Region 1 Update The Pick Six
UPDATED Friday 9-9-22
Dear Union Family,
Welcome to our Region 1 Pick Six Update. Periodically we will send you six things of interest to our Region 1 members. These items can be topical, timely, informative, uplifting or enjoyable. We will continue to make the longer update available as members can still use that for easy access to the information they feel is important. If you want to make the update send us your local happenings. We look forward to including everyone as the year progresses.
Upper Township Education Association
New leadership at Upper Township Education Association did a remarkable job an organized opening on the first day at school. Each member received a welcome back package with UTEA, NJEA and other items designed to make the day special and while showing off their pride in UNION Membership. After supplying breakfast, the UTEA had folders for every member (Weingarten cards, UTEA calendar, CMCEA calendar, Executive team contacts, Early Career Network, Member Engagement Forms).
They also worked with our Regional Office and Trenton to design UTEA shirts for all members. The design was ultimately voted on by the membership handed out for everyone to wear to show their unity. During the presentation members received tons of information regarding the upcoming year and how they can be involved. This opening to school was the result of working collaboratively with Region 1 and Katie Quinn, Field Organizing Specialist for the NJEA UniServ South Zone to embrace the organizing model to building union power. Well Done!!
If anyone else has images being UNION STRONG send them for us to uplift.
President Sean Spiller, opt-ed published in
the Star-Ledger (9-4-22):
By Sean M. Spiller
As school resumes after summer break, New Jersey parents, students and educators alike are looking forward to a year with fewer of the restrictions and disruptions that have characterized the last three years. Recently released national test score data confirms what common sense already told us: students suffered academically as well as emotionally during those unusual school years. We all have plenty of work do to.
There is good cause for optimism here, though. For three years in a row, even throughout the pandemic, New Jersey’s public schools have been ranked the best in the nation by Education Week. We are progressing toward full funding, so more students have the resources they need to thrive. While we won’t rest on our laurels, we are proud of what we’ve accomplished to help New Jersey remain a great place to grow up or raise a family.
None of that happens accidentally. It’s the product of prepared, passionate educators working in partnership with parents to make sure our children learn every day. It’s also the product of an approach to public education that uses a comprehensive curriculum to prepare students for citizenship and success in one of America’s most diverse states.
From New Jersey’s thoughtful, age-appropriate health and sex education learning standards, to our Amistad and Holocaust curricula, to climate change lessons, to the requirement that our students know about the cultural and historical contributions of LGBTQIA+ Americans, the Garden State has long been a national leader in learning. We make sure that our students don’t just excel in the basics (though they do!) but also have a deep, broad, well-rounded education. It’s a formula that’s long worked well in New Jersey.
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But there are storm clouds gathering in the form of mean-spirited and dishonest attacks targeting efforts to teach New Jersey children the truth. Apparently, the truth is threatening to some people. We’ve seen wild allegations about curricula, about schools and even about educators themselves. We’ve seen attempts to ban books. We’ve seen legislation proposed to suppress free speech in schools. We’ve seen threats by some elected school board members to disregard the law and impose their own political agendas in place of our students’ right to a comprehensive, truthful education.
That’s why, as educators, we are speaking up. Because truth matters. Honesty matters. And we are not willing to sit silently and let education policy be set by a small group that shouts louder than anyone else. Throughout history, censors, book banners and science suppressors have never made any society safer, stronger or freer. That’s not how democracy works. It’s certainly not how New Jersey’s schools became America’s best.
Make no mistake about it: Parents have a right — and I would argue an obligation — to advocate for their children’s educational well-being. Parents also have a right to know what their children are learning. Fortunately, finding that out is as easy as talking to their children’s teachers. There’s no secret, no hidden curriculum and New Jersey educators welcome those conversations. We know that involved parents make our schools stronger and more successful.
But no one — politician, parent or otherwise — has the right to dictate what someone else’s child is allowed to learn. No one is allowed to determine what books other people’s children are allowed to read, what scientific facts they’re allowed to know and what history they are allowed to grapple with.
It’s one thing for a parent to tell their child not to check out a particular book from the library. It’s another thing entirely for anyone to make that decision for every parent and every child.
So as long as there are attempts to censor what New Jersey’s students are allowed to learn, we are going to stand on the side of parents who believe, like we do, that our students deserve the truth. And because of parents and educators working in partnership, we are confident that truth will prevail, and we will have a great year indeed.
Sean M. Spiller is the president of the New Jersey Education Association and the mayor of Montclair.
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ACCEA Overnight September 30-October 2, 2022
Finally, ACCEA will have our long awaited County Overnight. This event has long been a favorite among our members. Returning to AC is always the shore thing. Atlantic City provide a great backdrop for amazing workshops, food, fun and community. Click the links below to register and see the agenda with course choices The County Executive team worked long and hard to provide our region with well thought out and relevant offerings. We look forward to seeing all of you there.
Key Policy Letter Signed by Secretary of
Addressing the teacher shortage
August 31, 2022
As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, a robust and sustainable teacher workforce is essential to educating and supporting our children and youth. Yet many states and school districts face significant challenges in attracting and retaining the teachers and school staff who are integral to helping students as they recover academically from the pandemic. Demand for teachers in critical areas such as special education; bilingual education; science, technology, engineering, and math; career and technical education; and early childhood education existed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The past two years have exacerbated these shortages.
Two of the most important actions states and districts can take to address these challenges are to provide affordable high-quality pathways into the profession and to ensure that the teaching profession offers a livable and competitive wage. As the Secretaries of the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Department of Education, we are calling on states to take significant action and use federal, state, and local resources available to ensure that prospective teachers will not face economic challenges as they pursue and enter the teaching profession, so all students have access to a high- quality education and the educator workforce they need to succeed.
Specifically, we encourage you, as part of your state’s broader efforts to address teacher shortages, to (1) establish high quality paid Registered Apprenticeship programs for teaching; (2) increase collaboration across workforce and education systems, including strengthening career pathway partnerships, to bring more people into the education profession through high-quality pathways, such as providing opportunities for school-based staff to become teachers; and (3) ensure teachers are paid a livable and competitive wage. All of these efforts will help address labor shortage challenges made worse by the pandemic and benefit students and communities across the country. READ MORE
PAC drive contest being planned for Cape
County President Stacey Salerno holding a planning meeting around PAC. See her email below:
Good afternoon everyone,
I hope everyone is doing well.Cape May County EA would like to invite all local presidents, vice-presidents & legislative chairs to our PAC Party planning dinner. Other counties in the south have started a friendly competition surrounding PAC donations. Locals compete to see who has the most members that donate to PAC and at the end of the year the county hosts a PAC Party to announce the winners: food – fun & libations will be provided.Please join us on Tuesday, September 27 at Alfies Restaurant in Wildwood at 5 pm. RSVP by replying to this email (PLEASE do not ‘reply all”) by Friday, September 23, 2022. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.We hope to see you there.
PS. Possibly the best Italian food at the Jersey Shore.
Government Relations South Zone – Locals
and Phone Banks
One of my projects for this election cycle is reviving the tradition of locals engaging in political matters. Specifically, I’m trying to get as many South Zone local presidents as possible to commit to doing one phone bank night this cycle, where they call their own members, and other NJEA members who live in their town. There are a small selection of priority locals so identified because of the density of NJEA members in their town, and by way of this email, I’m asking for your help to make this ask to presidents in your locals.
What we’re asking local presidents to do: Commit to holding one phonebank night in your local between 9/26 and 10/31. The phonebank can be hosted at their local office, or a restaurant or other venue in town. The presidents don’t need to do anything other than pick a date and location, and make sure approximately 10 of their members show up. I will set up the phonebank, train their members, and bring food. Just to be clear, I am 100% willing and able to do these asks myself, but in light of the relationship Field Reps enjoy with their locals, I thought it might be best to start with you. If you don’t have time to do this, please feel free to say so, and I’ll give the president a call. I don’t want to make more work for you. The targeted locals are below sorted by county, and in the attached spreadsheet along with other locals that have committed to a phonebank. Please let me know if there are any questions or problems. Thank you all for your help!
Correction: Hammonton Phone Bank Date is 10-19-2022
Associate Director GOVERNMENT RELATIONS180 W. State Street
Trenton, NJ 08607-1211 p: 609-599-4561 x 2247