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2014 NEA RA

2014 NEA Representative Assembly

by Bobbie Margo


The NEA RA was held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado from July 3-6, 2014.

The first day of business opened with greetings from Kerrie Dallman, President of the Colorado Education Association and the Honorable John Hickenlooper, Governor of Colorado.  Both speakers reminded the delegates that they were in the land of Rocky Mountain Highs! (in more ways than one!)  The keynote address was given by President Dennis Van Roekel.  Van Roekel reminded us of the report in 1983-“A Nation at Risk.”  Public education was labeled a failure then, and the attacks have not stopped.  We cannot allow politicians to determine our educational fate.  Current accountability in our public education system is totally based on testing.  Using bad data is a misuse of test scores and harms our students! Testing is NOT teaching!

Speeches from “Teacher of the Year” Sean McComb (English-Maryland) and “Education Support Professional of the Year” Paula Monroe (California) were well received.  McComb stated that teachers are “hope developers.”  Teachers help students believe in themselves.  Monroe said that the United States needs to be a nation that truly invests in its future-our children.

This year’s “Greatest Education Governor Award” was presented to Deval Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts.  Delegates watched a video from Patrick because at the time there was imminent hurricane danger in Boston.  The NEA “Friend of Education Award” was giv

en to Malala Yousafzai.  NEA President Van Roekel told the delegates that NEA tried and tried to bring Malala to the Rep Assembly, but the surrounding obstacles were just too great.  Nevertheless, Malala Yousafzai stands as the voice of an education activist for young girls throughout the world.  Special guest at this Rep Assembly was Mary Kay Henry, SEIU President. (Service Employees International Union)  Henry told the delegates that the 2.1 million SEIU members, the 1.6 ASFME members, the 1.5 million AFT members and the 2.8 million NEA members can work, fight, and forge ahead to rebuild the labor movement.  For every hot shot on Wall Street there are hundreds on Main Street who are struggling to make a living.  Fair pay and union rights mean everyone will win!  We have to stand together to create the next middle class.

ANDthere was still LOTS of time for business!  Delegates elected (by secret ballot) a new President, Vice-President and Secretary-Treasurer, 2 Executive Committee members and 7 at-large ESP Board of Director members.  Again by secret ballot, 2 constitutional amendments and 1 by-law amendment were voted upon.  Discussion ”on the floor” over 4 days involved 107 new business items, 5 policy statement amendments, 9 legislative amendments, and a number of resolutions and standing rules.  Delegates were also a bit spendy this year with regard to how much it will actually cost to implement new business items.  The 2013 Rep Assembly spent $196,849 to institute 93 new business items.  The 2014 Rep Assembly spent $821,797 on 85 business items!

The NEA Fund for Children and Public Education raised $3,792,576.00 for the 2014 fund raising year.  Business at the 2014 Representative Assembly for the 7,137 registered delegates concluded at 6:34 p.m. on Sunday, July 6.  The 2015 Representative Assembly will be held in Orlando, Florida. 

On behalf of Charles Hellie, Julie Jagusch, Larry Koenck, John Lipke, Walt Munsterman, Judy Rohde, and myself, we sincerely thank YOU, the members of ED MN Retired for giving us the opportunity to attend NEA.  We represented you with passion, purpose, and professionalism!

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