2012 Annual Meeting
Vermont-National Education Association
2012 Representative Assembly
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Lake Morey Inn, Fairlee, Vermont
Continental Breakfast - 7:30 AM
Business Meeting Call to Order - 8:30 AM
Corporation Meeting - AM
Second BuSineSS Section -- iMMediAtely following
Awards Luncheon - 12:00 noon
Table of Contents
Business Meeting Agenda ...................................... 3
Corporation Meeting Agenda...................................3
Standing Rules ...................................................... 3
Vermont-NEA Purpose and Priorities ....................... 4
Minutes of the 2010 Representative Assembly ......... 4
NEA Director's Report.............................................9
Committee Reports ................................................ 10
Statements of Financial Position ............................. 13
Proposed 2011-12 Budget ...................................... 14
Crisis Fund Guidelines ............................................ 20
Proposed Changes to the Resolutions ..................... 21
2010 Resolutions ................................................... 22
By-Laws Change Ballot .......................................... 43
Vermont National Education Association
10 Wheelock Street / Montpelier, VT / 05602-3737
p: 802.223.6375 / vtnea.org
First Business Session be certified by the Credentials Committee before he/
Saturday morning, March 31, 2012 she is entitled to be seated as a voting member of the
1. Credentials Check — 8:00 AM Representative Assembly. Delegates and guests may be
2. Call to Order — 8:30 AM seated together, acknowledging that only delegates and/
3. Report of Credentials Committee or alternates may vote. If there is no objection, the Presi-
4. Adoption of Standing Rules dent will presume the standing rule of the honor system
5. Adoption of the Order of Business in voting is observed.
6 Action on Minutes of 2011 Representative Assembly 3) Any member of this corporation may attend meet-
7. President’s Report ings of the Representative Assembly and may speak to
8. Committee Reports the Assembly. He/she shall register with the Credentials
Committee by presenting a Vermont-NEA membership
9. Lily Eskelsen, NEA VP, speaks
10. Filing of New Business
4) Order of Business and Debate
11. Arnie Arnesen to address Assembly - 9a
a. The order of Business shall be the first item of
12. Presentation of Proposed Budget business at the opening session of the Representative
13. Candidate Speeches and Introductions Assembly and shall consist of the agenda as published in
14. NEA Director’s Report The Call and on vtnea.org.
b. The business shall be conducted in accordance with
Corporation Meeting Vermont-NEA Bylaws, the Standing Rules, and special
1. Call to Order - AM rules incorporated herewith. (Other cases not covered
2. Secretary’s Report (minutes of 2011 meeting) shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order Revised.)
3. New Business I Bylaws voting c. There shall be an official parliamentarian appointed
4. Adjournment by the President to whom questions may be directed
through the presiding officer only.
Second Business Session d. No member shall speak in debate more than twice
to the same question, nor longer than five minutes unless
1. Call to Order permission is granted by a majority vote of the Assem-
2. NEA VP Lilly Eskelsen Speaks - 11a bly.
3. Executive Director’s Report e. No member speaking on a question may move the
Break for Awards Luncheon previous question, nor any member making or seconding
4. Adoption of Proposed Budget and Dues Schedule a nomination, move that nominations close.
5. Gov. Peter Shumlin Speaks - 1:30p f. A roll call shall be taken only after a standing vote
Action on Resolutions of a majority of delegates present. Supervision and count-
6. Unfinished Business ing of roll call votes shall be by the Bylaws and Credentials
7. Action on New Business
g. New business relating to the substantive activities
of the Association must be submitted in writing to the
presiding officer before the close of the first session. Such
Vermont-NEA Awards Luncheon Noon new business shall be dealt with only at the final session
1. Complimentary buffet for delegates, winners of the Assembly.
2. ESP Award h. New business introduced by the Vermont-NEA
3. Teaching Excellence Award Board of Directors may be introduced and acted upon at
4. Scholarship Awards any business session.
Immediately following adjournment of Second Business i New resolutions of a substantive nature shall be
Session, please join us for a screening of 'The Mitchell 20' presented at the fall Area Meetings for action at the
in the Lakeside Theater. Representative Assembly, if so recommended by the
Standing Rules Resolutions Committee.
1) At the opening of the first session of the Represen- j. New Business pertaining to the procedural opera-
tative Assembly, the Credentials Committee shall report tion of the Assembly may be introduced and acted upon
the number of delegates present in order to establish a at any business session.
quorum; it will also report, at the final session, the total k. Any main motion or resolution dealing with the
delegates attending. substantive policies of Vermont-NEA shall be presented
2) Each delegate or alternate delegate must receive in writing to the presiding officer at the time of the pre-
credentials from the Corporation Headquarters and must sentation on the floor, if not previously.
l. Smoking in the meeting room is banned.
Your Local Public Schools. Vermont's Most Important Resource 3
Vermont-NEA Purpose & Priorities Minutes of 2011 Representative
Vermont-NEA wants all children to have an excellent
education. Our purpose is to make sure our members Sheraton Conference Center
have a satisfying work environment where they are South Burlington, Vermont
acknowledged for the work they perform and where the March 26, 2011
work they perform helps students do their best.
First Business Session
Student Achievement 1. Call to Order
All students have the opportunity to achieve President Allen called the 2011 Vermont-NEA
the highest standards they can. We support: Representative Assembly to order at 8:36 AM on March
Safe, secure, and civil learning and working environ 26, 2011. The elected Executive Officers and members
ments for all students and school employees of the Vermont-NEA Board of Directors, and our Parlia-
A system that recruits and retains highly qualified mentarian, Jeff Fannon were recognized. President Al-
and diverse educators and enhances their skills len recognized Sandy Perkins, Administrative Assistant
Adequate and equitable public school funding and Claude Janus, VT-NEA Business Manager for all the
School curricula, policies, and procedures developed arrangements for the 2011 VT-NEA Representative As-
with local Associations sembly.
Association Member Well-Being President Allen welcomed everyone to the 2011
All educators have high professional satisfac- RA and informed delegates of the latest announce-
tion and economic security. We stand for: ments.
Excellent compensation, benefits, and working a) On the separate sheet located at the back table with
conditions for members the 2011 VT-NEA Call you will find the agenda.
Protection of the rights of educators b) On page 4 of the 2011 VT-NEA Call you will find VT-
High participation by members in NEA and Vermont- NEA’s Purpose and Priorities. This statement explains
NEA programs and activities why we exist and what our purpose is.
Responsiveness to changing needs of members
Active Membership The documents at the registration desk were
Members participate in the life of the Associa- explained. President Allen advised the Assembly that
tion. We strive for: New Business Item and Resolution forms could be
Continuing growth in the number of members obtained from Jeff Isham, Vermont-NEA Secretary-Trea-
Active, well-organized, self-sustaining local and state surer.
Good communication between Vermont-NEA and its 2. Report of Credentials Committee
local Associations and members At 8:45 AM the Credentials Committee reported 77
Public Support delegates present.
Parents, business, and the general public sup-
port public education. We work for: 3. Adoption of the Order of Business and Standing
Election of candidates for public office who share Rules
Association views on education, labor, and social is- President Allen asked that the Standing Rules
sues be approved.
Public recognition of Vermont-NEA as an advocate
for excellent public schools and high student achieve Moved by Linda Howard (Twinfield Staff) and
ment seconded by Terri Vest (Twinfield EA) to adopt the
Active and well-informed parents, communities and Standing Rules for the 2011 Vermont-NEA Representa-
policy makers who support public schools tive Assembly as found on page 3 of the 2011 Call.
Consistently positive media coverage about public
schools, public school employees, and their Associa- Adopted by unanimous consent.
4 Vermont-NEA Representative Assembly - March 31,2012
President Allen asked if there were any objections in two ways at the 2011 VT-NEA Representative As-
to adopting the Order of Business found on the sepa- sembly. A silent auction was held during the morning
rate sheet located at the back table with the 2011 VT- session and delegates were able to make donations
NEA Call with the flexibility of times and placement of using the white envelopes.
items in the sessions. There were no objections to the
Order of Business so they were adopted as written. 11. Public Policy Report
Executive Director Cook addressed the Assembly
Adopted by unanimous consent. regarding the external political environment and how
it relates to both the Association’s finances and its
4. Action on Minutes of 2010 Representative Assem- members’ rights.
President Allen asked if there were any objec- 12. First Presentation of Proposed Budget and Dues
tions to adopting the minutes of the 2010 Representa- Schedule
tive Assembly as written. President Allen introduced Vermont-NEA
Moved by Ellen Green (Rutland EA) and sec- Vice-President Sullivan as the Chair of the Finance
onded by Donna Waelter (Blue Mountain EA) to adopt and Budget Development Committee. Vermont-NEA
the minutes of the 2010 Representative Assembly as Vice-President Sullivan introduced the Finance and
found on Pages 4-9 in the 2011 Call as corrected. Budget Committee: President Martha Allen, Secretary-
Adopted by unanimous consent. Treasurer Jeff Isham, NEA Director Eric Weiss, Board
Member Linda Howard, Board Member Donna Waelter,
5. Filing of New Business Items Board member Dennis Ladd and Executive Director
President Allen advised the Assembly that Joel Cook. Sullivan presented the proposed 2011-2012
New Business Item forms could be obtained from Jeff Vermont-NEA Budget and Dues Schedule. Delegates
Isham, Vermont-NEA Secretary-Treasurer. All New Busi- asked questions concerning the budget.
ness Items must be submitted in writing before the
beginning of the second business session. 13. Introduction of Vermont-NEA Candidates
Elections Committee Chair Becky Auger shared
6. Vermont-NEA President’s Report with the delegates the 2011 VT-NEA Election proce-
President Allen reported to the Representative As- dures. All ballots must be returned to the Elections
sembly on issues concerning Vermont. Committee’s mailbox by April 11, 2011.
7. Video – Message to Wisconsin Governor Walker from The candidates for the VT-NEA Board are:
a teacher in Kansas Chittenden, Area 2 Rich Wise –
The video was played to highlight the issues in Wiscon- South Burlington EA
sin. Southern Vermont, Area 1 Hannah Van
Loon, Windham Southeast EA
8. Committee Reports Southern Vermont, Area 3 Dennis Ladd
Committee reports from Education Conven- – Windham Northeast EA
tion Planning, Professional Securities Committee, Alison Sylvester – Springfield TA
Resolutions Committee, Maida F. Townsend/VT-NEA Northwestern Vermont, Area 2 Debbie Bed-
Scholarship, Professional Development Committee and rin, Grande Isle SU
the Elections Committees are found on pages eleven, Upper Valley, Area 2 Steve Owens,
twelve and thirteen of the 2011 Call. Orange Windsor/Sharon
All committee reports were adopted by unani- No petitions were filed for the following VT-NEA
mous consent. Board seats:
Northeast Kingdom, Area 2
9. VT-NEA Fund for Children and Public Education Upper Valley, Area 2
Political Organizer Colin Robinson spoke about the
VT-NEA Fund for Children and Public Education and The fourteen 2011 NEA Representative Assembly
the importance of raising money for the VT-NEA Fund. candidates were introduced. Vermont is allocated 15
Members may voluntarily donate money to the Fund statewide candidates.
Your Local Public Schools. Vermont's Most Important Resource 5
Christopher Gray Springfield TA Adopted by unanimous consent.
Linda Howard Twin-
field Staff Association 3. New Business
Jeff Isham Washington The Bylaws Committee Chair Weiss reviewed the
West EA proposed Bylaws change. Balloting will take place after
Pat Kelly Windsor SE EA the presentation of the proposed change.
Scott McKibben Essex North
EA Voting on bylaws: The Corporation meeting was
Steve Owens Or- recessed to allow the delegates to vote by paper ballot
ange Windsor/Sharon on the following bylaw amendments:
Molly Pratt SWVEA
Joyce Sullivan Wind- Changes are indicated by larger, bold wording. Dele-
ham SE EA tions are indicated by italics.
Alison Sylvester Springfield TA
Christie Thereault Windham SE Amend Article XI, Section 1(b)i2(a)(iii)
Hannah Van Loon Windham SE (iii) official Association publication by print and elec-
EA tronically of member writings for dissemination to
Sarah Wehner Wind- the general membership and others (Publishing Com-
ham SE EA mittee). National Board for Professional Teaching
Terri Vest Twinfield EA Standards (NBPTS Committee) to monitor and advise
Rose Wenzel Ad- candidates for the National Board for Professional
dison Northwest TA Teaching Standards, including Vermont candidate fi-
nancial support and to ensure the continued success of
Retired NEA RA Representative: the National Board program in Vermont.
Mark Emmons (for-
merly of NEKETA) Ballot results: Yes 78 No 0
The following statewide candidates were intro- Amendment Passed
Corporation meeting recessed until 10:40 AM.
Jeff Isham Washington West EA 4. Adjournment
President Allen asked if there were any objec-
14. Recess of First Business Session tions to adjourning the Corporations Meeting.
The First Business Session of the 2011 VT-NEA Adopted by unanimous consent.
Representative Assembly recessed at 10:10 AM.
Adjourned at 10:50 AM.
15. NEA Director’s Report
1. Call to order NEA Director Eric Weiss spoke to the Representa-
President Allen called the Corporation Meeting tive Assembly. The past year was spent working in a
to order at 10:10 AM. positive direction toward passing the Education Jobs
Bill, the NEA’s vision for ESEA, The Dream Act until the
2. Secretary’s Report attack on education began in December in Alabama
President Allen asked if there were any objec- and moved to Wisconsin in February. The focus of our
tions to adopting the Secretary’s report of April 4, 2010 work has become “defenders of public employees’
as written in The Call (2011) on page 4. rights.”
Moved by Marge Ladd (Windham NE EA) and
seconded by Donna Constant (Washington West EA) to 16. News on Bargaining
approve the 2010 Corporation Minutes as found in The A Photo Montage was presented by Communica-
6 Vermont-NEA Representative Assembly - March 31,2012
tions Director Darren Allen of photos of our members Awards Banquet.
from around the state. Recessed at 12:00 PM.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Second Business Session
* Complimentary buffet for delegates and award win-
17. Call to order ners
President Allen called the Second Business Ses- * ESP Award
sion to order at 11:00 AM. * Angelo J Dorta Teaching Excellence Award
* Maida F. Townsend Scholarship/VT-NEA Scholarship
18. Credentials Check Awards
At 11:00 AM the Credentials Committee report-
ed 81 delegates present.
19. Executive Director’s Report
Executive Director Joel Cook addressed the del-
egates of the 2011 VT-NEA Representative Assembly. In Second business session resumed at 1:46 PM
his report the Executive Director referred to the “State
of Your Union” report, prepared by the staff, detailing
the past year’s work and accomplishments of member- 23. Adoption of Proposed Budget and Dues Schedule
ship, local Associations, Board of Directors and Associa- Vice President Sullivan presented the Ver-
tion staff. VT-NEA Staff members were introduced by the mont-NEA Board budget for the 2011-12 year. Ques-
Executive Director. tions were answered concerning the budget.
20. Message to teachers from the Daily Show Moved and seconded by the VT-NEA Board of
A video was shown to delegates from Jon Stewart’s Directors to adopt a budget of $4,575,502 and a dues
Daily Show. structure based on $382 for full time active members
for the 2011-12 year.
21. Vermont-NEA 2011 Report of the Board of Directors
regarding the 2010 New Business Item Question called.
Board Member Jay DiGiulio presented the report
regarding the 2010 Vermont-NEA New Business Item Moved by Ellen Green (Rutland EA) and second-
regarding whether and if So, How Association Teacher- ed by Lisa Grout (North Country Union EA) to call the
Member Dues Should Reflect Differences in Salaries. He question.
asked that delegates read the document and review the Approved.
The Board of Directors recommends that, despite 2011-12 Vermont-NEA Dues structure of $382
the heartfelt concern expressed about how our dues approved.
are structured, the Association not attempt to revise the
manner in which it assesses dues so that dues reflect 24. Action on Resolutions
differences in salaries. Alison Sylvester, Chairperson of the Resolu-
tions Committee reviewed the work of the Resolu-
22. Address to the Assembly by Vermont Governor Peter tions committee. She recognized the members of the
Shumlin 2010-11 VT-NEA Resolutions Committee: Vice Chair
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin addressed the Molly Pratt (SWVEA), Bill Douglas (Barnet EA), Mary
2011 Vermont NEA delegates. He praised the teach- McFaun (Washington South EA), Rene Nill (Vergennes
ers and support staff members for their commitment to UES ESP) and Sarah Wehner (Windham SE EA).
providing the best education to all students. His speech Management Attorney Jeff Fannon is the committee
was warmly received by the delegates. liaison.
President Allen recessed the meeting until after the Moved and seconded by the VT-NEA Resolutions
Your Local Public Schools. Vermont's Most Important Resource 7
Committee to approve VT-NEA Resolutions except for Resolution A-2.
the resolutions voted upon separately.
NOTE: Editing for resolutions is as follows: language Vermont NEA believes that proper nutrition is
proposed to be deleted is bracketed; language pro- essential to child development and student success.
posed to be added is in bold face print and underlined. The Association also believes that proper nutrition
must be a part of prenatal care and must continue
A-2. EDUCATIONAL FINANCE throughout life.
Vermont-NEA believes that the funding of edu- The Association supports programs within the
cation is the shared responsibility of federal, state, and education framework that promote understanding and
local governments. State aid funds should be allocated facilitate informed decisions regarding proper nutrition
equitably, adequately, and directly for educational pur- including food and beverage choices.
poses. The Association further believes school food
The Association strongly supports the con- service programs must be nutritionally sound, ap-
cept of providing equal educational opportunity for all pealing, and affordable and that school food service
Vermont children in the public schools to enable them programs be encouraged to use locally grown and
to achieve educational excellence. Such an education produced food. A choice of nutritious food and bever-
requires adequate and equitable funding from pub- ages should be available during the school day and at
lic tax sources (e.g., personnel, programs, materials, school based functions. The Association also supports
buildings, and technology) to meet the needs of all nutrition programs that are readily accessible and
students. The Association also believes that: regulated by uniform standards. Considerations should
a. Tax revision favorable to public education should be be made for religious beliefs, cultural differences, and
encouraged and continually reviewed at every govern- medical needs.
b. Local school boards must be fiscally independent, Moved and seconded by the Vermont-NEA Resolu-
and restrictive limits must not be imposed on their bud- tions Committee to approve modifications to Resolution
gets or long-term borrowing. C-2.
c. State and federal and local mandates affecting public
education programs must be accompanied by adequate Approved.
and equitable funding to cover the cost of achieving
the goals of raising student performance, implementing Moved by Matt Webb (Winooski EA) and seconded
new programs, and raising standards of student learn- by Ted Lindgren (Rutland EA) to approve the 2011
ing. Vermont-NEA Resolutions.
d. Funding should be greater for students facing social, Approved.
economic, and/or education challenges.
e. It is inappropriate to support the education programs 25. Unfinished Business
of a public school by the sale of non-nutritious foods There was no unfinished business.
and beverages to students during the school day.
The Association opposes providing any public 26. Action on New Business
revenues to Pre-K through 12 schools for sectarian Seven new business items were
instruction. presented by the beginning of the Second Business
The Association strongly urges the retention of Session.
funds received from teachers in payment for licensure
and relicensure for the purpose of supporting the activi- New Business Item #1
ties of a professional standards board. The Associa-
tion opposes the transferal of such funds to the State Dues Report
This is so we can talk about this again – get report
Moved and seconded by the Vermont-NEA and report to Representative Assembly. To ensure last
Resolutions Committee to approve modifications to
8 Vermont-NEA Representative Assembly - March 31,2012
year’s NBI about dues gets discussed. 50% shall pay 50%
a part-time employee working 80% shall pay
New Business Item #1 withdrawn. 80% of the full time dues amount.
New Business Item #2 Question called.
Question called by Allison Sylvester (Springfield
Equal Pay TA) and seconded by Melissa Vermette (Lee) (North
Country Union EA).
The Vermont-NEA Board of Directors will advocate
for regulation or legislation to provide for an option of Main motion moved by Kate O’Klein (Sunderland EA)
even or equalized pay for hourly, school year support and seconded by Molly Pratt (SWVEA) to approve New
staff. Business Item #4
Twenty six (26) pay periods of equal amounts is
necessary for support staff to be able to maintain their Defeated.
standard of living throughout the summer, non school
months. New Business Item #5
The information around equalized pay needs to
be disseminated to School Boards, Superintendents, The current relicensing process at the local level is both
Teachers, Support Staff and Parents. subjective and arbitrary and places an undue burden on
Additionally, this information needs to be brought teachers. The VT-NEA is instructed to develop a more
to the attention of Vermont lawmakers, by Vermont- reasonable and responsive proposal to streamline the
NEA, who will advocate for this policy to be encouraged relicensing process and the VT-NEA shall bring this pro-
state wide. posal to the relicensing Board.
Moved by Edward Fullard (Washington South EA)
and seconded by Mary McFaun (Washington South EA) Moved by Lisa Grout (North Country Union EA) and
to approve New Business Item #2. seconded by Allen Grout (North Country Union EA) to
approve New Business Item #5.
New Business Item #3
New Business Item #6
Term Limits for Vermont-NEA Board Members
VT-NEA will identify and/or construct sample contract
I propose we institute term limits for VT-NEA Board language that provides 1) financial support for candi-
Directors such that Board Directors may serve two (2)date fees for National Board Certification, renewal and
Take One professional development; and 2) stipends for
contiguous terms of three (3) years each, for a total of
six (6) years. National Board Certified Teachers. Once developed, this
language will be presented and explained at all RBCs. A
Moved by Allison Hayes (Washington West EA) and copy of this sample language and a report on where it
seconded by Susan Remington (Twinfield Staff) to ap- has been presented will be submitted to the 2012 Ver-
prove New Business Item #3. mont NEA Representative Assembly.
Defeated. Moved by Terri Vest (Twinfield EA) and seconded by
Steve Owens (Orange/Windsor Sharon EA) to approve
New Business Item #4 New Business Item #6.
Vermont-NEA shall require dues to be paid by a mem- Approved.
ber based upon the amount (percent) of time a mem-
ber works, New Business Item #7
e.g., a part-time employee working 25% shall pay
25% Vermont-NEA should make it a priority to retain the
a part-time employee working Vermont-NEA Convention days for association use.
Your Local Public Schools. Vermont's Most Important Resource 9
to our Ballot Measure/Legislative Crises and Media
Question called. Campaign Fund we have so far been able wage the
Question called by Don Tinney (Bellows Free good fight trying to protect the rights of our members
Academy EA) and seconded by Eric Krull (Green and others in the public sector.
Moved by Nancy Pepin-Vogt (Caledonia North EA) In May, the NEA proposed a new policy statement
and seconded by Lisa Grout (North Country Union EA) on teacher evaluation and accountability which calls
to approve New Business Item #7. for high quality teacher evaluation systems, high
quality teacher accountability systems and defines
Defeated the role of the Association in developing, implement-
ing and enforcing such systems. The policy change
was accepted by the 2011 NEA-RA. The high points
27. Announcements are: that teachers should be evaluated regularly by
a. President Allen reminded delegates that the VT-NEA highly trained evaluators, the evaluations must be
ballots are in the mail. Please vote and send in the bal- based on multiple indicators, must be meaningful and
lot by April 11, 2011. actionable and linked to professional development.
Teachers are responsible for: providing high quality
b. President Allen thanked everyone for their hard work education, enhancing their practice and staying cur-
today. rent in subject matter and best practice. If, through
a personalized improvement plan a teacher fails to
28. Adjournment meet expectations, the process of dismissal must be
Moved by Allison Sylvester (Springfield TA) and fair, transparent and efficient.
seconded by Jim Calder (Middlebury EA) to adjourn the
2011 VT-NEA RA. In September we lobbied for the American Jobs Act
Approved. that would have helped save many of the almost
300,000 education jobs saved or created by ARRA.
President Allen adjourned the 2011 Vermont-Na- We also supported the Administrations ideas regard-
tional Education Association Representative Assembly ing NCLB waivers. As of the beginning of February,
at 2:54 PM. Vermont is still in the process of deciding exactly how
we will word our request but one will be forthcom-
Respectfully submitted, ing…stay tuned.
VT-NEA Secretary /Treasurer By December the focus had shifted to the work, or
lack of, by the “Super Committee.” Because of the
2011 VT-NEA Representative Assembly failure of the Super Committee to reach agreement,
a billion dollars will be cut from Title 1, almost $900
million from IDEA and $590 million from Head Start.
Congress needs to step in make sure that those
NEA Board Director's Report 2012 moneys are put back into the education budget. On
a brighter note, on December 8th, The Commission
It has been another amazing year at NEA. This year has on Effective Teachers and Teaching published its final
seen the greatest attack on collective bargaining rights report “Transforming Teaching” which states that the
by state legislators since those rights came into being. teaching profession rests on three guiding principles.
Some of the attacks, like Wisconsin’s, were clearly set
out to destroy collective bargaining and some, like New 1. Student learning is at the center of every-
York’s new limit on property tax increases, were more thing a teacher does
subtle. Most recently there has been “right to work” 2. Teachers take primary responsibility for stu-
legislation introduced in Minnesota as well as right next dent learning
door to us in New Hampshire. In all of the states where 3. Effective teachers share in the responsibility
these attacks are taking place, the NEA is a presence, for teacher selection, evaluation and responsibility.
both with financial help ($5M matching grant in Ohio to
defeat Issue 2) and with “boots on the ground.” Thanks The NEA has recognized the hard work of the Com-
10 Vermont-NEA Representative Assembly - March 31,2012
mission in collecting the ideas of thousands of educa- NEA-RA delegates were elected as well as the NEA-RA
tors and preparing this report. There is much in the Retired delegate (Mark Emmons).
report that meshes with NEA policy and there are
things that we need to discuss. We are constantly looking for ways to improve our
election process, and to encourage more people to
Much of our February meeting was concentrated on vote and to run for office.
the effect that the attacks on collective bargaining
and union rights are having on our membership and
therefore our budget. In states where dues deduction Professional Securities Committee Re-
is no longer legal, our membership has declined by port 2012
up to 10%. This means that the organization has far
less money to work with. In 2010 we were forced to Over the past year, the Professional Securities Commit-
find $17M to cut from our budget which brought us to tee continued the work of monitoring, evaluating and
the lean and mean position we are in now. The loss promoting endorsed products and services in collabo-
of membership (but not in Vermont, thank you) since ration with NEA Member Benefits (www.neamb.com).
those budget cuts is due, almost entirely, to states Vermont-NEA’s endorsed automobile and homeowners’
attacks on unions with the rest attributable to retire- insurance is provided by 21st Century, under the finan-
ment. Those losses mean that we will have to look at cial auspices of Farmers, one of the largest and most
cutting further into a lean budget. These cuts will most respected insurance companies in the world.
certainly mean a cut in some services as well as some Fall and winter, 2011-12, marked the Association’s
of the financial support that VTNEA gets from NEA. ninth annual workshop series on retirement security.
Our work on Capitol Hill concentrates of steering the Workshops were held in 8 venues across the state
course for the reauthorization of ESEA, the Elementary and drew over 300 union members and their spouses.
and Secondary School Act, the home of No Child Left Presentations were given on the Vermont State Teach-
Behind. ers’ Retirement System, long-term care insurance,
NEA Member Benefit products and services, Medicare,
private investment and financial planning. Discussions
Respectfully submitted, are underway with staff for the Vermont Municipal Re-
Eric Weiss tirement System (VMERS) to consider ways of expand-
NEA Board Director, Vermont ing member outreach and education about this defined
benefit system for eligible ESP.
The following members serve on the committee: Jon
2012 Committee Reports Harris (chairperson), Joseph Mackey, Joel Lagrow and
Elections Committee Report 2012
Rebecca Auger, Chair
Sally DeCicco Mark Hage, Staff for the Committee
Resolutions Committee Report 2012
A Statewide election was held in April, 2011 for Sec-
retary/Treasurer (Jeff Isham elected). Local elections Resolutions are the belief statements of VT-NEA.
were held for Vermont-NEA Board of Director seats in Resolutions are written using verbs that show belief
the following districts: Chittenden, Area 2 (Rich Wise and support of an idea. Statements are written in a
elected); Northeast Kingdom, Area 2 (Jay Di Giulio broad context that can be applied in many instances.
elected); Northwestern VT, Area 2 (Deb Bedrin elect- The Resolutions Committee’s task is to align proposed
ed); Southern VT, Area 1 (Hannah Van Loon elected); language with current Resolution language. The Com-
Southern VT, Area 3 (Alison Sylvester elected); Upper mittee also looked at our current Resolutions docu-
Valley, Area 1 (Steve Owens elected); Upper Valley,
Area 2 (vacant seat, no petitions filed). Fourteen Continued
Your Local Public Schools. Vermont's Most Important Resource 11
ment to make sure our Resolutions are in alignment and we encourage them to apply for these scholarships
with the NEA Resolutions. in future years.
This year the VT-NEA Resolutions Committee met
on January 14, 2012 at the VT-NEA Headquarters. The committee members who read the applications and
There were two proposed language from the Fall awarded the $1,000 scholarships on behalf of Vermont-
Area Meetings; one from Central Vermont, New H-2, NEA were: Joel Lagrow, Darcey Fletcher, Deb Bedrin,
and a second from Southern Vermont, F-28. The and Rose Wenzel. Many thanks to the committee mem-
Resolutions at Committee considered both the pro- bers for their efforts.
posed language changes.
As in past years, the Resolutions Committee also Respectfully submitted,
reviewed the current document to ensure our Resolu- Joel Lagrow, Chair
tions are current and consistent with policies. This
year the Committee reviewed A-5 Media Utilization, Professional Development Committee
B-6 English Language Learners, C-7 Safe and Orderly
School Communities, C-11 Student Sexual Orienta-
tion, C-24 Education for All Students with Disabilities,
The Professional Development Committee continues to
D-12 Teacher Competency Testing, D-16 Professional
striveto provide the highest quality professional devel-
Development to Address the Needs of Underrepre-
opment opportunities to allmembers. As a commit-
sented Groups, G-1 Licensure, and E-4 Volunteers
tee of teachers andsupport personnel, and under the
The Committee is recommending slight changes to
skilled guidance of Sherry Gile, we continue toaddress
all of these Resolutions. The Committee felt the
the changing needs of all education professionals. In
proposed language changes align with VT-NEA’s and
assessing current need, the ProfessionalDevelopment
NEA’s beliefs and philosophy.
Committee instituted an outreach program consisting
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the
of a "NoviceTeacher Mini Series" in which VTNEA cadre
members of VT-NEA for allowing me to represent
members went out to locals andconducted workshops on
them on the NEA Resolutions Committee. This is my
topics of importance. We continue to provide our highly
final year serving as both your VT-NEA Resolutions
successful mentor training programaround the state,
Chair and on the NEA Committee. I have been hon-
as well as trainings on bullying/harassment prevention,
ored and humbled by my experience.
andthe Pathwise introduction to the Danielson model.
Members of the 2012 Resolutions Committee are: Ali-
Our ESP conference was once again sold out,and very
son Sylvester (Chair), Molly Pratt (Vice Chair), Alison
well received. We collaboratedwith and provided train-
Sylvester (chair), Molly Pratt (vice-chair), Bill Douglas,
ers for the VPA Parent Engagement conference. The
Cherrie Torrey, Deb Bedrin, Jill Cramer, Mary Bowers,
minigrant program continues to provideresources to
Sarah Wehner, Rene Nill, Jeff Fannon (staff liaison).
teachers around the state wishing to implement innova-
tiveideas. We currently await applicationsfor the second
cycle of grants, due by February 15th.
The co-chair recognizes the hard work, expertise,
Maida F. Townsend/Vermont-NEA anddedication of Sherry Gile, and thanks committee
Scholarship Report 2012 members Linda Howard(co-chair), Hannah van Loon,
Karen Heath, Kathryn Grace, and Donna Constant for
The Scholarship Committee met after careful and their commitment to theprofessional needs of all VTNEA
independent scrutiny of 27 applicants’ packets. By members.
consensus five outstanding recipients were chosen:
Matthew Dobart, Proctor Jr/Sr HS; Allison Gillette,
Emerson College; Joanna Kamhi, Essex HS; Katie Respectfully Submitted,
McCormack, Rutland HS; and Margaret Musty, Blue Kathryn Buley
Mountain UHS. Congratulations to all of the appli- Co-Chair
cants and to our winners. Vermont-NEA members
should certainly be proud of our sons and daughters,
12 Vermont-NEA Representative Assembly - March 31,2012
Sponsorships and Partnerships Commit- ciety, $250; Vermont Debate and Forensics, $1,000;
tee Report 2012 Friends of Dorothy Canfield Fisher, $1,500; and Gov-
ernor’s Institutes of Vermont, $1,500.
The Sponsorships and Partnerships Committee met on The committee, in addition to Mr. Button, is com-
March 3, 2012 and made its decisions on which groups prised of Laurie Forsman from Mount Mansfield HS;
to fund for the current fiscal year. The committee – Rene Nil, of Vergennes UES; and Dottye Ricks, of the
under the direction of Chairman Tom Button, made the Barre Technical Center.
following recommendations for funding, which were
approved by the Board of Directors: Respectfully submitted,
Kids on The Block, $1,500; Vermont-NEA Scholars’ Bowl, Staff liaison
$8,000; Starbase Vermont, $500; Vermont Historical So-
keep in touch with your union.
Your Local Public Schools. Vermont's Most Important Resource 13
14 Vermont-NEA Representative Assembly - March 31,2012
Statements of Financial Position
Your Local Public Schools. Vermont's Most Important Resource 15
2012-13 Budget: Income
16 Vermont-NEA Representative Assembly - March 31,2012
2012-13 Budget: Expenses
Your Local Public Schools. Vermont's Most Important Resource 17
2012-13 Budget: Expenses
18 Vermont-NEA Representative Assembly - March 31,2012
Budget 2012-13: Expenses
Your Local Public Schools. Vermont's Most Important Resource 19
Budget 2012-13: Expenses
20 Vermont-NEA Representative Assembly - March 31,2012
Vermont-NEA Crisis Fund Guidelines
Purpose prove disbursements from the fund.
To protect Association members who are on strike from 3) The Vermont-NEA Executive Director and Crisis
serious financial loss, to provide a source for short term Coor- dinator will administer the fund.
borrowing by Vermont-NEA to maintain necessary cash 4) Crisis fund benefits will be paid only to individuals.
flow, and for other emergencies as approved by the
Eligibility for Benefits
Board of Directors.
1) Only Vermont-NEA members may receive benefits.
Administration 2) Members may receive benefits if they lose pay in a
1) The Vermont-NEA Board of Directors will deter- job action, but benefits are not automatic.
mine guidelines for disbursements from the 3) Benefits will not be available to members who violate
fund. policy established by the striking local Association,
2) The Vermont-NEA Executive Committee will ap- especially crossing a picket line.
2012 Proposed Changes to the
H-2 Negotiations During Election Times The Association also believes that both schools and school
districts must have written discipline plans and procedures
VT-NEA recommends local associations consider suspending that are fair, equitable, and consistently enforced and pro-
negotiations for the three weeks prior to statewide and local cedures for safe and orderly conduct at school activities and
elections to allow members to focus on electing education- events. The Association believes that students must be taught
friendly officials. strategies and skills, including conflict resolution that develop
respect, self-discipline, and self-control. Students must learn
F-28 Vermont-NEA meetings to distinguish between their own rights and responsibilities
and the rights and responsibilities of others. There must be
Vermont-NEA shall not hold its Representative Assembly or appropriate services and placement within regular education
state wide conferences in any city or town where a local af- and alternative education programs and/or with state and/
filiate is on strike at the time of the event. or community agencies for students who disrupt the learning
When Vermont-NEA is required to schedule events off-site, environment or who are dangerous to other students, educa-
Vermont-NEA will not cross any picket line of another union. tion employees, and themselves.
Vermont-NEA will not schedule off-site events at businesses
that oppose the right of its employees to organize. C-11. STUDENT SEXUAL ORIENTATION
Vermont-NEA believes that all students, regardless of sexual
A-5. MEDIA UTILIZATION orientation, should be afforded equal opportunity and guaran-
Vermont-NEA encourages the creative and innovative use teed a safe and inclusive environment within the public educa-
of media for improving instruction. The Association further tion system. The Association also believes that every school
urges its local affiliates to become involved in the utilization district and educational institution should provide counseling
of media. services and programs for students who are struggling with
sexual/gender orientation. These services shall be provided by
B-6. ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS trained personnel.
Vermont-NEA urges the implementation of a comprehen-
sive English Language Learner program for the entire state C-24. EDUCATION FOR ALL STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
where it can be clearly established that a need for such a Vermont-NEA supports a free appropriate public education for
program exists. The financial resources of the local, state, all students with disabilities. However, the Association recog-
and federal governments shall be utilized to achieve ad- nizes that to implement Public Law 94-142 and Vermont Act
equate funding for the English Language Learner program. 230 effectively:
a. A favorable learning experience must be created both for all
C-7. SAFE AND ORDERLY SCHOOL COMMUNITIES students;
Your Local Public Schools. Vermont's Most Important Resource 21
b. Educational employees, administrators, and parents include above-average college grades, field training experi-
must share in planning and implementing programs for ence that includes successful completion of student teaching,
the for students with disabilities; and demonstration of proficiency on appropriate pedagogical
c. All staff must be adequately prepared for their roles and subject matter tests. Tests should be valid and unbiased
through inservice training and retraining; and should be included as one element of comprehensive as-
d. All students must be adequately prepared for the sessment for completion of a teacher preparation program as
program; well as for licensure into the profession.
e. The appropriateness of educational methods, materi- The Association believes that licensing standards must assure
als, and support services must be determined in coop- that individuals wishing to enter the teaching profession have
eration with classroom teachers; the following qualifications:
f. The classroom teacher(s) must have an appeal proce- a. A bachelor of arts or science degree from an accredited
dure regarding the implementation of the program, espe- college or university, which shall be in a field of concentration
cially in terms of student placement; other than education;
g. Modification must be made in class size, using a b. Undergraduate or graduate training in pedagogy and child
weighted formula, scheduling, and curriculum design to development and psychology;
accommodate the demands of the program; c. Successful completion of a student teaching internship
h. Adequate funding must be provided and then used experience or its equivalent at least one school year in dura-
exclusively for this program; tion; and
i. Adequate release time must be made available for d. A passing score, established by the Vermont Standards
teachers, so that they may carry out the increased de- Board for Professional Educators, on a teacher examination
mands upon them; defined by the national certification agency or board for other
j. Individual educational programs should provide appro- education professionals such as speech-language patholo-
priate services for the students with disabilities and not gists or school nurses.
be a criterion used for the evaluation of teachers; The Association asserts that a teaching license should signify
k. A change in the State Department of Education’s that an individual entering the teaching profession is compe-
policy for distribution of federal aid to special educa- tent to teach. A teaching license must be legally recognized
tion should be effected with financial support given to a as the primary requirement for employment in every public
greater variety of instructional approaches, thus making and private school (Pre-K-12). No license should be issued
more options available to the local schools. unless an individual possesses the entry-level knowledge
and skills required for teaching. No temporary or emergency
D-12. TEACHER COMPETENCY TESTING licenses should be issued. No assignments should be permit-
Vermont-NEA believes that competency testing must ted outside the teacher’s area of licensure without appro-
not be used as a condition of employment, relicensing, priate concurrent retraining supported by the local district.
evaluation, placement, ranking, or promotion of licensed Revocation of a teaching license must be for just cause and
teachers. The Association also opposes the use of stu- consistent with an equitable due process procedure.
dent progress, standardized achievement test, or student The Association supports regulations that would put licensed
assessment tests for purposes of teacher evaluation. educators with teaching experience in decision-making roles
in licensing agencies.
D16. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT TO ADDRESS THE The Association believes that all substitutes employed in the
NEEDS OF UNDERREPRESENTED GROUPS State of Vermont should be licensed to teach in Vermont.
As the demographics of our country and state change, Beyond fifteen days in one level of assignment, a substitute
it is essential that educators keep pace and stay aware should be licensed and endorsed in that area.
of the challenges and special needs faced by under- E-4. VOLUNTEERS
represented groups. Vermont-NEA recommends that all Vermont-NEA recognizes and encourages business and com-
teachers and educational support professionals should munity involvement through volunteerism. However, the work
receive regular, ongoing training opportunities focusing performed by volunteers shall not result in any violation of
on best practices to address the needs of students from the applicable bargaining unit agreement nor jeopardize any
underrepresented groups. educational employee’s position.
Vermont-NEA encourages school districts to require a formal
G-1. LICENSURE application process, which may include a background check,
Vermont-NEA advocates rigorous state standards for for all volunteers.
entry into the teaching profession. These standards shall
22 Vermont-NEA Representative Assembly - March 31,2012
Vermont-NEA Resolutions 2011
A. SERVE AS THE STATE VOICE FOR EDUCATION a. Involve the school’s staff as an active partner in the
development of the plan;
A-1. SCHOOL ACCOUNTABILITY b. Provide the resources and assistance necessary to
Vermont-NEA supports holding school sites account- accomplish the plan;
able when other parts of a comprehensive system- c. Identify the responsibilities of each of the stakehold-
district, state, and national stakeholders-are also held ers in the implementation of the plan; and
accountable for providing the resources and other d. Provide time for planning, implementation, and reas-
support personnel systems and materials necessary sessment. (2000)
for schools to reach their goals. An effective and fair
school accountability system must focus on the school A-2. EDUCATIONAL FINANCE
as a unit for improvement and evaluation and ensure Vermont-NEA believes that the funding of edu-
that the best practices are encouraged and supported. cation is the shared responsibility of federal, state, and
The Association believes that school accountability local governments. State aid funds should be allocated
systems must include training for education employ- equitably, adequately, and directly for educational pur-
ees through professional development prior to imple- poses.
mentation and procedures for evaluating and improv- The Association strongly supports the concept
ing such systems. Exposure to school accountability of providing equal educational opportunity for all Ver-
systems should also be a part of preservice prepara- mont children in the public schools to enable them to
tion. achieve educational excellence.
The Association also believes that school account- Such an education requires adequate and
ability must be implemented throughout the school equitable funding from public tax sources (e.g., person-
community through a collaborative, interactive, and nel, programs, materials, buildings, and technology) to
continuous process by which local affiliates, students, meet the needs of all students. The Association also
parents/guardians/caregivers, education employees, believes that:
the public, and policymakers define and support the a. Tax revision favorable to public education
goals of the school. should be encouraged and continually reviewed at
A well-designed school accountability system: every governmental level.
a. Promotes education excellence; b. Local School Boards must be fiscally inde-
b. Has a balanced focus combining school context, pendent, and restrictive limits must not be imposed on
processes, and student performance; their budgets or long-term borrowing.
c. Is based on high standards for all students and c. State and federal and local mandates affect-
multiple assessment tools and sources of data, includ- ing public education programs must be accomanied
ing an examination of the resources needed and those by adequate and equitable funding to cover the cost
allocated; of achieving the goals of raising student performance,
d. Focuses on the school and its goals, not the indi- implementing new programs, and raising standards of
vidual performance of the school staff or other stake- student learning.
holders; d. Funding should be greater for students fac-
e. Is consistent with education employees’ rights and ing social, economic, and/or education challenges.
responsibilities as set forth in collective bargaining e. It is inappropriate to support the education
laws and contracts, meet and confer understandings, programs of a public school by the sale of non-nutri-
and or policies; tious foods and beverages during the school day.
f. Is applied in a fair and equitable manner; The Association opposes providing any public
g. Identifies external factors that impact student learn- revenues to Pre-K through 12 schools for sectarian
ing and achievement; and instruction.
h. Provides for the development of school improve- The Association strongly urges the retention of
ment plans. funds received from teachers in payment for licensure
The Association further believes that the school im- and relicensure for the purpose of supporting the activi-
provement process must, as a minimum, ties of a professional standards board. The Associa-
Your Local Public Schools. Vermont's Most Important Resource 23
tion opposes the transferal of such funds to the State dures, enrollment capacities, and specialized student
General Fund. services;
(1987) (1988) (1989)(2006)(2011) d. Protection of student confidentiality rights, of access
by parents and citizens to school information, and of
A-3. VOUCHER PLANS legal standards and requirements;
Vermont-NEA believes that voucher plans, e. Procedures to regularly inform and counsel stu-
tuition tax credits, or other funding/financial arrange- dents and parents about their rights and responsibili-
ments that use tax monies to subsidize Pre-K through ties and about program requirements and limitations;
12 private school education can undermine public edu- f. Procedures which maintain the community base,
cation and reduce the support needed to fund public heterogeneity and integrity of all schools in Vermont.
education adequately. (1998)
The Association opposes any funding arrange-
ments that pay for students to attend sectarian schools A-5. MEDIA UTILIZATION
or for students to attend nonsectarian Pre-K through 12 Vermont-NEA encourages the creative and innovative
private schools in order to obtain educational services use of media, including the internet, distance learning,
that are available to them in public schools to which and off-air programming, for improving instruction. The
they have access. Association believes that teachers should have the
The Association also believes that any private legal right to use off-air programming up to the time
school or agency that receives public funding through that it becomes commercially available. The Associa-
voucher plans, tax credits, or other funding/financial tion further urges its local affiliates to become involved
arrangements must be subject to all accountability in the utilization of these media sources. (1989) 1999)
measures and regulations required of public schools.
(2006) A-6. PUBLIC UNDERSTANDING
Vermont-NEA believes that professional associations
A-4. INTERDISTRICT PUBLIC SCHOOL CHOICE must promote public understanding of education and
Vermont-NEA believes that the goal of interdistrict pub- encourage wide public and parental participation in
lic school choice plans must be to expand educational solving education’s problems.
opportunities for all students who are eligible to partici- Vermont-NEA urges that local Associations, with the
pate. Furthermore, involvement in interdistrict public assistance of Vermont-NEA staff, make production
school choice programs must be voluntary for both and distribution of community newsletters a priority
sending and receiving school districts and be based activity.
on cooperative agreements between partnering school
districts. A-7. IMPROVING AND MAINTAINING EDUCATION-
Vermont-NEA will oppose school choice programs AL FACILITIES
which are mandated by the state and/or based on Vermont NEA believes that many educational
a competitive model which ultimately permits public facilities are in a state of decay, neglect, and/or deteri-
schools to fail as a result of dwindling finances and oration. The Association supports funding to modern-
diminishing educational programs. ize, expand, replace and/or maintain these facilities in
In promoting and evaluating interdistrict public school order to provide a safe, healthy, and effective teaching
choice plans, Vermont-NEA and its affiliates will pay and learning environment for students and education
particular attention to the following beneficial features: employees.
a. A comprehensive school improvement strategy —in- The Association also believes that the com-
cluding instructionally sound intradistrict options— with munity, parents/guardians, students, and education
interdistrict public school choice simply as one ele- employees must be effectively involved in the develop-
ment; ment of plans to modernize, expand, and/or replace
b. Maintenance of electoral fiscal and curricular ac- facilities.
countability to local communities among participating The Association further believes that preven-
school districts; tive maintenance in all facilities is equally important in
c. Provisions for effectively achieving equal student ac- achieving these goals. (2010)
cess which address transportation, admissions proce- continued...
24 Vermont-NEA Representative Assembly - March 31,2012
and achievement of educational skills foster long-term
B. ADVANCE THE CAUSE OF EDUCATION FOR ALL
INDIVIDUALS B-3. ACADEMIC PROGRAM CHOICE FOR SEC-
B-1. STANDARDS FOR STUDENT LEARNING Vermont-NEA believes that multiple programs of study
Vermont-NEA believes in high standards that describe should be established
clear expectations for what students should know for secondary education, grades 7-12, which:
and be able to do. Throughout the implementation of a. Enforce clear academic and behavioral stan-
content and performance standards, all students must dards that students must meet to enter a program;
be provided the instructional opportunities and learn- b. Provide information to both parents and students
ing conditions necessary to attain the standards. The to help them understand the varying skills, intellectual
Association supports the development and use of a development, and workload each course requires;
variety of assessment appropriate to the standards. c. Provide a rigorous and appropriate academic pro-
The Association also believes that state and local af- gram for all students;
filiates must participate in the planning, development, d. Assure that all student work demonstrates high aca-
implementation, and refinement of standards, condi- demic standards regarding content and skill develop-
tions, and assessments to ensure that- ment;
a. Students, parents/guardians/caregivers, education e. Provide ongoing and comprehensive remediation to
employees, community members, and government of- any child who needs it; and
ficials are involved and share the accountability; f. Offer distinct instructional programs reflecting dif-
b. Education employees are afforded released time fering approaches to education and different learning
and/or compensation in order to have opportunities styles.
to work with colleagues on a regular basis throughout Vermont-NEA urges investigation of ways in which
the school year on how to teach and assess student public school districts can join with each other to allow
proficiency in the standards; for a wider choice of educational options. (1998)
c. Full funding and resources are provided;
d. Curriculum includes, but is not limited to, required B-4. DRIVER EDUCATION
standards. Standards are introduced into the curricu- Vermont-NEA believes that driver education courses
lum at a rate that allows education employees opportu- that include both classroom and behind the wheel
nities to adapt their practice, work with each other, and experiences should be part of the public education of
pilot the work in a concerted fashion; all students and should be taught by teachers licensed
e. A variety of assessments will be used to evaluate in driver education. (2001)
each student’s progress toward attaining standards;
f. Appropriate attention is given to the needs and de- B-5. MULTI-CULTURAL EDUCATION
velopmental levels of each student; Vermont-NEA believes the goal of multicultural educa-
g. Professional development is provided for all edu- tion is the recognition of individual and group differ-
cation employees to help align their practices to the ences and similarities. It is a way of helping students
standards; and perceive cultural diversity so they may develop pride
h. Education employees participate in the review and in their own cultural legacy, awaken to the ideals
refinement of standards and assessments. (2000) embodied in the cultures of neighbors, and develop an
appreciation of languages and the common humanity
B-2. ACADEMIC CONTENT IN CURRICULUM shared by all people. (1992) (1993)
Vermont-NEA believes parents and community mem-
bers should be informed regularly of the contents of B-6. ENGLISH AS A NEW LANGUAGE
curriculum and the planned schedule used in present- Vermont-NEA urges the implementation of a compre-
ing curriculum to students. hensive bilingual and English-as-a-New Language/
Vermont-NEA urges all school boards to establish, as ESL programs for the entire state where it can be
an objective, the development of an integrated Pre- clearly established that a need for such a program
K-12 curriculum. There should be balance in curricu- exists. The financial resources of the local, state,
lum between method and content. and federal governments shall be utilized to achieve
Vermont-NEA also believes that academic learning adequate funding for the bilingual program. (1992)
Your Local Public Schools. Vermont's Most Important Resource 25
(1999) school to assure that students meet performance
requirements in all curricular areas.
B-7. SEXISM IN EDUCATION Vermont-NEA also believes all middle and secondary
Vermont-NEA believes that sexism and sex discrimina- school programs should have in place rigorous aca-
tion must be eliminated demic programs through which their students advance
from instructional environments. toward graduation through acquisition of requisite
The Association: skills (Vital Results) and academic performance. Sec-
a. Believes that educational materials and processes ondary school programs should be characterized by:
should accurately portray women and their contribu- a. Course offerings with uniformly high academic
tions throughout history: standards; and
b. Urges educators to use instructional materials that b. Clear standards for any student’s admission and
positively portray various careers and personal roles retention. (1998)
as acceptable and attainable for all individuals regard-
less of gender or sexual orientation:
c. Believes that discrimination and stereotyping in cur- B-11. REGULAR PLANNING AND GUIDANCE FOR
ricula, textbooks, resource and instructional materials, ALL STUDENTS
activities, etc. must be eliminated; Vermont-NEA believes that prior to or within the first
d. Endorses the use of non-sexist language. month of each school year, all parents should attend
To attain these goals, Vermont-NEA believes training is parent informational meetings for the purpose of ob-
necessary for all educational employees. (1993) (2003) taining a clear understanding of the expectations that
classroom and other teachers have for their children,
B-8. EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES THROUGH MATH- with respect to both behavior and academic perfor-
EMATICS, SCIENCE, AND TECHNOLOGY EDUCA- mance.
TION Vermont-NEA urges all school boards to establish, as
Vermont-NEA believes mathematics, science and an objective, the development of an integrated K-12
technology education are means of helping women curriculum.
and minorities enjoy equal opportunities and equitable Vermont-NEA believes that each school district should
treatment for employment and full participation in assure that all students are provided academic and
society. career planning guidance which involves them and
The Association supports development and mainte- their parents and which is designed:
nance of gender-free and culturally unbiased math- a. To ensure that students and their parents are aware
ematics, science, and technology programs that meet of educational opportunities, programs, and gradua-
the needs of women and ethnic groups. (1993) (1994) tion requirements;
b. To assist students and their parents in monitor-
B-9. DISCRIMINATORY ACADEMIC TRACKING ing and planning academic development and social
Vermont-NEA believes academic tracking based on growth in a consistent and comprehensive fashion
socioeconomic status, race, or gender must be elimi- from the 7th through the 12th grade; and
nated in all public school settings. (1993) c. To support students and their parents in making
career planning and post-secondary decisions. (1998)
B-10. GRADE ADVANCEMENT AND GRADUATION
Vermont-NEA believes that each school district should B-12. ASSESSMENT OF STUDENT LEARNING
provide to all students, at regular intervals, compre- Vermont-NEA supports the ongoing and comprehen-
hensive assessments, including observations, a variety sive assessment of student growth. A student’s level of
of work samples, portfolios, authentic measures, and performance is best assessed with authentic measure
reliable standardized tests to: directly linked to the lessons teachers teach and the
a. Measure their academic achievement; materials teachers use.
b. Identify any need for remediation; and The Association believes that the primary purposes of
c. Determine their eligibility for grade advancement assessment are to:
and graduation. a. Assist students and their parents/guardians/caregiv-
Vermont-NEA further believes each school district ers in identifying the student’s strengths and needs;
should provide the services needed in elementary
26 Vermont-NEA Representative Assembly - March 31,2012
b. Encourage students to become lifelong learners; e. Student scores are used to evaluate teachers or to
c. Measure a program’s effectiveness, communicate determine compensation or employment status; and
learning expectations, and provide a basis for deter- f. Programs are specifically designed to teach to the
mining instructional strategies; and test.
d. Develop appropriate learning experiences for stu- The administration of a standardized test includes
dents. the responsibility to educate the stakeholders in the
The Association also believes that no one measure purpose of the test, the meaning of test results, and the
should be used to determine a student’s performance. accurate interpretation of conclusions. (2000)
Teachers should utilize a variety of measures to ac-
curately assess student growth. All methods of assess- B-15. METRIC SYSTEM
ment shall provide the necessary accommodations, Vermont-NEA urges that the International System of
modifications, and exemptions, and be free of cultural, Units (SI Metric System) or weights and measures be
racial, and gender biases. taught at all educational levels.
The Association further believes that classroom teach-
ers must be involved in the development of assess- B-16. INTERNET ACCESS
ment systems and are best qualified to determine the Vermont-NEA believes that every school classroom,
criteria for assessment of students and dissemination office, teacher workroom, and library/media center
of results. (2000) should have affordable, high-speed, seamless, and
equal access to the Internet.
B-13. STUDENT ASSESSMENT PORTFOLIOS The Association also believes that education employ-
Vermont-NEA believes that many forms of evaluation ees are essential to the development of an acceptable
can be useful in the assessment of students. The As- use policy (AUP) and to the appropriate use of the
sociation further believes that authentic measures of Internet.
student knowledge and performance, as demonstrated The Association further believes that an AUP that
by examples of their work, be used whenever possible requires the signatures of parents/guardians and stu-
to help evaluate student progress. (1991) (1992) dents must be in place before allowing student access.
The Association believes that Internet access and
activities should be age appropriate and monitored and
B-14. STANDARDIZED TESTING OF STUDENTS should foster critical use. Any documentation material
Vermont-NEA believes that standardized tests should produced as a result of Internet access should be prop-
only be used to improve the quality of education and erly cited and comply with copyright laws. (2002)
instruction for students. Standardized tests are most
useful when selected by educational professionals B-17. EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
closest to the classroom and integrated with assess- Vermont-NEA supports early childhood education pro-
ment information specific to local programs. Affiliates grams in public schools for children from birth through
should advocate the design and use of a variety of de- age eight. The Association also supports a high-quality
velopmentally appropriate assessment techniques that program of transition from home and/or preschool
allow necessary accommodations, modifications, and to public kindergarten or first grade. This transition
exemptions and are bias-free, reliable, and valid. When should include communication and cooperation among
a test is mandated at the state or the national level, parents/guardians, the preschool staff, and the public
it should only be used to evaluate programs toward school staff. The Association believes that such pro-
meeting state or national standards and/or goals. grams should be held in facilities that are appropriate
The Association opposes the use of standardized tests to the developmental needs of these children. The As-
when: sociation also believes that early childhood education
a. Used as the criterion for the reduction or withholding programs should include a full continuum of services
of any educational funding; for parents/guardians and children, including child-care,
b. Results are used to compare students, teachers, child development, developmentally appropriate and
programs, schools, communities, and states; diversity-based curricula, special education, and ap-
c. Used as a single criterion for high-stakes decision propriate bias-free screening devices. Early childhood
making; education programs must also be sensitive to and meet
d. They do not match the developmental levels or lan- the physical, social, mental, and emotional health and
guage proficiency of the student; nutritional needs of children.
Your Local Public Schools. Vermont's Most Important Resource 27
The Association further believes that early childhood ing in diagnostic processes and alternative methods of
education programs should maintain small group teaching and learning. Appropriate training should also
size with appropriate staff/child ratios for each age be provided to educational support staff.
level. When two half-day sessions are taught by one Programs should emphasize a broad range of activities
teacher, the total class load for both sessions should for responding to students’ differing behavioral pat-
not exceed the number of students in an average first- terns, interests, needs, and learning styles. Teachers
grade class. Men should be encouraged and recruited in these programs must have a major role in designing
to enter and be actively involved in early childhood the objectives and evaluations and working with ap-
education. propriate school and community personnel to execute
The Association recognizes the importance of active these objectives and evaluations.
parental involvement in a child’s development and The Association urges its affiliates to seek adequate
education. Parents/guardians should be made aware compensation, planning time, materials, and facilities
of the expectations that will be placed on the child as for educational employees in these programs. (2003)
well as familiarization with new policies and proce-
dures that the child will experience. Parents/guardians B-20. GIFTED, TALENTED, AND CREATIVE STU-
should be provided with information to allow them to DENTS.
access education related child services (e.g. screen- Vermont-NEA recognizes that there must be increased
ings, testing, advocacy programs, etc.). development of educational programs to meet the
The Association supports regulations requiring chil- needs of all students (Pre-K-12) who have been identi-
dren starting kindergarten to have reached age five or fied as being exceptional in the creative arts, intellec-
have demonstrated developmental readiness at the tual ability, leadership, and/or the psychomotor domain.
beginning of a kindergarten program. Vermont-NEA supports the multisensory identification
The Association advocates the establishment of fully of these students through both formal and informal
funded early childhood special education programs. methods which are developed by a committee, the ma-
These programs and necessary services should be jority of which is teachers. In-service training of educa-
readily accessible for children with disabilities and tors is needed with provisions for program development
staffed by certified/licensed teachers, qualified support at the local, state, and national level.
staff, and therapists. (2003) (2005) Vermont-NEA supports the formation of a policy by the
state department of education for distribution of federal
B-18. NONDISCRIMINATION IN EDUCATION aid for the education of the exceptional. Financial sup-
Vermont-NEA believes in the equality of all individu- port should be given to a greater variety of instructional
als. Discrimination and stereotyping based on such approaches, thus making more options available to the
factors as race, gender, immigration status, disability, local schools. (1988) (1990) (1991) (1992) (2003)
ethnicity, occupation, and sexual orientation must be
eliminated. B-21 HOMEBOUND INSTRUCTION
The Association also believes that plans, activities, Vermont-NEA believes that homebound stu-
and programs for education employees, students, dents, those educated in the home because of individu-
parents/guardians, and the community should be alized student needs determined by established local
developed to identify and eliminate discrimination and school procedures, must receive instruction that follows
stereotyping in all educational settings. the regular curriculum. This instruction must be imple-
The Association encourages its affiliates to develop mented, documented, monitored, and assessed by a
and implement training programs on these matters. licensed teacher. The Association also believes that
(2003) credits earned through such homebound instruction
should be accepted toward promotion and/or gradua-
B-19. ALTERNATIVE PROGRAMS FOR ALL AT-RISK tion requirements. (2007)
Vermont-NEA recognizes that there must be increased B-22 DISTANCE LEARNING
development and maintenance of alternative programs Vermont NEA believes that quality distance
to meet the needs of at-risk or special needs students. education can create or extend learning opportunities
The Association recommends early and appropriate but is not an alternative to traditional education that
identification and placement of these students. Teach- allows for regular face-to-face interaction among stu-
ers and administrators should receive necessary train- dents, peers, and instructors.
28 Vermont-NEA Representative Assembly - March 31,2012
The Association opposes arrangements where- and at school based functions. The Association also
by elementary, secondary, and undergraduate students supports nutrition programs that are readily accessible
receive all or most of their education through distance and regulated by uniform standards. Considerations
education and rarely, if ever, convene in an actual class- should be made for religious beliefs, cultural differ-
room. The Association recognizes that exceptions may ences and medical needs. (2010)(2011)
be warranted in particular cases. (2010)
C-3. HEALTHY SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT
B-23 CELL PHONES AND PERSONAL COMMUNICA- Vermont-NEA believes that included in every child’s
TION DEVICES IN SCHOOL right to a good public education is the right to a
Cell Phones and Personal Communication safe and healthy environment for learning, including
Devices in Schools healthy indoor air quality. Further, educational facilities
Vermont NEA believes that schools should should be safe from environmental and chemical haz-
develop guidelines for the appropriate use of cell ards and from hazardous electromagnetic fields. The
phones and personal communication devices during the Association understands that healthy children have a
school day. Such guidelines should promote respect lower absentee rate and are more productive, and that
for privacy, intellectual integrity, and a positive learning the environment is a factor in overall good health. The
environment. (2010) Association will support policies that endeavor to as-
sure public school buildings have a healthy indoor air
C. PROMOTE THE HEALTH AND WELFARE OF CHIL- quality be environmentally safe. (2008) (2009)
DREN AND/OR STUDENTS
C-4. CHILDHOOD OBESITY
I. HEALTH, WELFARE, AND SAFETY Vermont-NEA understands that obesity is a growing
threat to our students’ health. The Association sup-
C-1. HEALTH OF CHILDREN ports health policies that include appropriate nutrition
Vermont-NEA recognizes that the total environment and fitness measures intended to combat obesity and
including home, school, and community affects the promote healthy choices for our students. (2005)
mental, emotional, and physical health of children.
The Association supports the promotion of a greater C-5. HEALTH CARE FOR ALL CHILDREN
awareness of nutrition education and nutrition related Vermont-NEA believes that every child should have
problems. direct and confidential access to comprehensive
Vermont-NEA encourages special preventative services health care. The Association believes that such health
in the schools for the early detection of impending dif- care should be provided by properly licensed physi-
ficulties. cians and by other properly licensed health profes-
The Association promotes an awareness of wellness sionals. The Association urges its affiliates to support
and the establishment of programs for the development legislation to provide comprehensive health care to all
and maintenance of lifelong, positive, health habits. children. (1995)
(1989) (1990) (1992) (1994)
C-2. NUTRITION Vermont-NEA recommends that educational institu-
Vermont NEA believes that proper nutrition is tions establish comprehensive HIV/AIDS education
essential to child development and student success. programs. These programs must include education
The Association also believes that proper nutrition must about all means of transmission, including sex and
be a part of prenatal care and must continue throughout intravenous (IV) drug use. Information on prevention
life. options must include abstinence and medically ac-
The Association supports programs within the cepted protective devices.
education framework that promote understanding and Furthermore, the Association believes that proper
facilitate informed decisions regarding proper nutrition implementation of these programs requires employee
inculding food and beverage choices. training and input. The Association further believes
The Association further believes school food that these programs should be presented by properly
service programs must be nutritionally sound, appeal- licensed/trained personnel. (1993) (1995)
ing, and affordable. A choice of nutritious food and
beverages should be available during the school day C-7. SAFE AND ORDERLY SCHOOL COMMUNITIES
Your Local Public Schools. Vermont's Most Important Resource 29
Vermont-NEA believes that all education employ- Vermont-NEA recognizes the need to protect
ees, parents/guardians, students, school governing the safety and well-being of
boards, and community members and agencies must all children from any form of abuse, exploitation, and
work cooperatively to establish and maintain safe and abduction.
orderly school communities. Students and educa- The Association also believes that parents/
tion employees must be safe from physical, verbal, guardians, children, and education employees must
and psychological violence, the threat thereof, and become critical users of mass media, the Internet, and
all forms of harassment. There should be procedures other products accessible to children through media
to prevent and eliminate all types of harassment that literacy education.
might occur. Plans and procedures regarding disci- The Association urges school districts to:
pline and/or harassment must include due process. A. Establish a system whereby the par-
The Association further believes crisis plans must ents of absent children are notified immediately;
be developed at each school site by school person- B. conduct a voluntary fingerprinting of
nel, administrators, students, parents/guardians, and children in a non-threatening
emergency personnel. These crisis plans must be environment and give the completed fingerprint cards
discussed with and practiced by all personnel and to parents and/or
students at the school site. Crisis plans must be guardians;
developed in conjunction with and provided to police C. Cooperate with community organiza-
and fire departments and other community agencies tions to increase public awareness of the problems of
that might be called upon in a crisis situation. Par- abuse, exploitation, and abduction;
ents/guardians must be made aware of the existence D. Utilize all available means to locate missing
of these crisis plans. children.
The Association believes that students must be The E. Cooperate with community organizations to
Association also believes that both schools and increase public awareness of the dangers of Internet
school districts must have written discipline plans use.
and procedures that are fair, equitable, and consis- The Association further urges legislative ac-
tently enforced and procedures for safe and orderly tion be taken to implement
conduct at school activities and events. The Associa- these goals. (1988) (1992)(2006)
tion believes that students must be taught strategies
and skills, including conflict resolution that develop C-9. CHILD ABUSE
respect, self-discipline, and self-control. Students Vermont-NEA recognizes that teachers are in a key
must learn to distinguish between their own rights position to detect suspected cases of child abuse and
and responsibilities and the rights and responsibilities are mandated to report them to the proper authori-
of others. There must be appropriate services and ties. Teachers must have immunity from legal action in
placement within regular education and alternative fulfilling this obligation. (1990) (1991) (1994)
education programs and/or with state and/or com-
munity agencies for students who disrupt the learning C-10. SUBSTANCE ABUSE EDUCATION PRO-
environment or who are dangerous to other students, GRAMS
education employees, and themselves. Vermont-NEA recommends that educational institu-
The Association also believes that appropriate school tions establish comprehensive substance abuse edu-
behavior begins and should be reinforced in the cation programs. These programs must include edu-
home. Parents/guardians of children who are disrup- cation about individual and societal problems which
tive often need support and training in order to reduce may result in physiological and psychological drug
negative behavior and increase student learning. dependency. Substance abuse education should also
Programs that provide assistance and training in child include information about short and long term effects
development, effective parenting skills, and strategies of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs as they relate to
for dealing with disruptive students must be available the health, safety, and well-being of individuals.
for parent/guardians. Schools can be instrumental in
identifying and recommending strategies that can as- C-11. STUDENT SEXUAL ORIENTATION
sist parents/guardians. (2001, 2007) Vermont-NEA believes that all students, regardless of
sexual orientation, should be afforded equal opportu-
C-8. PROTECTION OF CHILDREN
30 Vermont-NEA Representative Assembly - March 31,2012
nity and guaranteed a safe and inclusive environment Vermont-NEA supports the development of parent
within the public education system. The Association education, information, and training programs to pro-
also believes that, for students who are struggling with vide assistance in meeting the basic needs of children
their sexual/gender orientation, every school district so that, when they arrive at school, they are socially,
and educational institution should provide counsel- intellectually and physically prepared.
ing services and programs that deal with high suicide Vermont-NEA encourages parents to demonstrate
rates and dropout rates and teen prostitution. These respect for their children’s schooling by discussing
services and programs shall be staffed by trained with them school events on a daily basis, becoming
personnel. (2003) involved through parent conferences, initiating con-
tact with teachers about their children, and attending
II. STUDENT RIGHTS AND CONCERNS and participating in school activities, including school
C-12. STUDENT BEHAVIOR STANDARDS Vermont-NEA further believes that infant and early
Vermont-NEA recognizes the need to develop a school childhood programs should receive sufficient societal
wide system of student behavior standards that allows and financial support. (1998)
educators to teach and students to learn.
Vermont-NEA urges each school district to establish a C-15. MIDDLE SCHOOL PROGRAMS
policy for student Vermont-NEA recognizes the special needs of the
decorum which: early adolescent. The Association encourages the de-
a. Promotes a safe, orderly, and civil school environ- velopment of middle school curriculum, guidance and
ment where learning can take place; counseling programs, health services, and preservice
b. Has clear expectations for students regarding be- and professional development programs for these
havior, language, clothing, and treatment of property; levels.
and The Association believes this should be accomplished
c. Places clear responsibilities on all members of the through the establishment of middle school teacher
school community — educators, administrators, school preparation programs at accredited institutions of
board members, and parents, as well as students. higher education and through middle school inservice
Furthermore, Vermont-NEA believes the provisions programs. (1988)
of such a policy relating to members of each group
should address: C-16. HUMAN SEXUALITY EDUCATION
a. Their role in developing, enforcing, and/or comply- Vermont-NEA supports human sexuality education for
ing with the decorum policy; all students including knowledge of all reproductive
b. The behavior expected of them; choices. (1991)
c. Their responsibility to model and promote high qual-
ity student behavior; and C-17. TIME TO LEARN
d. Their responsibility to hold students and others ac- Vermont-NEA believes that time to learn is essential
countable for high standards of behavior. (1998) in promoting optimum achievement in school. The
Association believes that student absences have
C-13. CONFIDENTIALITY adverse effects on program continuity and academic
Vermont-NEA believes personal information regarding achievement.
students and their families is confidential. This infor- Furthermore, excessive or unusual working hours are
mation should be shared only with educational person- detrimental to a student’s attention span and academ-
nel and other caregivers who are currently involved in ic achievement. The child labor laws, as structured by
providing services to the student. (1993) the Fair Labor Standards Act, must be monitored, en-
forced, and strengthened by local state, and national
C-14. EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION governing bodies. (1989) (1992)
Vermont-NEA believes that positive and comprehen-
sive early childhood education is the basis for suc- C-18. USE OF INSTRUCTIONAL TIME
cessful school and life experiences and believes that Vermont-NEA recognizes that increased demands
preschool through primary age children should receive on teachers’ time for initiatives and non-instructional
sufficient financial and educational resources from the activities is having a negative impact upon instruc-
state. tion. The increasing numbers and frequent changes of
Your Local Public Schools. Vermont's Most Important Resource 31
local, state and federal initiatives are diminishing the C-23. JUVENILE CORRECTIONS
time teachers can devote to enhance student learning. Vermont-NEA favors the maintaining of a Vermont juve-
Therefore, Vermont-NEA urges each school district to nile correction facility.
adopt a policy and develop a formal plan to optimize The Association supports a full continuum of services
the teaching time in the present school day. (1998) for children convicted of (or at risk of) committing
crimes. This continuum should include preventative
C-19. STUDENT ATTENDANCE and rehabilitative services, inter-agency collaboration,
Vermont-NEA recommends that each school district family support and intervention, school counseling ser-
should adopt a class and school attendance policy vices, and alternative education options.
which: The Association advocates options that provide a
a. excuses students from attending classes only for healthy educational environment conducive to positive
emergencies, illnesses, or pre-approved educational change. (1988) (1990)
activities that present educational opportunities;
b. assures that its social services enhance its educa- C-24. EDUCATION FOR ALL HANDICAPPED CHIL-
tional services; DREN
c. requires school personnel, working with students on Vermont-NEA supports a free appropriate public educa-
matters unrelated to their curricular and extracurricu- tion for all handicapped students. However, the Asso-
lar program, to develop a schedule with all teachers ciation recognizes that to implement Public Law 94-142
involved with the student; and Vermont Act 230 effectively:
d. urges educators to be sensitive in seeking to excuse a. A favorable learning experience must be created
students from the classes of other educators; and both for handicapped and nonhandicapped students;
e. establishes specific plans for students whose unex- b. Regular and special education teachers, pupil per-
cused absences from class exceed a specific number. sonnel staff, administrators, and parents must share
(1998) in planning and implementing programs for the handi-
C-20. HOME SCHOOLING c. All staff must be adequately prepared for their roles
Vermont-NEA believes that all children must through inservice training and retraining;
have an equitable and quality d. All students must be adequately prepared for the
education. The Association also believes that home program;
schooling programs based on parental choice cannot e. The appropriateness of educational methods, ma-
provide the student with a comprehensive education terials, and support services must be determined in
experience. The Association strongly recommends cooperation with classroom teachers;
that home education programs meet state require- f. The classroom teacher(s) must have an appeal pro-
ments. cedure regarding the implementation of the program,
Furthermore, a school reserves the right to grant a especially in terms of student placement;
diploma, or grade advancement only if an incoming g. Modification must be made in class size, using a
home schooled student meets the requirements of that weighted formula, scheduling, and curriculum design to
school. (1989) (2002) (2006) accommodate the demands of the program;
h. Adequate funding must be provided and then used
C-21. HIV TESTING OF STUDENTS exclusively for this program;
Vermont-NEA opposes mandatory/involuntary HIV i. Adequate release time must be made available for
testing of students except where legally defined prob- teachers, so that they may carry out the increased
able cause exists. (1988) (1990) (1992) (1993) (1995) demands upon them;
j. Individual educational programs should provide ap-
C-22. DRUG AND ALCOHOL TESTING OF STU- propriate services for the handicapped students and
DENTS not be a criterion used for the evaluation of teachers;
Vermont-NEA believes that mandatory drug and alco- k. A change in the State Department of Education’s
hol testing of students is an unwarranted and unconsti- policy for distribution of federal aid to special educa-
tutional invasion of privacy and opposes such testing. tion should be effected with financial support given to a
greater variety of instructional approaches, thus making
III. EQUAL ACCESS more options available to the local schools. (1987)
32 Vermont-NEA Representative Assembly - March 31,2012
C-25. PLACEMENT OF STUDENTS WITH HIV/AIDS size and maximum teaching loads. (1992)
Vermont-NEA supports a free, appropriate public edu-
cation in a least-restrictive environment for all students D-2. TEACHER PREPARATION: ENTRY
with AIDS or infected with HIV. Vermont-NEA believes immediate steps should be
The Association believes that the placement of children taken to improve standards for entrance into the
in school should be made on a case-by-case basis by teaching profession through cooperative interactions
a team composed of qualified health care profession- with teacher training institutions. Entrance require-
als, school officials, representatives of the local Asso- ments should be rigorous, yet flexible enough to
ciation, the child’s physician, and the child’s parent or attract candidates who demonstrate the potential to
guardian. (1988) (1990) (1992) (1993) become effective teachers.
The Association urges appropriate state agencies
C-26. PASSIVE RESTRAINT inform teacher preparation institutions of projected
Vermont-NEA believes that the technique of passive needs. Teacher preparation institutions should prepare
restraint as a means of controlling the actions of a prospective teachers in fields consistent with those
student is appropriate only when all other means of needs. (1992)
control have failed. The Association believes that this
technique should be implemented by persons trained D-3. TEACHER PREPARATION PROGRAMS: CON-
in its use. Vermont-NEA further believes this policy TENT
should include plans, developed with parental input, Vermont-NEA believes that a sound teacher prepara-
that will address not only the child’s needs but also tion program must be equitably funded and must:
implementation of the policy. (1994) (1995) a. Involve practicing Pre-K-12 teachers in the design,
implementation, evaluation, and systematic change of
C-27. GENDER EQUITY IN ATHLETIC PROGRAMS the program;
Vermont-NEA believes that at all educational levels b. Require a bachelor of arts or science degree from
female and male students must have equal opportunity an accredited college or university, which shall be in a
to participate in athletic programs. field of concentration other than education;
The Association urges that athletic funds for facilities, c. Include required courses in the liberal arts, subject
equipment, and remuneration of staff be allocated or grade level specialty, reading, writing, research and
equally between female and male programs. (2003) information skills, and professional studies;
d. Include training in student assessment, classroom
D. PROMOTE PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE management, discipline, group processes, the dynam-
AMONG EDUCATORS ics of intergroup communications, human growth and
development, the changing role of the family, excep-
D-1. CLASS SIZE tional behaviors, human relations, and multicultural
Vermont-NEA believes that excellence in the class- education.
room can best be attained by small class size, particu- e. Include a variety of field experiences culminating in
larly in grades Pre-K-12, which allows for the optimum a one-year paid internship. (1992) (1998) (2000)
development of a student’s potential.
The Association urges school districts to seek an opti- D-4. TEACHER PREPARATION PROGRAMS: STU-
mum class size of 15 students. DENT TEACHING
The Association believes that class size maximums Vermont-NEA believes that student teachers should
must be established based on the type of students, be provided with legal status and liability protection.
subject area content, and physical facilities. The Association believes that supervising or coop-
The Association endorses the limitation of 10 students erating classroom teachers should be compensated
per class during labs or field activities in the hazardous monetarily and by reduced teaching assignments and
occupational programs defined by the Department of responsibilities. The recommendation of the supervis-
Labor, Child Labor Bulletin 101. Furthermore, the As- ing or cooperating classroom teacher should weigh
sociation should seek the implementation of a weight- heavily in the decision regarding readiness to enter
ed class size formula to reflect the inclusion of special the teaching profession.
needs children. Vermont-NEA further believes that the acceptance of
The Association resists efforts to circumvent laws, student teachers should be on a voluntary basis.
regulations, and policies that mandate maximum class Vermont-NEA also encourages students to join the As-
Your Local Public Schools. Vermont's Most Important Resource 33
sociation. (1992) (1999) a. Successful completion is affirmed by the local
superintendent (or school board, if there is no superin-
D-5. TEACHER PREPARATION PROGRAMS: PRO- tendent);
FESSIONAL PARTICIPATION b. A qualified individual will provide formal evaluations
Vermont-NEA urges licensed educators with teach- to the teacher no fewer than four times;
ing experience to become involved in college and c. An employing school district which has complied
university committees that control teacher education with its responsibilities to provide the teacher formal
programs. evaluations and required notice may, without being
The Association supports placing these teachers in required to provide statutory hearing, decide for per-
decision making roles in departments of education, formance reasons not to renew the teacher’s contract;
and sharing in the responsibility for practicum experi- and
ence with the public schools and teacher preparation d. A teacher who, for alleged performance reasons,
institutions. (1992) (1999) does not successfully complete an initial two-year pe-
riod, may extend probation for one additional two-year
D-6. TEACHER INDUCTION period, during which he or she is subject again to the
Vermont-NEA believes that teacher induction is a requirements of a teacher with an initial probationary
process that facilitates the transition of new teachers license. (1998)
into the profession and provides a system of collegial
support for veteran teachers experiencing a change D-9. MENTOR PROGRAMS
in grade level, type of assignments, site, or cultural Vermont-NEA believes that mentor programs enhance
environment. The Association also believes that an the professional expertise of employees. The Associa-
effective induction process is based upon exemplary tion also believes that the planning, implementation
teaching practices, an understanding of adult and and evaluation of such programs must be negotiated
student learning, and a professional environment that or cooperatively developed and maintained by the
supports collaboration and inquiry. school district and the local affiliate.
The Association further believes that the induction The Association further believes that the duties and
process enhances teaching skills and promotes pro- responsibilities of all parties must be clearly defined
fessional development. The induction process for new and uniformly administered. Mentors must be selected
teachers must be mandatory, be at least one year in through a defined process with articulated criteria, be
duration, and include a mentoring program. The induc- properly trained and compensated, and be provided
tion process for veteran teachers must be flexible and with adequate time to fulfill their responsibilities. The
provide support based upon changes in their profes- state or local authority has the obligation to provide
sional assignments. hold-harmless protection.
The Association encourages its affiliates to be involved The Association believes that any documentation that
in the development of standards for teacher induction results from the mentoring process must be confiden-
and the design and implementation process. (2000) tial and the sole property of the person mentored, and
must not be included in the participant’s personnel file.
D-7. HIRING POLICIES AND PRACTICES (2000)
Vermont NEA believes that, to provide the
highest quality of education to all students, hiring D-10. CONTINUING EDUCATION
practice must ensure that all education employee posi- Vermont-NEA recognizes the need for continuing
tions be filled with highly qualified professionals. The education in the career-long development of educa-
Association also believes that the hiring policies and tors. All teachers should acquire a masters degree, or
practices must be nondiscriminatory and include provi- its equivalent in additional course work (except where
sions for the recruitment of a diverse educationl staff. industry standards apply), within 7 years of receiving
(2010) a permanent license. The Association believes that
federal and state governments, as well as local school
D-8. PROBATIONARY PERIOD FOR NEWLY LI- systems, have a responsibility to fund expenses for
CENSED TEACHERS continuing education programs, courses, conferences,
Vermont-NEA believes in the establishment of a two- and degrees which benefit the professional develop-
year period of probation for newly licensed teachers. It ment of all staff.
should include the following characteristics:
34 Vermont-NEA Representative Assembly - March 31,2012
The Association encourages its affiliates to develop Vermont-NEA supports non-evaluative peer assis-
strategies for the implementation of educator-governed tance programs that provide assistance for the pur-
professional development programs. These programs pose of improving professional practices and retaining
must reflect the needs of local educators and students; promising educational employees. The Association
therefore, educators must have the decisive voice at also believes a peer assistance program must be
every stage of planning, implementation, and evalu- developed through the collective bargaining process.
ation. Local professional development committees (2001) (2002)
should develop and oversee professional development
programs, which: D-14. EVALUATION OF EDUCATIONAL EMPLOY-
a. Extend over 5-year periods; EES
b. Are offered at times which do not conflict with or Vermont-NEA advocates a formal evaluation system
overlap ongoing professional duties; for every educational employee in every local school
c. Reflect the priorities and curriculum developed by district because consistent evaluations of on-the-job
the school district; performance are the only appropriate way to assess
d. Encourage ongoing and open critical analysis of and assure the competency of practicing educational
them by district staff; and employees.
e. Provide incentives to teachers and support staff to An effective evaluation procedure, supported by well-
engage in those professional development activities developed, continued professional growth programs,
which assist the district in the attainment of its educa- will enable all educational employees to keep abreast
tional goals. of developments in their area of specialization and to
The Association supports increased federal fund- continue professional growth. Such procedures also
ing and the appropriation of state and local funds to can identify educational employees with instructional
ensure the existence of teacher centers in sufficient deficiencies and provide them with remedial
numbers to serve all the educators of Vermont. (1992) options, counseling, sufficient resources, and op-
(1994) (1998) (1999) portunities to observe other educational employees.
Regular assessment and supportive resources will
D-11. ACCOUNTABILITY AND ASSESSMENT ensure that those who continue in this capacity are
Vermont-NEA believes in accountability. competent. If, after an evaluation process that follows
The Association believes that school employees can all the above provisions of this resolution, and if, after
be accountable only to the degree that they share being given sufficient time and opportunity for
responsibility in educational decision-making and to improvement, an educational employee is formally
the degree that other parties who share this responsi- re-evaluated and there is documentation of incom-
bility — legislators, other government officials, school petence, dismissal proceedings with guaranteed due
boards, administrators, parents, students, and taxpay- process should be instituted. Therefore, it is essen-
ers — are also held accountable. tial that administrators and/or mutually agreed upon
Vermont-NEA believes there should be no single local, evaluators be properly trained and held accountable
regional, or statewide assessment system. The Asso- for the implementation of appropriate and fair evalua-
ciation will resist any attempt to transform assessment tion systems.
results into a state testing program that would seek to A school district’s evaluation procedure will be
measure all students, teachers, or school systems by a developed and maintained in conjunction with repre-
single standard. (1988) (1990) (1991) sentatives selected by the local Association and will
D-12. TEACHER COMPETENCY TESTING a. Clear performance expectations:
Vermont-NEA believes that competency testing must b. Regular observation of classroom performance,
not be used as a condition of employment, relicens- with advance notice and discussion of evaluation
ing, evaluation, placement, ranking, or promotion of visits and a timely consultation after each visit;
licensed teachers. The Association also opposes the c. A written evaluation report provided to the educa-
use of pupil progress, standardized achievement test, tional employee;
or student assessment tests for purposes of teacher d. Opportunity for a written response prior to the
evaluation. (1988) placement of the evaluation in the personnel file.
Participation in an evaluation process shall not waive
D-13. PEER ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS an educational employee’s right to due process in any
Your Local Public Schools. Vermont's Most Important Resource 35
subsequent contractual or legal proceeding. (1988) (2000)
The Association believes that procedures for evalu-
ation of administrators should include evaluations D16. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT TO AD-
by school employees within their direct supervision. DRESS THE NEEDS OF UNDERREPRESENTED
(1992) (1994) (2000) GROUPS
As the demographics of our country and state change,
D-15. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR it is essential that educators keep pace and stay
TEACHERS AND ADMINISTRATORS aware of the challenges and special needs faced by
Vermont-NEA believes that continuous professional underrepresented groups. Vermont-NEA recommends
development is required for teachers and administra- that all teachers and educational support profession-
tors to achieve and maintain the highest standards of als should receive regular, ongoing training opportuni-
student learning and professional practice. The As- ties focusing on best practices to address the needs
sociation also believes that professional development of students from underrepresented groups, including
should: but not limited to, racial and ethnic minorities, English
a. Be based upon clearly articulated goals; language learners, cultural and religious minorities,
b. Be designed and directed by the affected profes- students with sexual orientation and gender identifi-
sionals at each site; cation diversity, students from limited socioeconomic
c. Assist teachers in meeting the needs of students; backgrounds, and disabled individuals. (2005)
d. Be incorporated into the teaching profession as an
essential component of the work schedule; D-17. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR EDU-
e. Provide training for the implementation of new and CATIONAL SUPPORT PROFESSIONALS
expanded programs; Vermont-NEA believes that professional development
f. Provide time for inquiry, research, reflection, and should be required throughout the career of educa-
collaboration; tional support professionals. Professional develop-
g. Provide opportunities for mentoring with colleagues; ment programs should provide equal opportunities for
h. Be standards referenced and incorporate the best these employees to gain and improve knowledge and
principles of teaching and learning; skills important to their position and job performance.
i. Be career long, rigorous, and sustained; Professional development programs should assure
j. Stimulate intellectual development and leadership that appropriate education employees have a decisive
capacity; voice at every stage of planning, implementation, and
k. Balance individual priorities with the needs of the evaluation.
school and the district; The Association also believes that time for preservice
l. Provide a depth of subject matter knowledge and a and inservice training should be provided. The As-
greater understanding of learning styles; sociation further believes that any mandated training/
m. Provide opportunities to apply new learnings and requirements be fully funded by the mandating author-
changes in practice; ity. (2000) (2004)
n. Provide opportunities to assume new roles, includ-
ing leadership positions; D-18. CONSULTANTS IN THE DEPARTMENT OF
o. Include an ongoing assessment and evaluation EDUCATION
component to determine effectiveness; Vermont-NEA supports the full staffing and full funding
p. Provide flexibility for the use of a variety of resourc- of the State Department of Education to attract and
es such as university-school partnerships, professional keep professional consultants in all positions.
development schools, exchange programs, profes-
sional development resource centers, and cultural and D-19. PROMOTE THE RETENTION OF EXPERI-
business resources. ENCED EDUCATORS
The Association also believes that administrators and Vermont-NEA believes that experienced educators are
staff are partners in the total school program. The valuable resources in the promotion of educational
administrators must maintain valid administrator li- excellence. The Association also believes that our ex-
censes and have annual teaching experience. Areas of perienced members should be encouraged to remain
training should include participatory decision-making, in the education profession and that such members
interpersonal skills, personnel selection, staff evalua- should be appropriately compensated through the
tion, curriculum, and school management techniques.
36 Vermont-NEA Representative Assembly - March 31,2012
negotiations process. (2003) Vermont-NEA shall insist upon development and
enforcement of laws, regulations, policies, and proce-
E. GAIN RECOGNITION OF THE BASIC IMPOR- dures that guarantee the safety of educators and other
TANCE OF THE TEACHER IN THE LEARNING PRO- school personnel from verbal and physical attacks
CESS AND OTHER EMPLOYEES IN THE EDUCA- on their persons or property. The Association further
TIONAL EFFORT believes that when school personnel are victims of
physical attack, verbal abuse, theft, vandalism, or
E-1. IMPROVEMENT OF INSTRUCTION harassment, they should receive full support of their
Vermont-NEA believes that a prime responsibility of employer in pursuing legal and other remedies as well
professional associations is to stimulate significant as receiving reimbursement for their personal and
improvements in the quality of instruction. Much of the property loss. Time lost due to injuries from attacks
responsibility to make educational changes lies with should not be deducted from accumulated sick leave.
the teachers through their influence and involvement in (1994) (1995) (2007)
democratic decision-making, in and out of school.
Local school systems shall be urged to provide class- F-2. EMPLOYEE RIGHTS PENDING COURT AC-
room teachers with support staff to free the teacher TIONS
from nonteaching duties. Support staff may be either Vermont-NEA believes when criminal charges or civil
paraprofessionals or auxiliary personnel. (1988) (1989) lawsuits are filed against a school employee, the right
of due process must be guaranteed. If an employee
E-2. SCHOOL RESTRUCTURING is removed from student contact or suspended from a
Vermont-NEA believes in school restructuring that is position due to pending court action, all employment
flexible, locally defined, and responsive to the needs rights of the employee shall remain in force, including
and interests of teachers, students, and the broader full compensation and job security.
educational community. The Association urges its locals to negotiate contract
The Association believes in a school restructuring provisions covering procedures to be followed until
process which ensures teachers share in leadership, final disposition of the case. (1993)
authority, and governance. (1992)
F-3. DRUG AND ALCOHOL TESTING OF EMPLOY-
E-3. FREEDOM OF CHOICE IN READING EES AND JOB APPLICANTS
Vermont-NEA strongly supports the right to read and Vermont-NEA believes that mandatory drug and
believes that licensed professionals within the school alcohol testing of employees and job applicants is an
are best equipped to choose material to be used in unwarranted and unconstitutional invasion of privacy
the classroom or to be available in the school library. and opposes such testing. (1991)
In instances where a move toward censorship occurs,
a review procedure, similar to that of the American F-4. CONFIDENTIALITY
Library Association, should be implemented. (1988) Vermont-NEA supports professionalism in the educa-
E-4. VOLUNTEERS The Association believes that the rights to confidential-
Vermont-NEA recognizes and encourages business ity of all educational employees should be respected
and community involvement through volunteerism. by the educational community. (1994)
However, the work performed by volunteers shall not
result in any violation of the applicable bargaining unit F-5. DUTIES IN EMERGENCY SITUATIONS
agreement nor jeopardize any educational employee’s Vermont-NEA believes that in emergency situations,
position. (1990) (1993) (1994) such as fires and bomb threats, the duty of the teach-
ers is to escort students from the buildings and to
F. PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF EDUCATIONAL EM- remain with these students.
PLOYEES AND ADVANCE THEIR INTEREST AND The Association believes that requests by the admin-
WELFARE istration, even on a voluntary basis, for teachers to
serve on bomb search squads and the like are con-
I. PROTECTION OF EMPLOYEES strued as clearly outside normal teaching duties.
Vermont-NEA urges local Associations to become
F-1. PROTECTION OF EDUCATORS aware of existing local guidelines, and, in the absence
Your Local Public Schools. Vermont's Most Important Resource 37
of such, to participate in the immediate development of tion with the school system. (2002)
a written procedure.
F-10. HIV TESTING OF EMPLOYEES
F-6. TRANSPORTATION Vermont-NEA opposes mandatory/involuntary testing
Vermont-NEA urges enactment of legislation that would of school employees for
require local school systems to provide and to incur the HIV. (1988) (1990) (1991 (1992) (1993) (1994) (1995)
expense of transportation liability insurance for school
employees who are requested or required to transport F-11. EMPLOYEES WITH HIV/AIDS
students by private vehicle for any school related func- Vermont-NEA believes that educational employees
tion. shall not be fired, nonrenewed, suspended (with or
without pay), transferred, or subjected to any other
F-7. LICENSED PARAPROFESSIONALS adverse employment action solely because they
Vermont-NEA believes paraprofessionals holding teach- have tested positive for HIV antibody or have been
er licenses who are assigned professional duties should diagnosed as having AIDS or AIDS-Related Complex
receive professional salaries during the time they are (ARC). (1988) (1990) (1992) (1993) (1994) (1995)
performing these duties.
The Association urges local affiliates to oppose efforts
by school boards to use the employment of paraprofes-
sionals in replacing professionals or increasing class II. CONTRACT ISSUES
size. (1991) (1992) (1993)
F-12. EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT PROFESSIONALS
F-8. ASSIGNMENT OF SUBSTITUTES Vermont-NEA believes that greater emphasis must
Vermont-NEA believes in the importance of employ- be placed upon securing and maintaining the most
ing professional educators to fulfill the critical role of capable educational support professionals. The As-
substitute teachers. The Association also believes that sociation recognizes that educational support profes-
substitute teachers perform a vital function in the main- sionals share the same community interest with the
tenance and continuity of daily education. professional staff. The Association urges that salaries
The Association condemns the practice of assigning and benefits for educational support professionals
substitute teachers to regular positions. Such positions be competitive with those similar positions in private
should be filled by available licensed teachers who are industry and business within the geographic area.
eligible to be placed on contractual status by the school Furthermore, the Association believes that parapro-
district. fessionals should be licensed and urges teachers
The Association opposes the practice of replac- to become involved in the orientation and training of
ing absent teachers by dispersing students to other paraprofessionals and other educational support pro-
classrooms. The Association also opposes the use of fessionals. (1991) (1992) (1993)
individuals such as educational support professionals,
part-time employees, or employees hired through pri- F-13. UNIFORM PAY STRUCTURE
vate agencies to cover classes. The Association further Vermont-NEA and its affiliates believe that school
opposes requiring teachers to substitute during their employees should be adequately compensated by a
preparation time. uniform pay structure as bargained with local school
The Association condemns the practice of utilizing districts. The Association opposes “merit pay” or any
licensed teachers to substitute for personnel on extend- other compensation plan based on preferential, sub-
ed leave without providing full pay for the substitutes. jective, or politically motivated criteria.
(1988) (1992) (2002)
F-14. TEACHER COMPENSATION
F-9. EDUCATION EMPLOYEES AND ACTIVE DUTY Vermont-NEA believes that teacher salary schedules
SERVICE should provide for entry-level salaries and career
Vermont-NEA believes that an education employee earnings comparable to those of other professions with
whose career is interrupted by a call to active duty similar preparation and responsibilities and be struc-
service by the National Guard or the reserves should be tured to provide compensation levels that encourage
guaranteed reemployment and all benefits that would classroom teachers to remain in the classroom.
have accrued if the employee had continued in a posi-
38 Vermont-NEA Representative Assembly - March 31,2012
The Association further believes that assistance and leading to improved health and job effectiveness.
guidance should be provided to local affiliates in deal- (1989) (1990)
ing with teacher compensation systems.
Therefore, the Association urges local affiliates to pro- F-18. HEALTHY WORK ENVIRONMENT
ceed as follows in the pursuit of agreements concern- Vermont-NEA believes that education employees
ing compensation: have the right to a work environment that includes
a. Avoid proposing pay-for-performance systems and healthy indoor air quality and is safe from environ-
prevent the adoption of pay-for-performance systems mental and chemical hazards and from hazardous
if they are proposed by school districts, state legisla- electromagnetic fields. The Association understands
tures, or other governmental entities; that healthy employees have a lower absentee rate
b. Exclude the use of supervisor evaluations and and are more productive, and that the environment is
student testing as bases for evaluating teacher perfor- a factor in overall good health.
mance - if school districts, legislatures, or other gov- The Association also believes in the establishment
ernmental entities intend to adopt pay-for-performance and enforcement of standards of the Occupational
systems; Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to ensure
c. Attempt to have pay-for-performance systems re- health and safety, as well as the ongoing training
scinded or amended if already adopted; and certification of education employees who work
d. Oppose the provision of additional compensation to in potentially hazardous situations. Additional health
attract and retain educational employees in hard-to- hazards should not be created when facilities are
recruit positions. (2001) altered or repaired. The Association further believest-
hat school districts must inform all stakeholders of the
F-15. REDUCTION IN FORCE possible dangers of the use of networks and equip-
Vermont-NEA urges its affiliates to negotiate in master ment that produce hazardous electromagnetic fields.
contracts criteria to be utilized should reduction in The Association further believes that OSHA standards
force occur. Criteria should include seniority, objectiv- must be posted. The Associates believes education
ity, nondiscrimination, uniformity of application, and employees and the public must be notified in a timely
affirmative action. manner of actual and potential hazards. (2008)(2009)
F-16. BINDING ARBITRATION F-19. BASIC CONTRACT STANDARDS
Vermont-NEA supports the use of mandatory binding Vermont-NEA and its affiliates believe that school em-
interest arbitration for final settlement of contract dis- ployee/school board collective bargaining agreements
putes between local Associations and school boards if should contain certain standard contractual concepts.
the parties cannot mutually resolve their differing posi- Therefore, Vermont-NEA and its affiliates will pursue
tions within the legally mandated time limits. agreements which provide for the following concepts:
Furthermore, the Association believes that mandatory a. A grievance procedure that terminates with final
binding interest arbitration should replace the legal and binding arbitration;
right of teachers to strike only if the right of school b. All discipline, including suspension, dismissal and
boards to impose terms and conditions of employment nonrenewal, subject to due process and just cause
is eliminated. (1996) through final and binding arbitration;
c. Contractually defined procedures that provide for a
F-17. STAFF WELLNESS published seniority list and layoff and recall based on
Vermont-NEA believes that the physical, emotional, seniority as bargaining unit members and licensure;
and mental health of staff has an impact on perfor- d. Employer-paid fringe benefits that fully cover bar-
mance, students, and associates. The Association gaining unit members and their families;
urges school districts to promote an awareness of e. Employer-paid insurance packages which incorpo-
wellness among all personnel and establish programs rate the benefits of wellness care including compre-
for the development and maintenance of positive hensive health, life and dental insurance, and employ-
health habits. ee assistance programs;
Vermont-NEA advocates Employee Assistance f. Membership in the Association or the payment of a
Programs as a voluntary resource that would assist service fee as a condition of employment;
school employees who are experiencing significant g. Required posting of all vacant or newly created po-
professional or personal problems. These programs sitions along with binding rights based upon seniority
would provide confidential, professional counseling
Your Local Public Schools. Vermont's Most Important Resource 39
and licensure where licensure is applicable; salary scale for previous experience;
h. Preparation and planning time for all members x. Part-time faculty, working half time or more, shall
of the bargaining unit at a minimum of 45 consecu- advance on the salary schedule a full step each year.
tive minutes within each school day; also, schedules They shall receive the same salary and fringe benefits
should enable teachers to interact during the course of as full-time faculty, pro-rated according to the work
the school day, through such mechanisms as shared load.
preparation periods; Vermont-NEA and its affiliates further believe that
i. Enforceable class size and teaching load maxi- school employee/school board collective bargaining
mums, specifically a class size of 15 or fewer children; agreements should define the salaries, hours, and
j. Duty-free lunch periods for all members of the bar- other terms and conditions of employment of edu-
gaining unit; cational employees. Such agreements should not
k. Income protection for long-term illnesses and dis- include provisions which restrict or demean the dignity
abilities; of school employees. Therefore, Vermont-NEA and
l. Nondiscriminatory, fair, and equitable treatment of its affiliates will resist agreements which provide the
bargaining unit members with regard to their gender, following concepts:
sexual orientation, race, creed, religion, residence, a. A so-called “penalty” or liquidated damage clause
physical characteristics, handicap, age, marital status, that deprives a school employee of employment mo-
or grade/subject taught; bility or compensation earned for services provided;
m. Contractually defined evaluation procedures; b. Merit pay or any other compensation scheme which
n. Any school employee disabled by pregnancy substitutes preferential, subjectively granted, or politi-
entitled to all contract benefits available to school cally vulnerable salaries for services rendered. (1988)
employees for other causes and illnesses; (1989) (1992) (1998) (1999) (2000) (2003)
o. Paid parental/child rearing leave for males or fe-
males to provide care for natural or adopted children; III. RETIREMENT AND SOCIAL SECURITY
p. Release time for Association business with full pay
and fringe benefits; F-20. RETIREMENT
q. Contractually defined procedures for ensuring Vermont-NEA shall provide leadership to ensure that
school employee decision-making in curriculum design the State Teachers’ Retirement System should:
and related instructional areas as well as instructional a. Be soundly financed, professionally managed, and
management and reporting systems; responsively administered, with social responsibility;
r. Salary schedules based upon preparation, profes- b. Include retirement benefits that accrue at the rate
sional growth, and length of service; of 2.0 percent for each year of service credit, of a
s. All extracurricular and extra duty assignments to be teacher’s mean salary of the highest three years, with
filled on a voluntary basis with provision for adequate full benefits to be realized after twenty-five years of
compensation for school employees who accept such service.
assignments; c. Include a legal minimum average compensation to
t. The recognized bargaining unit to include continuing be determined and established annually as the current
education teachers, part-time teachers, school nurses, teacher average salary for the State of Vermont. Upon
school social workers, librarians, school psychologists, normal retirement, no teacher will receive less than
counselors, department heads, vocational education one-half of the legal minimum average compensation,
teachers, teachers of extracurricular activities, thera- subject to the normal discounts for early retirement;
pists, and other professional special education person- d. Include automatic and realistic benefit increments
nel as well as regular classroom to reflect increases in the cost of living;
teachers, and all other nonsupervisory school employ- e. Include comprehensive and meaningful disability
ees of the school district; and survivor benefits;
u. A provision for fair and equitable treatment of all f. Provide a health insurance benefit for retired teach-
bargaining unit members; ers and their spouses/domestic partners that is at
v. A provision which assures that work performed by least comparable to the health insurance benefit cur-
members of the bargaining unit shall not be contracted rently provided to retired state employees.
out or performed by temporary workers. g. Provide for full vesting at the age of 55 or after five
w. Placement of newly appointed faculty on step ac- years of service;
cording to their teaching experience, with full credit on
40 Vermont-NEA Representative Assembly - March 31,2012
h. Provide for early retirement benefits after the Vermont-NEA supports locally controlled and negoti-
completion of five years of service and the attainment ated school calendars. (1988) (1995) (2009)
of fifty-five years of age;
i. Include a provision for service credit for those teach- F-26. SUMMER SCHOOL AND MODIFIED CALEN-
ers who chose not to join the retirement system until DARS
required to do so; Vermont-NEA believes that affected local affiliates
j. Include a provision for service credit to educators must participate fully in the design, authorization, im-
with service in post-secondary educational institutions; plementation, evaluation, and continuation of summer
k. Provide for a pre-tax savings plan toward which school, the extended school year, year-round schools,
teachers may contribute and whose contributions will and/or a modified calendar. Governing policies must
be matched by the employer and the state. take into consideration the impact on the community
Retiring teachers who are not eligible for Medicare and be in accordance with the Association’s principles
benefits due to their age at retirement will be able to for professional salaries and class size. Employment
remain in the school district’s health insurance plan. in summer school or other school programs outside
Until the retiree is eligible for social security and Medi- the contracted days must be on a voluntary basis.
care benefits, school districts will be encouraged to (1995)
pay for these
premiums. (1989) (1990) (1992) (2001) F-27. UNISERV COUNCILS
Vermont-NEA encourages participation in UniServ
IV. ASSOCIATION ISSUES FOR EMPLOYEE WEL- Councils. Such councils provide an opportunity for
FARE all locals within their UniServ districts to meet, share
ideas, solve problems, and set the direction for their
F-21. STAFF MERGERS districts.
Vermont-NEA supports and encourages the merging
of teacher and educational support personnel units. F-28. VERMONT-NEA MEETINGS
(1992) Vermont-NEA shall not hold its state convention or its
Representative Assembly in any city where any local
F-22. PROFESSIONAL RESOURCES affiliate is on strike at the time of its convention.
Vermont-NEA believes in professionalism among its
members. To that end, the Association encourages F-29. VERMONT-NEA EMPLOYEES
its members to become as informed as possible on Vermont-NEA and its affiliates believe that VTNEA em-
educational issues. ployees are entitled to the same employment rights as
Vermont-NEA further believes that one of its functions its members. (2009)
as a professional organization is to serve as an educa-
tional issues resource center for its members. (1994) G. SECURE PROFESSIONAL AUTONOMY
F-23. REGIONAL TRAINING G-1. LICENSURE
Vermont-NEA strongly supports regional training in As- Vermont-NEA advocates rigorous state standards for
sociation skills for its members. (1988) entry into the teaching profession. These standards
shall include above-average college grades, field train-
F-24. REGIONAL BARGAINING ing experience that includes successful completion
Vermont-NEA strongly supports regional bargaining of student teaching, and demonstration of proficiency
and regional consolidation of locals as the direction to on appropriate pedagogical and subject matter tests.
be followed in collective bargaining, with the ultimate Tests should be valid and unbiased and should be
objective to be coordinated contract bargaining consis- included as one element of comprehensive assess-
tent with current collective bargaining laws. ment for completion of a teacher preparation program
The Association believes that active participation by as well as for licensure into the profession.
local affiliates in the Regional Bargaining Councils will The Association believes that licensing standards
improve the economic status of Vermont educators. must assure that individuals wishing to enter the
(1994) teaching profession have the following qualifications:
a. A bachelor of arts or science degree from an ac-
F-25. UNIFORM SCHOOL CALENDAR credited college or university, which shall be in a field
Your Local Public Schools. Vermont's Most Important Resource 41
of concentration other than education; Vermont-NEA recognizes that education is ever
b. Undergraduate or graduate training in pedagogy and changing. Licensure requirements must be clarified
child development and psychology; and delineated to keep pace with developing educa-
c. Successful completion of a student teaching intern- tional initiatives. The Association believes that it is
ship experience or its equivalent at least one school the duty and responsibility of the Professional Stan-
year in duration; and dards Board to redefine these licensure requirements.
d. A passing score, established by the State Board of (1996)
Education, on a teacher examination defined by the
national certification agency or board for other educa- G-4. NATIONAL CERTIFICATION
tion professionals such as speech-language patholo- Vermont-NEA supports voluntary national certifica-
gists or school nurses. tion by which the profession grants recognition to an
The Association asserts that a teaching license should individual who has met qualifications specified by the
signify that an individual entering the teaching profes- profession. The Association recognizes that this func-
sion is competent to teach. A teaching license must tion is filled by the National Board for Professional
be legally recognized as the primary requirement for Teaching Standards (NBPTS), which is composed of
employment in every public and private school (Pre- a majority of practicing public school teachers.
K-12). No license should be issued unless an indi- The National Board for Professional Teaching Stan-
vidual possesses the entry-level knowledge and skills dards establishes appropriate assessment proce-
required for teaching. No temporary or emergency dures by which individuals demonstrate exemplary
licenses should be issued. No assignments should practice in pedagogy and in subject matter areas,
be permitted outside the teacher’s area of licensure issues certificates to all individuals who meet NBPTS-
without appropriate concurrent retraining supported by established standards, maintains a roster of those
the local district. Revocation of a teaching license must who have been certificated, and encourages reciproc-
be for just cause and consistent with an equitable due ity with state professional standards boards.
process procedure. The Association also supports the periodic evaluation
The Association supports regulations that would put of such certification procedures to ascertain whether
licensed educators with teaching experience in deci- cultural, economic, gender, racial, or age bias is per-
sion-making roles in licensing agencies. petuated by the requirements for certification. (2000)
The Association believes that all substitutes employed
in the State of Vermont should be licensed to teach in H. UNITE EDUCATIONAL EMPLOYEES FOR EF-
Vermont. Beyond fifteen days in one level of assign- FECTIVE CITIZENSHIP
ment, a substitute should be licensed and endorsed in
that area. (1988) (1998) (1999) (2000) H-1. ACTIVE PARTICIPATION IN PUBLIC POLICY-
G-2. PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS BOARD Vermont-NEA believes that every educator has the
Vermont-NEA believes that the profession must govern right and obligation to be an informed and politically
itself. The Association also believes that each state active person.
should have a professional standards board, com- The Association urges educators to register and vote,
posed of a majority of practicing public school teach- participate in party organizations, discuss political
ers. issues publicly, campaign for candidates, contribute
Professional standards boards should have exclusive to campaigns of candidates, lobby, organize political
authority to license and to determine criteria for how action groups, and run for and serve in public office
a state certificate will be recognized for professional without curtailment of annual increments, tenure,
educators. Further, these boards should have the retirement, or seniority rights.
exclusive authority to establish the standards regard- Major decisions affecting public schools are made
ing licensure, including procedures for suspension and by elected officials or their appointees. Therefore,
revocation. The Association opposes legislation that the Association believes that it is the duty and re-
compromises the authority of state standards boards sponsibility or educators to involve themselves in the
and urges the elimination of state statutes that conflict selection, election, and reelection of qualified commit-
with this authority. (1995) ted candidates who support goals that provide quality
G-3. NEW AND EMERGING LICENSURE
42 Vermont-NEA Representative Assembly - March 31,2012
I. PROMOTE AND PROTECT HUMAN AND CIVIL while assuring quality, emphasize prevention of
RIGHTS health care problems, and are financed by means
that assure equity in the funding of that health care.
I-1. CIVIL RIGHTS The Association also believes that if a single-payer
Vermont-NEA is committed to the achievement of a health care plan is adopted; no cuts in retirement
totally integrated society and calls for the elimination of or Medicare/Medicaid benefit levels or in funding of
barriers of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, those programs should be made. (2003)(2009)
sexual orientation, age, disability, size, marital status, I-7. BULLYING
and economic status which prevent individuals fromexer- Vermont-NEA believes that bullying is a form of
cising their rights including liberties decreed in common abuse. Students and education employees must be
law, the Constitution, and statutes of the State of Ver- guaranteed a safe environment that protects them
mont and the United States. (1993) from bullying.
Therefore, the Association urges local affiliates to
I-2. THE RIGHT TO ORGANIZE work with educational institutions to:
Vermont-NEA believes that all people have the right to a. Establish strong policies defining and prohibiting
organize in order to achieve an improvement of their bullying;
living conditions through their own free and independent b. Develop and institute programs designed to help
unions and organizations. The Association urges that students and education employees recognize, un-
this right be advocated where it is now abused or denied derstand, prevent, combat, and eliminate bullying.
and strengthened where it is now secured. c. Develop and implement a procedure that encour-
The Association deplores the ant-union activities by busi- ages the reporting of bullying incidents, provides
ness interests, school districts, and government agen- due process, ensures prompt resolution of such
cies, including efforts that attempt to destroy and under- incidents, and protects the rights of all parties;
mine labor unions and organizations, penalize members d. Provide counseling services for all parties in-
for union involvement, and deprive workers of their right volved. (2004)
to organize and bargain. (2002)
I-8. SEXUAL HARASSMENT
I-3. SEX DISCRIMINATION AND EQUAL RIGHTS Vermont-NEA believes that sexual harassment
Vermont-NEA urges the full compliance of Title IX of the of anyone on the basis of gender and/or sexual
Educational Amendment of 1972. The Association urges orientation, preferences or practices is a form of sex
that the Equal Rights Amendment be passed as soon as discrimination and abuse.
feasible. The Association further believes that educational
employees and students should be protected from
I-4. PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS sexual harassment. The Association encourages its
Vermont-NEA believes people living with HIV/AIDS locals to work with educational institutions to:
should be ensured fair and equitable treatment in our a. Establish strong policies defining and prohibiting
communities, allowing equal access to education, em- sexual harassment;
ployment, living conditions, and all rights guaranteed by b. Develop and institute educational programs
law. (1994) designed to help people recognize, understand, pre-
vent, combat and eliminate sexual harassment;
I-5. COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH CARE c. Develop and publicize a grievance procedure
Vermont-NEA believes that access to comprehensive that encourages the reporting of incidents of sexual
health care is a right of every citizen and urges the State harassment, resolves complaints promptly, and pro-
of Vermont to implement a comprehensive health care tects the rights of all parties.
plan. (1990) (2003) Vermont-NEA also believes that counseling services
I-6. COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH CARE POLICY must be provided for all parties involved in sexual
Vermont-NEA believes that affordable, comprehensive harassment cases. (1994) (1999)
health care is the right of every citizen.
The Association supports the adoption of a universal I-9. SEXUAL ASSAULT
health care plan for all. Vermont-NEA supports efforts that will prevent and
The Association will support health care reform mea- protect all individuals from becoming victims of sex-
sures that achieve universal coverage, control costs ual assault, including assault on the basis of gender
Your Local Public Schools. Vermont's Most Important Resource 43
and/or sexual orientation, preferences or practices.
The Association encourages its locals to work with J-1. MEMBERSHIP PARTICIPATION IN THE ASSO-
educational institutions to develop and institute edu- CIATION
cational programs designed to help people recognize, Vermont-NEA believes that every member has the right
understand, prevent, combat, and eliminate sexual and obligation to participate fully in the Association.
assault. The opportunity to participate in the Association must
The Association believes that counseling services be afforded every member without fear, intimidation, or
must be provided for students and school personnel retribution.
who are victims of sexual assault. The Association The Association also believes that school policies
further believes that when school personnel are the should provide released time without loss of pay to
victims of sexual assault, they should receive the full those who are fulfilling leadership responsibilities, at-
support of their employer in pursuing legal and other tending meetings, or participating in other Association
remedies. (1994) (1999) activities. (2002)
I-10. FAMILY PLANNING J-2. RETIRED MEMBER PARTICIPATION
Vermont-NEA supports family planning, including the Vermont-NEA believes that retired members should be
right to reproductive freedom. (1990) active participants within the Association.
Retired members should be involved in areas such as
I-11. NUCLEAR WEAPONRY political action, legislative lobbying, member training,
Vermont-NEA recognizes that federal spending for crisis assistance, development and maintenance of
nuclear weaponry is being increased while funds for educational excellence, welfare and safety of children,
education and other social services are being cut. public relations, and retirement issues. (2002)
The Association supports a mutually verifiable freeze
on nuclear weapons as eighteen Vermont town J-3. PROMOTION OF TEACHING AS A CAREER
meetings did in 1981 and one hundred sixty-one did CHOICE
in 1982. The Association urges that a mutually verifi- Vermont-NEA supports the establishment of organiza-
able freeze be followed by reductions in every type of tions involving students interested in the field of educa-
nuclear weapon and that these issues be discussed by tion as a profession. The Association believes that it
all. should promote the establishment of such organiza-
The Association calls for the transfer of funds from nu- tions at all age levels and encourage its members to
clear weaponry to education and other social services, serve as advisors. (2002)
and urges its members to work with other concerned
organizations to have this issue brought before the Note: Dates underlined mean the date the Resolution
public in any appropriate way. was first adopted.
Subsequent dates mean the year(s) the Resolution
I-12. ETHNIC-MINORITY EDUCATORS was amended.
Vermont-NEA believes that ethnically diverse educa-
tors are valuable to the school community. The As-
sociation urges local affiliates to work to achieve and
maintain ethnic diversity in all categories of education-
al employment. (2002)
I-13. USE OF PREJUDICIAL TERMS AND SYMBOLS
Vermont-NEA deplores prejudice based on race, eth-
nicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, age, disabil-
ity, size, marital status, or economic status and rejects
the use of names, symbols, caricatures, emblems, lo-
gos, and mascots that promote such prejudice. (2003)
J. OBTAIN FOR ITS MEMBERS THE BENEFITS OF
AN INDEPENDENT, UNITED EDUCATION PROFES-
44 Vermont-NEA Representative Assembly - March 31,2012
2012 Vermont-NEA By-Laws Change
Your Local Public Schools. Vermont's Most Important Resource 45
46 Vermont-NEA Representative Assembly - March 31,2012