Barre Teachers Say No to Uncompromising School ... - Vermont NEA

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					    Vermont-NEA
                   TODAY
                The official publication of the Vermont-National Education Association - Vol. 72, No. 5 -January 2006
                                                                                                                                                        Website:
                                                                                                                                                      www.vtnea.org




Barre Teachers Say No to
Uncompromising School Boards                                                                                                                               Photo by Karen Baron.
     BARRE — Teachers were prepared for the
picket line on Friday morning, December 9, when
they learned mediation between their negotiators
and the school boards the night before had failed to
resolve a months-long bargaining stalemate. The
school boards had continued their practice of mak-
ing no compromises
     BEA strike headquarters in the historic Old
Labor Hall buzzed with activity by 7:00 a.m. and,
along with home grown picket signs, signs left over
from the Colchester Education Association strike
in October were available. Meals were organized
by Culinary Arts teacher Mark Sinclair. Official
“greeters” welcomed all strikers and supporters, of-
fering food, soliciting volunteers, and providing ori-
entation to the upcoming tasks. Free childcare for
strikers was in place at a local church, organized by
Strike Headquarters Coordinator Amy Lester. Strike
Committees formed and got to work on media, com-
munity outreach, a website, paraeducator support,
and “On the Line” newsletter production.
     Despite heavy snow and subzero temperatures,
Barre teachers walked picket lines, the largest cir-
cling City Hall Park. Visitors from other unions
began showing up immediately — NEA members
from Montpelier, Barre Town, Twinfield, and Wash-
ington West Associations, as well as AFL-CIO
members from the Barre Firefighters Union, and
more. Amy Lester issued thanks early on from the
Headquarters to everyone for “their kind support,
words of encouragement and picketing help.” The
mechanics of the strike were perfect.
     But Chief Negotiator Ric Nudell encouraged
BEA members to settle in and get ready for what
could be a long haul. Their strike, Barre’s second
and Vermont’s 22nd, was the third strike in less than
a year by a Vermont-NEA affiliate. There were other
issues in dispute in all three of the latest strikes, but
school district demands that teachers pay a larger
percentage of health insurance premium costs were
at the center of the May strike in Orleans, the Octo-
ber strike in Colchester, and the December strike in
Barre. It took four days of picketing in Barre for the
parties to agree to a mediation session for Monday,
                                                               BEA members braved the elements on day one of their strike, picketing at City Hall Park.
December 19. Teachers planned a weekend of es-
calated activity to build pressure for a settlement.               “The BEA will suspend all picketing and               schools on Monday to provide grief counseling,
     Then, tragedy struck early on Saturday morn-              leafleting activities in light of the tragedy involving   though regular classes did not resume day.
ing, December 17. Four Barre children — ages 12,               the death of four Barre children and a parent in an            Teachers and the school boards settled the con-
9, 8, and 6 — and their mother died in a house fire.           early Saturday morning fire. The suspension includes      tract that night, at the scheduled mediation. Teach-
BEA suspended strike activity. President Ed Stout              activities Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.”                 ers returned to work on Tuesday. — LBH
issued a statement and appeared on televison news                  BEA sent elementary school teachers and coun-         Settlement details had not been released as this
to make the announcement:                                      selors into both Barre Elementary and Middle              newspaper went to press.


                               INSIDE
                                                                                                                                             Presorted Standard
                                                                                                                                              U.S. Postage PAID
                                                                                                                                                Permit No. 30
 Striking for Affordable                      Campaign for Health Care                                                                       Burlington, Vermont
 Health Care ......................... 2      Security ............................... 6
 Windham Southwest Paras                      Become a Health Care
 Vote to Organize ................. 3         Hero ..................................... 6
 Professional Issues                          Voice Of Teachers & ESP ... 7
 Conference ......................... 3       NEA Director’s Report ....... 7
 New Teacher Conference ... 3                 Nominate for Teaching
 Funding VSTRS .................. 4           Excellence Award ............... 8
                                                                             OPINION

              Vermont-NEA                         Striking for Affordable Health Care
  TODAY
                                                                                                                                                                 Photo by Karen Baron
                                                       Question: What can motivate
                                                  teachers enough to walk a strike picket
 Published monthly except July by                 line for hours in snow and when the
        Vermont-NEA, Inc.                         thermometer registers minus ten de-
        10 Wheelock Street                        grees?
   Montpelier, VT 05602-3737                           Answer: Belief in a cause, a
   Telephone: (802) 223-6375                      cause larger than just self-interest.
       FAX: (802) 223-1253
                                                       That was exactly the case for the
   Email: vtnea@together.net
                                                  teachers of the Barre Education As-
     Website: www.vtnea.org
                                                  sociation in December. Although there
          President                               was a distinct lack of School Board
       Angelo J. Dorta
                                                  respect for teachers and Board fail-
      Executive Director
        Joel D. Cook                              ure to fully engage in compromise
    Communications Director                       endgame bargaining to achieve a
       Laurie B. Huse                             settlement, the issue of health insur-
       Subscription Price: $6.00 per year.        ance costs again was the substantive
  Vermont-NEA assumes no responsibility for       make-or-break issue that caused the
  claims arising in connection with products or
  services advertised in Vermont-NEA TODAY.       third Vermont teacher strike of 2005.
 BOARD OF DIRECTORS                               And Barre teachers were fully aware
        Vice President                            that their colleagues in Central Ver-
    Thomas J. Gallagher                           mont and around the state also had a
      Secretary Treasurer                         huge stake in the strike’s outcome on
          Jeff Isham                              health insurance.
         NEA Director
        Joyce Sullivan                                 Barre teachers already were pay-
   Addison-Rutland, Area 1                        ing 12% of their health insurance pre-
         Rose Wenzel                              miums or 3% of their pay, whichever
   Addison Rutland, Area 2                        was less, in 2004-05. Approximately
        Diane Alberts                             100 of Barre’s 170 teachers choose to
   Central Vermont, Area 1
       Cindy Bubrouski                            pay the cap amount, which especially
   Central Vermont, Area 2                        helps lowest-paid teachers similar to
           Terri Vest                             the taxpayer income-sensitivity pro-
      Chittenden, Area 1                          vision in Vermont’s education fund-
       Mary Ann Barnes                            ing law. A Barre teacher earning
      Chittenden, Area 2
         Richard Wise                             $40,000 pays $1,200 annually using
      Chittenden, Area 3                          the cap, plus the $100 prescription
         Brian Walsh                              drug deductible per family member
  Northeast Kingdom, Area 1                       and the office visit co-pays under the
       Lydia Alexander                            Vermont Education Health Initiative
  Northeast Kingdom, Area 2
         Martha Allen                             (VEHI) “dual option” plan.
  Southern Vermont, Area 1                             Barre Education Association ne-
        Susan Rusten                              gotiators didn’t simply dig in their
  Southern Vermont, Area 2                        heels and refuse to increase members’
          Jay Burnell                             health insurance contributions.
  Southern Vermont, Area 3
         Dennis Ladd                              Rather, they publicly offered to boost
 Northwestern Vermont, Area 1                     the salary-based cap to 5% and to in-
       Bonnie Tuscany                             crease their premium contribution to
 Northwestern Vermont, Area 2                     just below the top prevailing 15% re-
          Ann Lavery                              gional comparable by the end of a new
      Upper Valley, Area 1
        Cherrie Torrey                            agreement.
      Upper Valley, Area 2                             The School Board, however, in-
       Lisa Champagne                             sisted on immediate elimination of the
              STAFF                               cap and a full 20% premium contri-
             Attorneys                            bution. During nearly 8 hours of ne-
      James “Jeff” Fannon                         gotiations the night before the strike,        On Monday, December 12, Barre teachers, with Vermont-NEA President
         Donna M. Watts                           the Board never made a single com-             Angelo J. Dorta in their midst, marched around City Hall Park.
        UniServ Field Staff                       promise offer. Essentially, Barre
       Norman P. Bartlett                         teachers had to strike to protect the          necessary prevention and early treat-      to accept high deductible plans and
       David R. Boulanger                                                                        ment health care services.                 HSAs. Three-fourths of Vermonters
          Jerry Carruba                           affordability of health care for its
      Suzanne B. Dirmaier                         members.                                            But the contract battle fought in     are worried about individuals and
         Joyce E. Foster                               The effort to continually shift in-       Barre is only one part of an intensify-    families having to pay more for health
           Sean Leach                             creasing insurance costs directly to           ing, broader statewide campaign to         care. Over 80% agree it’s very impor-
        Robert Raskevitz                          employees and their families now is            achieve high quality and affordable        tant for everyone to have affordable
            Organizers                            the most widespread employer tactic            health care for all Vermonters, not just   health care. Two-thirds believe that
      Ellen David Friedman                        for coping with the financial burden           for educators. Barre teachers knew         the same comprehensive plan of
       Thomas J. Walters
                                                  of providing health care coverage.             this fact. They acted accordingly and      health benefits should be available to
      Professional Programs
            Sherry Gile                           Right behind cost-shifting is the push         bravely to acknowledge their own lo-       every adult and child.
         Benefit Programs                         for higher deductible insurance plans          cal role and the important roles of            These survey results indicate the
           Mark L. Hage                           and “health savings accounts”                  other labor unions, businesses, non-       existence of an indisputable, full-
     Administrative Assistants                    (HSAs). Regardless of the mecha-               profit organizations, faith-based/child    blown health care crisis. The percent-
         Ellie McAndrew                           nism, employers reap some savings              welfare/low income/retiree advocacy        age increase in health care costs now
         Sheree O. Parker                                                                        groups, and average citizens in the        outstrips wage gains by three, four, or
                                                  and lower health insurance costs only
          Sandy Perkins
                                                  for one year, since these options don’t        struggle.                                  five times each year. Most Vermont-
           Yolly Turner
     Membership/Accounting                        address fundamental medical prac-                   A recent survey by AARP Ver-          ers are paying more for their health
          Teri Leo Drury                          tices and insurance company deci-              mont reveals that teachers and ESPs        care coverage annually, while addi-
        Business Manager                          sions that fuel excessive expenses and         are not alone in their concern over        tional workers either can’t afford
         Claude C. Janus                          only discourage appropriate access to          persistent cost-shifting and pressure                    Continued on page 3...


Ver mont-NEA TODAY
 ermont-NEA ODA                                                                              2                                                              Januar y 2006
                                                                                                                                                             anuar
                                                                                                                                                            January
                                                             LOCAL ACTION

Register Online for Vermont-NEA’s                                                                                                      Windham
                                                                                                                                       Southwest
Professional Issues Conference                                                                                                         Paraeducators
     MONTPELIER -- Go to the Ver-                                                          it affects your everyday work as a
mont-NEA website -- www.vtnea.org                                                          paraprofessional.
                                                                                                                                       Vote YES to
-- to reserve a spot at Vermont-NEA’s                                                                Has made a New Year ’s            Vermont-NEA
first-ever Professional Issues Confer-                                                     Resolution to acquire new strategies
ence on January 20. You must mail in                                                       to use in communicating more effec-              Paraeducators in the
your registration fee separately and in                                                    tively in difficult situations.             Windham Southwest Supervisory
advance (we’re still working on online                                                               Wants to look at all the fac-     Union voted 30-1 on November
credit card payment), but you can re-                                                      ets of diversity.                           2 to be represented by Vermont-
serve a space by filling out and sub-                                                                Has heard the term RtI float-     NEA. The ESP in this district had
mitting the online form. Your check                                                        ing around but aren’t sure what is has      tried at least twice in the past 10
confirms your registration.                                                                to do with what you do every day.           years to establish their own union,
     The Conference will be held on                                                             “If you answered ‘yes’ or ‘possi-      but the third time proved the
January 20 at the Sheraton Hotel in                                                        bly’ to any of these questions, I would     charm!
South Burlington. You should attend                                                        strongly encourage you to ‘open-the-             According to Vermont-NEA
if you are you a Vermont-NEA mem-                                                          door’ to new knowledge by attending         Organizer Ellen David Friedman,
ber who:                                                                                   Vermont-NEA’s Professional Issues           local teacher president David
          Wants to know more about                                                         Conference,” advises Professional           Kolkebeck and Vermont-NEA
how adults learn.                                                                          Programs Director Sherry Gile. “Start       Board member Sue Rusten, who
          Wants to start the new year                                                      the 2006 New Year by getting actively       lives in the Washington South-
with some inspiration.                                                                     involved in your Association’s profes-      west district, were terrific sup-
          Has a desire to understand the                                                   sional development offering.”               porters of the organizing effort.
definition of good teaching and what                Wants to know more about                    The fee for the conference is $150     But the biggest star was local para
it looks like in practice.                  the reauthorization of IDEA and how            for non-members, $25 for members.           and lead organizer Sherry Adams.
                                                                                                                                            Sherry says she and another
                                                                                                                                       Sherrie, named Sherrie Lind,
          Vermont-NEA Presents 2nd Annual                                                                                              pulled off the election together.
                                                                                                                                       “Of course, the 30 who voted

              Conference for New Teachers                                                                                              were key,” she says. “They stuck
                                                                                                                                       with me even though I was con-
                                                                                                                                       stantly hounding them.”
                    MONTPELIER --           Hotel in South Burlington. Partici-                      Teachers and Touching                  The new group is comprised
                Vermont-NEA’s sec-          pants will choose two of these five                 OR one full-day workshop:              of five units and 40 paras at
                ond annual New              half-day workshops:                                      "I Can Do It!"                    Deerfield Valley Elementary,
                Teacher Conference                  Classroom Management                        Read workshop descriptions             Whitingham Elementary, Twin
                will be held February       Strategies                                     online at www.vtnea.org.                    Valley Middle School, Twin Val-
                3 at the Doubletree                 Communicating Effectively                   The non-refundable registration        ley High School. “We hope with
                                            with Parents                                   fee for the conference is $150 for non-     this election we will have a more
                                                                Legal and Ethi-            members, $25 for members.                   unified relationship with the teach-
                                                       cal Issues                               Workshops will be filled on a          ers,” explains Sherry, adding: “I
                                                                Vermont’s Re-li-           first-come, first served basis.             am sure each para has his or her
                                                       censing Process: Develop-                The registration deadline is Janu-     list of what is most important.”
                                                       ing an Individual Plan              ary 25, 2006.                                     Sherry says she worked hard
                                                                                                                                       to get a union so that she and her
Striking for Affordable Health Care, continued...                                                                                      fellow ESP would have the right
                                                                                                                                       to sit at the bargaining table as
health insurance with adequate ben-         for health care reform. The principles         our citizenry, and they require ener-       equals and ask for better wages
efits any longer or actually must drop      focus on comprehensive improvement             getic and committed advocacy part-          and benefits. “We would like a
their insurance policies altogether due     of the entire health care system, not          ners to fulfill them. That’s why Ver-       contract that doesn’t say they can
to unaffordability. Personal bankrupt-      piecemeal change. They envision high           mont-NEA has been working in close          let us go without any warning,”
cies caused by medical debt, at least       quality and affordable health care as          partnership since late summer with          she says. “Most of us struggle to
in part, are on the rise, and the num-      a basic right of citizenship, not as a         AARP, AFL-CIO, Vermont State Em-            stay at our jobs because we like
ber of employers even willing to of-        service available only to the wealthier        ployees Association, Vermont Busi-          what we do, but we really can not
fer health care insurance at all is con-    and privileged segments of society.            nesses for Social Responsibility, Ver-      afford to keep our jobs!!”
stantly declining.                          They preserve the importance of safe           mont Low Income Advocacy Coun-                   Now, negotiations for a first-
     A picket sign held aloft by a strik-   and timely health care services under          cil, Vermont Children’s Forum, Ver-         ever contract for Washington
ing communications worker last fall         the guidance of known and trusted              mont Interfaith Alliance, and others.       West ESP can begin.
on a national news broadcast best           physicians.                                    Together, labor unions, progressive or-
summed up the problem for me:                    The principles don’t demand em-           ganizations, and community allies can
“Health care is not a contract issue,”      ployment as a necessary precondition,          win health care security for all, just as   Advice from
it read. “It’s a national crisis.”
     Association members must do all
                                            but instead offer health care to the un-
                                            employed and to retirees, as well.
                                                                                           we won the 40-hour workweek, paid
                                                                                           annual vacations, minimum wage,
                                                                                                                                       BEA’s Strike
we can to help ensure that Barre teach-     Adequacy, affordability, and                   child labor laws, family medical emer-      Newsletter
ers will be the last members forced to      sustainability are the measures for fi-        gency leave, and Social Security for
                                                                                                                                            The Barre Education Asso-
strike for affordable health care and       nancing a better health care system in         the larger society.
                                                                                                                                       ciation negotiations/strike news-
to bring health care security perma-        which providers of health services                  During long hours of strike pick-
                                                                                                                                       letter offers this good advice for
nently into the lives of every Ver-         implement best medical practices, re-          eting in Barre, we continually passed
                                                                                                                                       stress reduction:
monter. That mission only can be ac-        ceive fair and equitable payments, and         a prominent rainbow-colored banner
                                                                                                                                            Breathe in through your nose
complished in a broad coalition of          always try to improve overall quality.         hanging outside the Universalist
                                                                                                                                       to the count of four, hold four
diverse organizations and individual        Provider accountability through high           Church. It spelled out a comforting
                                                                                                                                       counts, breathe out through your
activists. The old adage, “No one wins      professional standards and ongoing             message: “Affirming the worth and
                                                                                                                                       nose to the count of six, hold for
alone,” especially applies to this par-     evaluations of medical practice and            dignity of every person.” Yes, I
                                                                                                                                       one count, repeat — you will feel
ticular challenge.                          through effective public oversight are         thought to myself, that’s exactly what
                                                                                                                                       calmer.
     Vermont-NEA already has staked         deemed essential, too.                         Barre teachers and their supporters are
out principles to guide its advocacy             These are the right principles for        doing. -- Angelo J. Dorta, President



Ver mont-NEA TODAY
 ermont-NEA ODA                                                                        3                                                             Januar y 2006
                                                                                                                                                      anuar
                                                                                                                                                     January
                                            TEACHERS’ RETIREMENT
                                            TEACHERS’

            Commission Makes Funding
            Recommendations for VSTRS
     MONTPELIER — In the run up to the 2004 elections in Vermont, your Association made
funding of the Vermont State Teachers Retirement System one of five issues on which it would
                                                                                                                   Commission Members
base its recommendations of candidates. Here is how we described the issue then:                                   Joel D. Cook, Executive Director, Vermont-NEA
     Vermont faces major challenges to the well being of two of its three pension programs for                     Mark Hage, Benefit Programs Dir., Vermont-NEA
public employees.… The State has increasingly and alarmingly under-funded the program                              Jeb Spaulding, State Treasurer (Commission Chair)
for retired teachers…. The under-funding of the teachers program did not happen overnight                          Joseph Mackey, Teacher and VSTRS Chair
and cannot be corrected overnight. It has resulted in taxpayers now having to pay annually                         Senator James C. Condos of Chittenden County
many millions for interest alone and is now a problem of huge proportion…. Vermont-NEA                             Senator Diane Snelling of Chittenden County
supports the creation and implementation of a comprehensive long-range plan through which                          Representative Kevin J. Endres of Milton
the State of Vermont can…gradually and appropriately reestablish the fiscal integrity of the                       Representative Anne H. Mook of Bennington
teacher pension program….                                                                                          Richard H. Cate, Commissioner of Education
     As a result of our advocacy, the Legislature created the Commission on Funding the Ver-
                                                                                                                   Michael Deweese, Superintendent, Chittenden
mont State Teachers’ Retirement System, to which both Mark Hage, our member benefits direc-                        Central Supervisory Union
tor, and I were appointed. The full commission of 13 met half a dozen times and produced its                       John A. Nelson, Executive Director, Vermont
report in late November. We reprint here the full executive summary, along with the full report’s                  School Boards’ Association
first segment, which responds quite well to the question, “Do We Need a Retirement Plan for                        James B. Reardon, Commissioner of Finance &
Vermont Teachers?”                                                                                                 Management
     We will keep our members informed as the governor and legislature consider the                                John Simson, member appointed by the Governor
commission’s recommendations. —Joel D. Cook, Executive Director

          Report of the Commission on Funding the Vermont State Teachers’ Retirement System
                      Recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly
                                                               EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
     The 2005 General Assembly created the Commission on Funding the Ver-                          Using the actuarial methodology used by most states, the VSTRS funded
mont State Teachers’ Retirement System (VSTRS) to make recommendations                    ratio declined from 92.3% in 2001 to 81.1% in 2005.
for funding an adequate, sustainable, and actuarially sound retirement benefit                    Using the actuarial methodology used by most states, the VSTRS un-
plan for Vermont teachers to the Governor and the General Assembly by No-                 funded liability increased from $93.8 million in 2001 to $315.1 million in 2005.
vember 15, 2005.
                                                                                                  For FY 2006, Vermont appropriated $24.4 million, less than half of the
    The reason for the Commission is the fact that the VSTRS is underfunded               actuarially required contribution of $56.6 million.
and has been increasingly so for well over a decade. To address the serious
                                                                                                  The problem of underfunding compounds itself. Underfunding in one
resulting liability, the Commission makes a group of recommendations to be
                                                                                          year means lost investment returns in future years, resulting in ever larger re-
implemented together.
                                                                                          quired contributions, which will become increasingly difficult to reach.
    If these recommendations are adopted and implemented together, the State
                                                                                                 Relative to other public pension systems, the overall level of benefits
would cut the difference between this year’s appropriated amount and what is
                                                                                          for VSTRS is low or modest at best.
required for FY 2007 by more than 60%, from a difference of almost $35 mil-
lion to less than $13 million.                                                                     Unless the State changes course soon, Vermont may not be able to
                                                                                          catch up with actuarially required contributions without taking draconian mea-
     In order to make the implementation of those recommendations useful for
                                                                                          sures, and may jeopardize its favorable credit rating.
state policy, however, the State will need to faithfully appropriate the actuari-
ally required amount each year going forward. If a long-term commitment to                         A new accounting standard adopted last year for all public retirement
funding is not achieved, then the result may be viewed as little more than put-           systems by the Government Accounting Standards Board, and effective in FY
ting additional “debt” on the State’s credit card, with no real plan to pay.              2008, will require disclosure in financial statements of future funding liabili-
                                                                                          ties for other post-employment benefits (OPEBs), primarily, health insurance
     The formal recommendations affect the way the appropriation for VSTRS
                                                                                          for retirees, as well as accrual of costs for such benefits. For VSTRS, the
is determined and stem from ideas brought forth by the VSTRS Board of Trust-
                                                                                          additional initial annual expense to be recorded has been estimated at a $31
ees, the Treasurer’s Office and expert consultants. The Commission also con-
                                                                                          million annual obligation. This estimate was made under the assumption that
sidered a series of options for the State to consider for increasing its appropria-
                                                                                          the benefits will be pre-funded in an actuarially adequate manner; if not, the
tion. While it did not consider its charge to include actually determining from
                                                                                          expenses will have to be computed using assumptions that will cause it to be
what sources the state should seek the additional revenue needed, the Commis-
                                                                                          substantially higher. The Vermont State Employees’ Retirement System will
sion did consider a variety of funding options, and its conclusions are provided
                                                                                          be required to record an added estimated $25 million in annual expense for
below.
                                                                                          OPEB obligations under the new standard (assuming pre-funding). All public-
    The Commission offers this set of recommendations with optimism that by               sector retirement systems with OPEB obligations will be required to accrue
providing the means to bring the VSTRS appropriation level realistically within           such expenses.
reach, the state will from now on make fully funding this important public
                                                                                                                   Key Recommendations
pension program a strict priority to address each year.
                                                                                                  Make no change in benefits at this time because current benefits are
    The Commission here presents its key findings and recommendations.
                                                                                          modest by comparison with similar plans and because any realistic changes to
                                 Key Findings                                             the benefit structure would not provide significant immediate savings.
        Chronic underfunding by the State, more conservative actuarial assump-                    Adopt the Entry Age Normal (EAN) actuarial methodology because
tions, and demographic trends have added considerably to the VSTRS’                       doing so provides a more accurate picture of the plan’s funded status and is
underfunded status, while greatly increasing the actuarially required annual              consistent with most public retirement plans.
contribution from the State.
                                                                                                   Reamortize the unfunded actuarial liability (UAL) over 30 years be-
        The actuarial methodology used by VSTRS under Vermont law is rarely               cause, while this will increase plan costs over that period, it will reduce the
used by other public pension plans. The unfunded liability calculated under               State’s required annual contribution substantially.
this method does not reflect the actual experience of the plan, nor does it cause
                                                                                                   Increase the assumed rate of investment return by .25% because doing
underfunding to be reflected in the “funded ratio” or “unfunded accrued liabil-
                                                                                          so reflects the beneficial effects of Vermont’s new unified pension fund invest-
ity,” which are often used to measure and compare the financial health of pen-
                                                                                          ment process.
sion plans.                                                                                                                                                  Continued...


Ver mont-NEA TODAY
 ermont-NEA ODA                                                                       4                                                             Januar y 2006
                                                                                                                                                     anuar
                                                                                                                                                    January
                                           TEACHERS’ RETIREMENT
                                           TEACHERS’
        Create separate appropriations for normal and UAL costs because do-                       Sell selected state assets.
ing so will make plan costs associated with underfunding distinct from costs                      Utilize pension obligation bonds for some or all of unfunded liability.
associated with paying benefits.
                                                                                                 Do We Need a Retirement Plan for Vermont Teachers?
        Enact stronger statutory language to ensure that future appropriations
                                                                                             The Commission believes that teachers are the foundation of our education
match the actuarial recommendation.
                                                                                         system — a resource integral to the long-term viability of the Vermont economy.
        Fully fund both normal and UAL costs beginning in FY 2007 because                Retirement security is an important piece of the employment package as indi-
doing so is necessary both to justify implementing other recommendations and             viduals make life decisions about their careers. Without a competitive retire-
to preserve the fiscal integrity of the VSTRS.                                           ment plan, schools will not be able to compete for high quality teachers.
                        Potential Funding Options                                             Pension benefits are essentially IOUs to employees that accumulate while
     Implementation of the Key Recommendations would reduce the actuary’s                they are working and that are cashed in at the time of retirement. These ben-
formal recommendation for FY 2007 by $21 million (from $59.2 million to                  efits are also a partnership, since employees make ongoing contributions to the
$38.2 million), shrinking the gap between the recommendation and the FY                  plan with the expectation that the employer will meet its obligations.
2006 appropriation ($24.4 million) by more than 60%. A Medicare Part D                       As a first step, the Commission agreed to define concisely what Vermont
reimbursement to the VSTRS, as discussed later in this report, will reduce the           should expect from a retirement plan for teachers. After several presentations
gap by another $1.2 million. The remaining gap of approximately $13 million              and considerable discussion, the Commission agreed on a set of guiding prin-
is left to be filled by the Governor and the Legislature.                                ciples, as follows:
     Closing that gap — and keeping it closed — is the critical element in achiev-               What Do We Want From Our Retirement Benefit Plan?
ing the goal of an adequate, sustainable, and actuarially sound retirement ben-
                                                                                                 Recruitment - The benefit plan should act as an incentive for recruit-
efit plan for Vermont teachers.
                                                                                         ing high quality education professionals. The plan must be competitive with
    To assist the Governor and Legislature in finding ways to close the gap, the         those in other states and within Vermont
Commission considered a range of funding options in more or less detail. The
                                                                                                 Retention - The benefit plan should act as an incentive for retaining
Commission gave its unanimous support to finding some of the funds needed
                                                                                         high quality education professionals and maintaining a stable workforce. The
through normal revenue growth in the general fund. Other options, discussed
                                                                                         plan should also be compatible with changing workforce and demographic
in greater detail in the body of this report, received either majority or minimal
                                                                                         trends.
Commission support as set out below.
                                                                                                 Reward - The benefit plan should provide a solid foundation for re-
Majority support:
                                                                                         tirement security following a career in teaching.
        Reallocation of existing resources in the budget to fund the actuarially
                                                                                                 Sustainability - The cost of the benefit plan should be sustainable and
required contribution.
                                                                                         predictable over the long term.
        One-time reduction of the general fund transfer to the education fund,
                                                                                             A 2004 study completed for the Pension Research Council, The Wharton
in order to increase the base appropriation for the VSTRS pension obligation.
                                                                                         School, University of Pennsylvania, concluded that defined benefit plans pro-
        Increase in personal income or other tax sources.                                vide significant economic benefit to the broad community:
Minimal support:                                                                             “As consumers, retired pension participants spend their benefits on a
        Fund all or part of the need through the Education Fund.                         range of goods and services. These expenditures increase economic demand
        Increase employee contributions for future normal costs.                         and promote employment, generating additional economic activity, which
                                                                                         begets additional demand and employment. Setting aside all other benefits
         Require local school districts to share the costs of future pension li-
                                                                                         to employers and employees of DB plans, contributions to public pension
abilities with the State.
                                                                                         plans may be among the best investments a state or local government can
        Phase-in increases over a defined period, if necessary.                          make.”


Vermont-NEA Member Jennifer
                                                                                                         A Special
                                                                                                                         No
Harper Is Honored as 2006                                                                              Representa te of Thanks to
                                                                                                                         tive Franc
Vermont Teacher of the Year                                                                                                         is Brooks
     MONTPELIER – Jennifer                 1999, and considers her completion                                                &
                                                                                                            Senator Vi
Harper, fourth-grade teacher at            of the Vermont Mathematics Initiative                                            ncent Illuz
Cavendish Town Elementary School,          to be one of her greatest career accom-                   There are
                                                                                                   mus         occasions
                                                                                                                          wh
                                                                                                                                        zi
has been named 2006 Vermont                plishments. Recently Harper received                          t say “Tha                      en this org
                                                                                                   As the leg           nk you” q                         anization
Teacher of the Year.                       the Presidential Award for Excellence                                 islative ses         uite out lo                         simply
                                                                                                                               sion open             ud to pub
                                                                                                  restate to                                s in Montp              lic officials
     As Teacher of the Year, Harper        in Mathematics and Science Teaching.                                  two comm                                   elier, we w          .
                                                                                                  the mann                      ittee chair                                ant to
will travel statewide and nationally            In addition to her work with stu-                                er and, fra                 s our profo
                                                                                                                                nkly, spee                   un
visiting schools and working with          dents, Harper also serves as an edu-                  us get the
                                                                                                                agency fee                   d with wh d thanks for
                                                                                                 spring. Th                    for teache                   ich they h
teachers. In addition, she is Vermont’s    cation leader to the field, teaching a                               e bill start               r contracts                     elped
                                                                                                                              ed in the                    bill enacte
candidate for the National Teacher of      graduate math course to educators in                      Francis Bro                          House, so                       d last
                                                                                                                     oks (D. M                           I will start
the Year award.                            southern Vermont. She also volunteers                eral Affair                        ontpelier)                            there.
                                                                                                               s Commit                           chairs the
     State Board members visited           her time to serve as a member of the                political p                  tee, consis                         House Ge
                                                                                                              arties. Befo               ting of 8 le                         n-
                                                                                               mittee, he                    re we were                  gislators fr
Harper’s school for a ceremony that        Stepping Stones Preschool Board.                                    had helpe                    done in Re                   om 3
included remarks by Harper, 2005                “It is my belief that students who             port. Quit                    d assure th                   p. Brooks’
                                                                                                             e unexpect                      e bill’s un                 com-
Vermont Teacher of the Year Karen          learn through experience will retain                                            ed!                             animous
                                                                                                   After pass                                                             sup-
Heath, Education Commissioner Ri-          the material longer and understand it              sure as th          ing the Ho
                                                                                                           e leg                use, the bil
                                                                                                                                               l faced som
chard Cate and State Board Chair Tom       better than if it is just presented to            Senator Vin islature neared ad                                    e time pre
                                                                                                             cent Illuzz                   journmen                          s-
James. The entire student body was         them,” said Harper. “I work hard to               up to the p                   i (R. Essex-                   t. This is w
                                                                                                            late. In fa                 Caledonia                        hen
present as well. Representatives from      provide an environment that enables               mittee tak                  ct, the day                   ) really ste
                                                                                                           e up the b                   aft                            pped
     Hannaford Bros. Co. presented         students to make mistakes and learn              might com                    ill, I asked er he first had his co
                                                                                                            e                           him when                          m-
Harper with a $3,000 grant for class-      from their mistakes without being in-            ready vote to a committee vote                               he though
                                                                                                                                                                         t it
                                                                                                          d it out.” U                     . His resp
room materials. Barre Waldner from         timidated.”                                                                    nheard of!                     onse: “We
                                                                                                So, the next                                                            al-
SMART Board ™ was also on hand                  “Outstanding teachers like Jenni-          lator reall           time you
                                                                                                       y makes a              wonder if
to present Harper with SMART Board         fer act as role models for teachers                                         ny differen          contacting
                                                                                          images of                                   ce, please             your leg
™ equipment and software for her           throughout the state. She recognized           lic officials
                                                                                                        Representa
                                                                                                                        tive Brook                  call to min is-
                                                                                                          who respo                  s and Sen                      d the
classroom.                                 her own need to gain more knowledge           and, well                       nded to y                 ator Illuzz
                                                                                                      , just pla                       our Associa               i: pub-
     Harper, a graduate of Castleton       about math instruction strategies and         tance to u                  in quickly                        tion expert
State College with her master’s degree     now she helps her students achieve                         s.                             about an                          ly
                                                                                                                                                    issue of im
in education from UVM, has taught          success by applying these strategies,”                                                                                    por-
in Vermont for 13 years. She has been      said Richard Cate, Commissioner of
a mathematics Network Leader since         Education.


Ver mont-NEA TODAY
 ermont-NEA ODA                                                                      5                                                                       Januar y 2006
                                                                                                                                                              anuar
                                                                                                                                                             January
                                              HEALTH CARE REFORM
                                              HEALTH
A large coalition of labor unions and citizen advocacy groups dedicated to
universal health care reform has emerged. They are:

  The Vermont Campaign for Health Care Security
By Mark L. Hage                            cal aid to support Peter’s efforts and         dog groups that formed in August 2004    3. What Vermont spends on health
     When the 2006 legislative session     that of VCHCS.                                 to build a broad consensus on health     care must be adequate, sustainable
kicks off in January, health care re-           VCHCS is not proposing or ad-             care reform.                             and paid for by spreading the cost fairly
form will be, as it was last year, the     vocating for a particular solution to              These are the five health care re-   across the population.
number one public policy issue. Ver-       the health care crisis at this time. Its       form standards VCHCS believes must       4. Individual health care costs must
mont-NEA will continue to play a cen-      reform standards were inspired in              be met to solve the health care          not exceed anyone’s ability to pay, and
tral role in this debate, just as it did   large measure by the six principles of         affordability crisis:                    no one must pay more because he or
last year, to protect the comprehen-       Coalition 21, an alliance of labor             1. Health care must be available and     she is sick.
sive insurance benefits most of our        unions (including Vermont-NEA),                affordable to each Vermonter from        5. We must always seek ways to
members enjoy and to make progress         businesses, health providers, insur-           birth to death.                          improve the safety and quality of
toward achieving a comprehensive,          ance companies, legislators, public            2. There must be no discrimination       health care.
fairly financed health care system that    policy advocates, and citizen watch-           or barriers to affordable health care.        There has never been a coalition
is affordable to all Vermonters.                                                                                                   of this sort organized in Vermont de-
     We have our work cut out for us.                                                                                              voted to health care reform. It is a
                                             To date, these organizations have committed to or
The good news is that we are not                                                                                                   long-term and huge endeavor, requir-
alone.                                       expressed interest in joining the Campaign for Health                                 ing a deep commitment by all parties.
     Last summer, Vermont-NEA ini-           Care Security:                                                                        We’ll keep you updated on its plans
tiated a dialogue about health care                                    Vermont-NEA                                                 and activities.
reform with other labor unions and                                   AARP of Vermont                                                             Coalition 21
citizen advocacy groups. By mid No-                     Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility                                    Speaking of Coalition 21, this
vember, a large coalition had emerged                      Vermont State Employees’ Association                                    unique and influential group is still
dedicated to universal health care re-                                    AFL-CIO                                                  meeting and working toward helping
form. It has taken the name The Ver-                                      AFSCME                                                   Vermont achieve affordable health
mont Campaign for Health Care                                  The Vermont Workers’ Center                                         care for all its citizens. The group’s
Security.                                                                                                                          membership has changed somewhat
                                                                 United Electrical Workers
     We estimate, conservatively, that                                                                                             since last year, but most of its origi-
VCHCS represents at this early stage                               United Nurses Alliance                                          nal members continue to participate.
nearly 200,000 Vermonters. The                            Vermont Nurse Practitioners Association                                  C21’s principles have informed the
Campaign is also drawing critical sup-                      United Professions of Vermont/AFT                                      goals of VCHCS.
port from America’s Agenda: Health                                         ALANA                                                        Among other activities in 2006,
Care for All, an organization started                                 NOFA Vermont                                                 C21 will analyze and comment pub-
by several unions to help labor groups                           Vermont Interfaith Alliance                                       licly on major reform proposals, from
at the state level advance health care                       Bi-State Primary Care Association                                     the governor’s initiatives to bills pro-
reform.                                                        Community of Vermont Elders                                         posed in the legislature to proposals
     The other good news is that                                                                                                   coming from different advocacy or-
                                                                 Vermont Children’s Forum
VCHCS has just hired a half-time or-                                                                                               ganizations with a major stake in the
ganizer. Vermont-NEA secured a gen-                        Vermont Citizens Campaign for Health                                    health care reform debate. C21 will
erous grant from NEA in Washington,                        Vermont Coalition for Disability Rights                                 study each proposal to see if it meets
D.C., to hire Peter Sterling, a seasoned                Vermont Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations                                the test of its six landmark principles
Vermont organizer, to implement the                       Vermont Low Income Advocacy Council                                      and to assess if its implementation will
work of the Campaign. Peter was                                 Vermont Health Care for All                                        achieve or at least move the state sig-
hired for the period November 2005                        Vermont Public Interest Research Group                                   nificantly in the direction of afford-
through January 2007. He will be                          Vermont Alliance for Retired Americans                                   able health care reform.
working out of the Vermont-NEA of-                         National Association of Social Workers                                  Mark Hage is Vermont-NEA’s Direc-
fice. Other organizations are also do-                                                                                             tor of Benefit Programs. He repre-
nating money, staff time and logisti-                                                                                              sents the Association on C21.




          Become a Health Care Hero
              The struggle for health care reform in Vermont will require our Association to raise awareness of the problems
          associated with rising health care costs and to organize for reforms that will make health care affordable for
          everyone.
              Vermont-NEA is now recruiting “Health Care Heroes,” member volunteers from around the state who are
          willing to work with Mark Hage, the Association’s Director of Benefit Programs, and the new Vermont Campaign
          for Health Care Security to organize and rally support for health care reform in their communities and workplaces.
              Mark and the Campaign will provide you with training, resources and guidance, and keep you updated regu-
          larly on legislative developments. They will use your time selectively and wisely, and focus it on educating people
          and building support for reform where you live and work.
              You don’t have to be an expert on health care or insurance to volunteer. You just need to care about making
          high-quality health care affordable and accessible to everyone, and you have to be willing to give some of your
          time to make it happen.
              Reforming our health care system is one of the greatest challenges of our lives. We can’t do it without you.
                                        Become a Health Care Hero today!
                   To volunteer or learn more about this organizing project, contact Mark Hage:
                                      mhage@vtnea.org or 1-800-649-6375


Ver mont-NEA TODAY
 ermont-NEA ODA                                                                       6                                                             Januar y 2006
                                                                                                                                                     anuar
                                                                                                                                                    January
                                                              ASSOCIATION
                                                              ASSOCIATION

V.O.T.E. – Vermont-NEA’s formal
   .T.E.
 .O.T                                                                                                                                Upcoming
Voice Of Teachers and ESP                                                                                                            Association
                                                                                                                                     events...
By Tom Walters                             Now it is time for the legislature to           mendations to our members which
                                                                                                                                     January 7
     Across Vermont, Association           adopt and implement it. It will take            candidates to support.
                                                                                                                                        Vermont-NEA Resolutions
members are thinking about the many        the unified voice of our membership               Second, Engage Legislators
                                                                                                                                     Committee meets in Montpelier
education and labor issues facing the      to help.                                             The second is to help educate leg-
legislature come January. They are be-          We have created a proposal to es-          islators about Association positions on   January 15
ginning to think about how to affect       tablish a freestanding self-regulating          issues before the Legislature. That            Vermont-NEA candidate pe-
who will be elected to public office       board of professional educators, mir-           role involves engaging legislators in     titions due
next fall.                                 roring what virtually every other li-           discussions – orally and/or in writing    January 16
       We Need Your Voice                  censed occupation already has. The              – about matters under consideration,         Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
     V.O.T.E. – Vermont-NEA’s Voice        supportive voice of Vermont-NEA                 in concert with those who represent           Deadline for February issue
of Teachers and ESP – is the formal        members in the ear of their legisla-            the Association in the State House.       of Vermont-NEA Today
program through which our member-          tors can help make this proposal into                The work of V.O.T.E. is coordi-
ship communicates with legislators,        law.                                            nated by members arrayed by Senate        January 20
especially in their own communities.            There are dozens of important is-          Districts. They form interview teams          Vermont-NEA Professional
     As you probably know, the up-         sues affecting education policy and             to meet with candidates in the late       Issues Conference at the Sheraton
coming legislative session will take       funding, labor, health, retirement, and         summer. They also are the primary         Conference Center in South Bur-
up many important education and em-        other areas that come up every year             legislation link between the Associa-     lington
ployee issues. Your Association is at      in the State House. It is always im-            tion in the State House and the Asso-     January 20-22
the forefront of the debate over health    portant to have the Association’s voice         ciation in legislative districts.             NEA New England Leader-
care, as we try to help the state,         to be clear and articulate in that build-            So, when one of your colleagues      ship Conference in Philadelphia
through legislation, extend to all citi-   ing. It is equally important for that           approaches you to become part of          February 1
zens the kind of access to health care     voice to be just as clearly echoed in           Vermont-NEA V.O.T.E., we hope you            Deadline for Vermont-NEA
we’ve been able, through negotia-          our legislators’ home districts. To that        will enthusiastically say “yes.” A        Human & Civil Rights Award
tions, to obtain over the decades for      end, Vermont-NEA has a V.O.T.E.                 number of Senate District Coordina-       nominations
most of our members. We’ve had an              First, Educate Candidates                   tors are already in place, but there is       Deadline for Vermont-NEA/
unusual number of strikes this year,            Association members who par-               always room for more, and there is        Maida F. Townsend Scholarship
but each one has been yet another          ticipate in V.O.T.E. have two impor-            certainly always room for members         applications
symptom of the deepening problem           tant educational roles.                         locally to forge a link between the
health care is as its costs continue to         The first is to help educate candi-        Association and legislators.              February 2
escalate.                                  dates for public office about issues of              Please consider adding your voice       Vermont-NEA Committee
     Vermont-NEA has helped oversee        importance to education and educa-              to V.O.T.E., by contacting me, Tom        Reports due
the development of a long-range plan       tors. That role involves engaging can-          Walters, Organizer, at Vermont-NEA:       February 3
to address the chronic under-funding       didates in discussions locally about            1-800-649-6375, ext. 118, or                 Vermont-NEA New Teacher
of the Teachers’ Retirement System.        the issues and culminates in recom-             twalters@vtnea.org.                       Conference at the Doubletree
                                                                                                                                     Hotel in South Burlington
NEA Director’s Report                                                                                                                February 4
                                                                                                                                         Vermont-NEA Board meets
                                                                                                                                     in Montpelier
Commitment to Membership and
                                                                                                                                     Joyce Passes the Hat
Leadership Affirmed                                                                                                                       Our NEA Director, Joyce Sul-
                                                                                                                                     livan of Brattleboro, doesn’t miss
By Joyce Sullivan                          ask Congress to adopt the Employee              us in an advocacy role rather than a      a trick. In Washington for the
     The NEA Board of Directors met        Free Choice Act. Although the peti-             reactive position. Hearings related to    NEA Board meeting on Decem-
in Washington, D.C. on December 9          tion was not accepted, the camarade-            some initial language have occurred       ber 9, she passed the hat among
and 10. I’ve summarized some high-         rie and solidarity among these union-           with the Board and will continue with     her fellow directors and collected
lights of that meeting:                    ized workers was inspirational and re-          leaders who attend the regional con-      $500 for striking Barre teachers.
    March with Other Unions                affirmed my commitment to member-               ferences.                                 Angelo delivered the donations to
      Angelo and I participated in a       ship and leadership in NEA.                          Sending you all best wishes for      the BEA strike headquarters.
march along with other unions to pro-                Hurricane Relief                      a relaxing December break and an
mote the vision that Worker’s Rights            We have raised 1.3 million dol-            enjoyable holiday season.
are Human Rights. A gathering of           lars as a national organization. NEA                                 – Joyce Sullivan     Run for Vermont-NEA
NEA staff, officers, Board members,        has received twenty thousand requests                                                     Board and NEA RA
affiliate presidents and other officers    for assistance. Despite the amount of                                                     Delegate
marched from the NEA building to the       money raised, it’s not enough to cover                                                        Petitions with 25 member sig-
AFL-CIO for a rally that included          the requests, so we continue to                                                           natures are due January 15 for
AFT members, AFL-CIO members,              fundraise. Board member Guy Stanley                                                       members wishing to run for 3-
airline pilots, Jobs for Justice and a     from Tennessee challenged us to con-                                                      year terms representing their area
number of other unions.                    tribute one dollar per member as his                                                      on the Vermont-NEA Board or for
     Our NEA President, Reg Weaver,        local Association did.                                                                    one of 15 Vermont delegate posi-
rocked the house with a rousing                 NEA is approaching other orga-                                                       tions for the NEA Representative
speech, which confirmed our belief         nizations that might be willing to help                                                   Assembly in July. Retired mem-
that the right to organize is a human      meet the needs of our members                                                             bers can call Angelo to get on the
right.                                     throughout the devastated areas.                                                          ballot for retired delegate.
     At the end of the 45-minute rally,    Members may still contribute money                                                            These Board seats are up for
we walked from the NEA building to         to the hurricane relief efforts through                                                   re-election: Chittenden, Area 3;
the White House to deliver a petition      the NEA web site.                                                                         Central Vermont, Area 1; and
to President Bush, which was not ac-                       ESEA                                                                      Addison-Rutland, Area 2 .
cepted. The petition asked President            The Elementary and Secondary                                                             The NEA Director position is
Bush to re-establish the U.S. as a         Education Act is up for reauthoriza-            Joyce Sullivan of Brattleboro is          up for election, as well. Petitions
leader in protecting human rights –        tion. President Weaver appointed a              Vermont’s representative on the NEA       to be placed on the ballot require
including the freedom of citizens          committee to work on language that              Board of Directors. She can be            100 signatures.
around the world to form unions – and      we would like to see. This positions            reached at Jas3@sover.net


Ver mont-NEA TODAY
 ermont-NEA ODA                                                                        7                                                           Januar y 2006
                                                                                                                                                    anuar
                                                                                                                                                   January
                                                               OPPORTUNITIES
                                                               OPPORTUNITIES

“The Mountain Review”                                                                            Nominate soon for the Vermont Award
                                                                                                 for Teaching Excellence
Seeks Student Manuscripts                                                                             Each year, Vermont-NEA honors                    Any active teacher or Education
     The Mountain Review is an an-             4. Limit poetry to 60 lines maximum               one of its active members in order to            Support Professional (ESP) member
nual publication of writing and art by         and prose to 900 words maximum.                   celebrate teaching excellence, public            of Vermont-NEA who is not currently
Vermont students, K-12, sponsored by                                                             education, and our dedicated school              serving as a statewide officer or as a
                                               5. Include a title.                               workforce. The Vermont-NEA Award                 Board Director is eligible to apply for
the Vermont Council of Teachers of
                                               6. Edit carefully.                                for Teaching Excellence, which car-              this award. Any active Vermont-NEA
English Language Arts. VCTELA in-
vites teachers to select and submit            7. Include the author’s name, grade,              ries with it a $1,000 cash prize, rec-           teacher or ESP member, or any NEA-
quality pieces of student work for pos-        school, teacher, date and word or line            ognizes, rewards, and promotes excel-            Retired/NEA-Student member from
sible publication starting now.                count at the end of each entry.                   lence in public school teaching and              Vermont may submit a nomination.
     Manuscripts may be submitted at                                                             underscores high standards of service            All nomination materials must be sub-
                                                    8. Include a parent/guardian
any time during the school year, as                                                              to students and to the teaching pro-             mitted in hard copy and must be re-
                                               permission form or note indicating the
long as VCTELA receives them by                                                                  fession. The winner represents Ver-              ceived at the Vermont-NEA office by
                                               student has permission to submit this
June 10. Please do not send antholo-                                                             mont in the national competition for             5:00 PM. February 15, 2006.
                                               writing for possible publication.
gies or class sets of a particular as-                                                           the NEA Foundation Award for Teach-                   For more information, go to
                                                    VCTELA suggests you keep cop-                ing Excellence, which pays the win-              www.vtnea.org           or      email
signment. Also, VCTELA asks that               ies of manuscripts for yourself be-
teachers review carefully each piece                                                             ner $25,000.                                     sperkins@vtnea.org.
                                               cause none will be returned. In Octo-
submitted for possible plagiarism.             ber they will announce those who will
     To qualify for publication, all en-       be published by sending letters to
                                                                                                 New Leadership for the NEA
tries must meet these requirements:            them and their teachers at their school           Valuebuilder Program in Vermont
1. TYPE all entries in a plain, read-          address.                                               Vermont-NEA and NEA-Member                  vices. He has an MBA from the Uni-
able print, such as Times New Roman.                If you have any questions, feel              Benefits are pleased to announce that            versity of Rochester and prior experi-
2. Send each entry in hard copy to             free to call Mountain Review editors              Rob Elmes will represent the NEA                 ence in finance and business succes-
Wayland Cole at:                               Wayland Cole or Katie Lenox at (802)              Valuebuilder 403(b) Program for                  sion planning.
                                               658-1570. Email Wayland at:                       members in Vermont. Rob has over                     The Valuebuilder Program is now
      Colchester High School
                                                     colew@colchester.k12.vt.us                  23 years of experience helping teach-            the only retirement program endorsed
      PO Box 900, Laker Lane
                                               or Katie at:                                      ers and ESP plan for retirement, most            by the NEA in Vermont. We are ex-
       Colchester, VT 05446
                                                    lenoxk@colchester.k12.vt.us.                 recently at VALIC.                               cited not only with the quality of the
    Please also submit a copy elec-                 Aaron Cavazos serves as student                   Joining Rob in offering the                 Valuebuilder Program, but also with
tronically, either by disk or email to         editor for The Mountain Review.                   Valuebuilder program is his partner,             the experience and professionalism
colew@colchester.k12.vt.us                          Send orders for copies of The                Greg Norris. Greg is a Certified Fi-             that Greg, Rob and their team will
3. Double space prose. Single space            Mountain Review to Katie Lenox at                 nancial Planner (CFP) with over 25               bring to our members. Rob and Greg
poetry.                                        Colchester High School.                           years of experience in financial ser-            can be reached at 1-800-634-1965.




                    See Jane drive.                                                                                                    See Jane call.




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Ver mont-NEA TODAY
 ermont-NEA ODA                                                                             8                                                                        Januar y 2006
                                                                                                                                                                      anuar
                                                                                                                                                                     January

				
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