||• YOUR REWARD•
increase in deductibles and co-pays next year!
Amazingly, despite the severe strains on our
economy and the recent news that the state must find $120 million to
balance the budget THIS year, the State's Benefits Committee has
voted NOT to increase state employee co-pays and deductibles for
next year. This follows their decision last month not to increase
We extend our thanks to the Governor, the
State Public Employee Benefits Committee and to J.J. Davis, director
of the state’s Office of Management and Budget, the committee's
Most employees in other states -whether public or
private - are facing increases in their health care premiums and
out-of-pocket medical expenses.
Human and Civil Rights Awards Banquet a>
Log on to www.dsea.org and then click here for everyting you
need to know for the DSEA Representative Assembly
April 11, 12,
Dover Downs Conference Center
June 20, 2008
Jonathan's Landing Golf
Log on to www.dsea.org and then click here, or go to DSEA
Advanced Defensive Driving Workshops in May and
|| March 20, 2008
VOTE • March 30 is the deadline to change from Republican or
Independent to vote in the Democratic State Primary
If you want to maximize the power of your vote, you
must be a registered Democrat in order to vote in Delaware's
September 9 Democratic Primary Election between John Carney and Jack
Markell. (After September 9, you can change back to Republican or
Independent if you wish.) Delaware will choose a new Governor in the
November 4th General Election, but the Governor may actually be
chosen on September 9th in the primary. If you are a resident of
Delaware,not yet registered, or want to switch party affiliation, click here and then click on "Online Voter
Registration for Delaware Voters" to download the form. Send it to
your county Dept. of Elections by U.S. mail, as indicated.
It must be mailed by the deadline of March 30. You can also
make this change in person at your county election office. Those
office addresses are on the same web page.
Sign up for our Education Forum among the candidates vying
for Governor, April 12
On Saturday April 12
we are sponsoring our first-ever Gubernatorial Forum featuring
candidates John Carney – Democrat, Jack Markell – Democrat and Mike
Protack – Republican. WHEN: Saturday, April 12, 9:00am-10:30 am
WHERE: Rollins Conference Center at Dover Downs This debate is open
to members and invited guests only. We have 300 seats, half of which
will be taken up by those of you who are delegates to the
Representative Assembly. There are two ways to get in: your RA
delegate credentials, or prior registration. If you are not a
delegate and would like to attend, you must first register to
guarantee your seat. Seats will be allocated on a first-come,
Click here to register. It’s easy!
inviting legislators, state board members and other VIPs, as well as
the reporters who are covering this critical race. We have three
good candidates, all of whom consider their views on education and
your vote critical to their success on November 4.
RA delegates: Watch for your packet next
week. Look for the red, white and blue card that asks you to submit
a question for the Forum. Comcast and NEA Broadcast Services are
helping us film the proceeding. If you’re n ot an RA delegate, don’t
miss this event. Log in to www.dsea.org and sign up now!
Tell Congress: No more voucher
President Bush’s fiscal year 2009 budget request asks
Create a $300 million national voucher program
with the misleading name "Pell Grants for Kids." ·
successful community grant program to an individual voucher program
called "21st Century Opportunity Scholarships." ·
expensive, unproven District of Columbia "Opportunity Scholarship
Program" scheduled to end this September.
Urge your elected
representatives to reject all three of the President’s voucher
act your representatives in Congress TODAY!
Congress to end voucher programs, not expand them as the President
UNION • Binding arbitration for contracts bill passes House and
On its way to Governor Minner for signing is HB283, a
collective bargaining bill which now provides what is called
"binding interest arbitration" for contract disputes.
allows public education unions to utilize binding interest
arbitration to settle contract negotiations that have reached
impasse. The vote was 19 in favor, one opposed, and one absent. Sen.
Colin Bonini (R-Camden) was the sole "no" vote in the entire
Delaware General Assembly.
DSEA wishes to offer profuse
thanks to the sponsors of the bill: House Speaker Terry Spence (R-
New Castle), Rep. Michael Mulrooney ( D- New Castle), Sen. Bob
Marshall (D- Wilmington), and Sen. Dori Connor (R- New Castle) for
their leadership and advocacy. A total of 40 members of the General
Assembly (out of a total of 62) --- 29 Democrats and 11 Republicans
--- served as either prime or co-sponsors of the legislation.
The bill goes into effect as soon as the Governor signs it,
which could be within the next week or so. If your local is in
mediation at that time, both you and your administration must agree
to use the process defined in the bill or it will not be available
to you. To see the exact wording of the bill, click here.
Revocation of licenses clarified in HB259
Right now, if you are a teacher or specialist, and
your district moves to revoke your license, the Secretary of
Education has only two choices: revoke or not revoke. A new bill
recently introduced, HB259, gives him/her a third option: suspend.
If suspended, the license may not be suspended for more than five
years and you have the right to apply for license renewal if all the
requirements have been satisfied.
This bill also allows the
Secretary to deny an application for licensure on the same grounds
as for revocation.
License holders are entitled to notice
and hearing before the Professional Standards Board.
worked on this bill in order to clarify the law regarding grounds
for suspension, revocation and reinstatement; give the Secretary
some leniency where warranted; and to make sure that due process
righ ts are protected.
To read the entire bill, click here.
It is sponsored by
Representatives Miro and Lofink; and Senator Dave Sokola. It is now
in the House Education Committee.
here to see the status of all of the education and labor bills
that DSEA tracks, 24/7.
Charter School bill goes to Governor for signature
The State Senate voted on Wednesday evening
(3/19) to approve a change in the state’s charter school law to
allow single gender schools.
House Bill 285 passed by a 16-5 margin after
lengthy debate, paving the way for the opening of the boys-only
Prestige Academy Middle School in Wilmington.
The five senators voting against the bill were:
Sen. Patricia Blevins (D), Sen. Nancy Cook (D), Sen. Karen Peterson
(D), Sen. George Bunting (D), and Sen. David Sokola (D). All eight
Republican senators voted for the bill.
DSEA took no position on the bill after securing
five amendments to the original bill during its debate and ultimate
passage in the House of Representatives. To see a description of the
bill and its amendments, go to the DSEA web page, and then click on
Opposition to the bill centered on concerns
about the re-creation of gender stereotyping in education as well as
whether the bill, once enacted into Delaware law, would violate
either Title IX of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act or the
Sen. Sokola also referenced the supposed
deadlines that Prestige Academy founders claimed to be facing back
in January. With legislators subsequently learning that this was not
the case, Sokola mentioned that this "…left a poor taste in peoples’
mouths." Despite his own stated misgivings about the bill, Sen.
Sokola noted that he worked to release it from the Senate Education
Committee because it was "…an important issue and important issues
should come to the floor and be debated."
Both Sen. Blevins and Sen. Peterson expressed
their deep misgivings about the bill’s effect on girls, particularly
in light of the absence of academic literature establishing the
proven efficacy of single gender educational environments.
Meanwhile, Senate Republicans consistently
offered the rationale that "parental choice" should be the
overriding governing principle in the Senate’s decision to change
the law, with Sen. Colin Bonini (R) bellowing: "Discrimination is
telling families that they must go to the failed public schools
where they live. … Stop discriminating against them by forcing them
into the failed public schools."
to a friend