January 29, 2021
Teachers Helping Future Teachers

New London staff participated in the 6th annual Higher Education Day in January. The New London Education Association (NLEA), wanted to raise funds for future teachers. The teaching programs in UW colleges have seen a decline in education students. The NLEA wanted to encourage and remind local students that the profession of educating others is a rewarding career choice.

A scholarship for $1000 is designated to go to a local graduate going into the field of education. It is presented to the student at the high school awards ceremony. Higher Education Day was established to raise money toward this scholarship. All staff dresses in their alma mater ‘gear’ for the last day of semester and makes a $5 donation to the scholarship fund. This year they had record participation, raising $890. 

Each year, the Greater Green Bay Chamber’s Golden Apple Awards program strives to improve the awareness of the quality of education in the Greater Green Bay area. They do so by recognizing high standards of professionalism, leadership and innovation in teaching. 

Union Dues No Longer Deductible

WEAC Region 3 has received a couple of questions regarding the deductibility of union dues. To ensure that everyone is aware of one of the changes that took place under the Federal Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017:
Union dues are no longer a deductible expense for those people who itemize on their personal tax return for tax years 2018-2025. 
Wisconsin State Statute 118.22 governs the renewal and NON-renewal of full-time teacher contracts
This important deadline is approaching: 
For full-time teacher contracts that a District does NOT want to renew for the 2021-22 school year, the school board must notify with a preliminary notice of non-renewal on OR before Friday, April 30th, 2021.  This timeline applies regardless of the reason for non-renewal, i.e., performance, economic reasons, declining enrollment, etc.

A preliminary notice of non-renewal must be voted on and issued by the school board (not an administrator).
Many teachers have already been given some kind of indication that the District is thinking about non-renewal. These teachers may be on a plan of improvement. For teachers under this scrutiny, the preliminary notice of non-renewal may come well before the deadline of April 30th. 
Union members who may be in danger of non-renewal, as well as leaders and building reps working with those members, should contact the Region 3 office as soon as possible

Once preliminary notice of non-renewal is given to an educator, they only have five calendar days to request a hearing before the school board.

Please do not wait until the preliminary notice has already been issued!
Individual Contract Deadlines:
  • April 30 - preliminary notice of nonrenewal
  • May 15 - final notice of nonrenewal
  • May 15 - issuing individual contracts
  • June 15 - accept or reject individual contract
Background Check Applications are Open
The DPI background check application is now open for teachers whose license would have expired in 2021. Members can check to see if they are due for a background check by logging into their Educator Licensing Online (ELO) account. Background check applications are due no later than June 30, 2021. It is advised that members submit their application sooner rather than later. Remember this is your responsibility! 
Member Sign Up
WEAC online member sign-up, Join Now, is now available to provide a convenient and fast way for educators to become members of our union.

In a series of simple screens, educators can enter their information to become a member. This feature is especially useful during one-on-one membership conversations. While the process is entirely online, it is recommended that organizers and leaders stay with educators through the sign-up process to answer any questions that might arise.
For an overview of the Join Now experience, click here.
You are Invited!
Virtual Gathering

Wednesday, February 10
4:30 - 5:30 pm

Please note that you need to PRE-Register for the meeting by clicking on the link above. Then an email will be sent to you with the login link.

We look forward to SEEING you!
On Wednesday, February 3, be sure to register for Autism in the Classroom: Useful Strategies. As an educator have you wondered how to support students with autism in your classroom? With strategies and ideas, this session will prepare you to support your learners with autism and you may be surprised as to how some of these may help other learners in your classroom too.

The registration link can be found HERE.

Along with their Weekly Wednesday Webinars, WEAC has a full slate of professional learning opportunities for members this winter. They've included upcoming courses and more on a handy flier you can save or print out.

2021 NEA ESP Conference

The 2021 NEA ESP Conference will be held virtually March 19-21, with a special ESP of the Year celebration on Friday, March 26.
Registration for the 2021 NEA ESP Conference will open February 15-26, and will be offered FREE of charge to NEA members! NEA has increased their capacity to 2,000 participants. Spaces will be filled on a first-come first-served basis. Conference participation is limited to NEA members only.

Watch for the registration link.

Region 3/GBEA National Board Support Sessions
WEAC, Region 3 and GBEA have organized ongoing monthly National Board Support for the 2020-2021 cycle. Sessions will be held virtually until further notice and facilitated by Sarah Johnston (Marinette).
Find the schedule with registration links HERE. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing a link to join the meeting. Please save this email. 
WEAC Scholarship Applications Due February 1

WEAC offers scholarships for future teachers, along with a variety of awards for members. The deadline for submitting nominations is February 1, 2021.

And for Our Valued ESP Members
WEAC has an opportunity for our ESP members to get financial help to enhance your skills or further your career in the education field.
WEAC is offering two ESP scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each to ESP members. Application deadline is February 1.

Additional information and the application to apply, along with other ESP resources, are at weac.org/esp
The Wisconsin Labor History Society announces its Essay Contest for the 2020-2021 School Year for Wisconsin high school students (Grades 9-12). Win cash prizes up to $500. Write essays of about 750 words on the topic:

"Unions have been important to my family and my community because. . ."

Deadline for submitting essays is February 15.
Now Available: Evening Group Retirement Appointments
ETF now offers group retirement appointments with an ETF benefits specialist every Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. These convenient group appointments are only available online at this time. Ready to schedule an appointment? Use our new, secure online appointment scheduling system.
Now is a good time to check your beneficiaries
A new year is a great reminder to check the beneficiaries for your 403(b) and/or IRA accounts. Learn the difference between primary and contingent beneficiaries, and explore additional resources. READ more about beneficiaries here.
Member input is being sought by the WEAC Board of Directors before it makes the final decision on the WEAC Political Action Committee recommendation in the race for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The PAC is recommending Dr. Jill Underly for State Superintendent.

In making its recommendation, some of the rationale the committee cited was Underly’s decades-long perspective as a teacher and school leader in areas such as equity, funding and anti-racist schools. Her plan to recover from the pandemic addresses these areas and more. Underly’s top priorities as DPI State Superintendent include:
  • Early childhood education and universal 4K access; 
  • Teacher recruitment and retention;
  • Mental Health and Health Supports;
  • School Funding Formula Revision; and
  • Facilities Improvement; particularly infrastructure and HVAC in aging buildings.
“The heart of all of this is the school funding formula revision and my overarching goal is to repair the formula or replace it all together so that it is equitable for all students, regardless of their Zip code,” Underly said.

Additionally, the committee highlighted:
  • Underly’s belief that local and state union affiliates have a seat at the table regarding all education policy items, particularly when addressing issues impacting our professions and working conditions are addressed.
  • Underly’s support for equitable, predictable and sustainable educator pay plans. “It can be done,” she said in response to WEAC’s inquiry. “The salary schedule idea still works, but it needs to be updated and pay needs to increase so that it is commensurate with education and experience for 2022 and not 2002. Higher pay will also attract more individuals to the teaching profession because they can sustain families and a middle-class standard of living.”

WEAC Board representatives need to hear from members across Wisconsin! Board members will review all comments collected before making a final decision.

About Dr. Jill Underly
Dr. Jill Underly has worked in all facets of public education from Pre-Kindergarten through higher education as a high school and middle school social studies teacher, a University of Wisconsin College of Letters and Science academic advisor, a Title I Consultant and assistant manager at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, an elementary principal and director of instruction, and most recently, a rural school district superintendent. Currently, Dr. Underly serves as the administrator for the Pecatonica School District.

Region 3 encourages Locals to get involved in their district's school board elections and/or referendums. Please contact your Region 3 Director for school board candidate screening questions and information on the types of assistance available through Region 3 PAC.
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