributions, to proeducation candidates. Our
organizations do not use
your dues money to support
candidates or political action
groups. Our PACs are funded
through voluntary donations.
We need your financial support so that we have the
power to support proeducation candidates at the
local schoolboard, state legislative, and national levels.
The nice thing about PAC is
you can choose the political
level in which you would like
to donate. You can choose to
give to our local OgdenWeber-PAC, our UEA-PAC, or
the NEA-PAC. If every member contributed $1 per
month to our PAC fund, we
would be able to give much
more substantial support to
candidates who would make
a quality education of our
children and fair working
conditions to our educators a
top priority.
There are so many ways you
can make a personal difference in the policies that affect your job and your classrooms. Please give your attention, time, and/or money
to the cause of improving our
schools. Your voice and actions matter!
Educator Day on the Hill
UEA Educator Day on the Hill is an opportunity for teachers to attend legislative
meetings, meet face to face with legislators and be part of the political process.
If you are interested in participating in the UEA Educator Day on the Hill, please
contact your local leader and/or UniServ director. Once we know of your interest
and availability, we will assist in securing leave for you to participate.
If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Matt Ogle,
Ogden/Weber UniServ Executive Director, [email protected] or UEA Vice
President Tom Nedreberg, [email protected]