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NEA Celebrates School Nutrition Employee Week and School Lunch Hero Day

WASHINGTON, DC— The National Education Association celebrates the role that school nutrition professionals play in schools and with students throughout the year, but especially during School Nutrition Employee Week (May 4-8) and on School Lunch Hero Day (May 1). The first Friday in May has been designated as School Lunch Hero Day by national children’s author and illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka, creator of the Lunch Lady Hero series inspired by his childhood lunch lady, Jeannie. The acclaimed series is about two school cafeteria workers who serve hungry students by day and

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Time to Stop Shortchanging Special Needs Students

Forty years ago, federal lawmakers transformed how we educate our special needs students with the passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). They also committed to pay 40 percent of the per pupil cost of educating students with special needs.   But the federal government has never met even half of that obligation to the states and the students and families who rely on the critical services and programs that public schools provide. The chronic underfunding of IDEA has forced states and districts to cut elsewhere to fulfill

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Educators Welcome Legislation to Repeal Excise Tax on High-cost Health Plans

Legislation comes as new report points to tax liabilities based on a worker’s age, gender and place of residence  WASHINGTON—The National Education Association today supported efforts to fix flaws in the Affordable Care Act that could disproportionally hurt women and older workers. Legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives will make that fix by repealing an impending excise tax on high-cost health plans. The Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Joseph “Joe” Courtney (D-Conn.) during a press conference in Washington, would eliminate an excise tax imposed on high-cost health plans beginning in 2018. Without congressional action, a 40 percent tax would be imposed on the cost of health coverage above $10,200 for an individual and $27,500 for a family. The proposed bill already has

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Educators: Students Need Opportunity, Not Just Tests

Proposal would reduce federally mandated tests to ensure greater educational opportunity for all students WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) today introduced a bill to bring much-needed reform and relief to students from the federally mandated testing required by No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The Student Testing Improvement and Accountability Act would reduce the amount of federally required high stakes, standardized tests by more than fifty percent, and, instead, restore “grade-span testing.” This would occur both in English and Math—once in elementary school, once in middle school and once in high school. This past week, the Senate began in earnest the process to reauthorize the federal law with unanimous passage of the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 out of its Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. NCLB more than doubled the number

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NEA President on Senate HELP ESEA Bill

WASHINGTON–The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions today completed mark up of a bill to overhaul the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), more commonly known as No Child Left Behind. The final bill unanimously passed. Educators, students, and families are demanding that Congress get ESEA right this time by ushering in a new and improved vision for our nation’s public schools that provides a high quality education for every child. NEA President Lily Eskelsen García issued the following statement: “From the very beginning, the goal of educators has been to ensure that ESEA reauthorization truly promotes opportunity, equity, and excellence for all students. For more than a decade No Child Left Behind has perpetuated a system that delivers unequal opportunities and uneven quality to America’s children based

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ESEA Senate Markup – Day 2 Update

Today the Senate HELP Committee today continued its markup of the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 – ESEA reauthorization. After a full day of consideration of amendments, the committee recessed for the day without completing action and will reconvene at 12:30 on Thursday to complete action. Votes remain on only a few amendments, followed by final passage. As previewed in last night’s email, the Committee’s work to improve the bill from its original introduction led us to issue a letter today urging a YES vote in Committee and to move the bill to the floor, where we will continue to fight for improvements that will work to close opportunity gaps in students and reduce the amount of standardized assessments. The Committee took additional steps today in improving the bill

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ESEA Markup Update: Wins and Next Steps

The Senate HELP Committee began its markup of the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 – ESEA reauthorization. They met for 4 hours and took action on 12 amendments, including a few NEA priority amendments that yielded significant wins for assessment and accountability systems! They will reconvene today to try and finish consideration of the bill tomorrow. For your reference: here’s NEA’s Monday letter on the underlying bill, and today’s letter with our positions on amendments. We expect to send a letter on final committee passage next. Key amendment wins today: Alexander/ Murray substitute amendment to require multiple measures in elementary and middle schools in addition to high schools and mandate that states include at least one indicator of student or school supports within their accountability system to help draw

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Coalition Calls on Governor to Reject Business Tax Cuts, Voice Concern for State Budget

More than 40 organizations, including 18 small businesses, sign letter urging Governor to reject business tax cuts Concord, NH – Representatives from New Hampshire’s small business, nonprofit, education and faith communities gathered in Concord today to speak against proposed business tax cuts. More than 40 organizations, including 18 small businesses, have signed a letter urging Governor Hassan to reject business tax cuts in upcoming or future budgets; the letter was delivered to the Governor’s office on Tuesday morning. “The business tax cuts passed by the Senate earlier this year would drain nearly $28 million out of the upcoming state budget and reduce revenue by more $80 million each biennium once fully implemented, making it all but impossible to restore funding for local aid, services for the developmentally disabled, the state’s

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Western Region Spring Training Date Announced

The Western Region of NEA-NH is presenting their spring training workshops. Six workshops are being offered, each providing two hours of staff development credits. Professional Development Certificates will be available. All workshops will be held Wednesday, May 6 at Lebanon High School in Hanover, New Hampshire. Check-in and light dinner begins at 4:00 pm.  Workshops run from 4:30 to 6:30 pm. Registration Deadline is Thursday, April 30. Workshops include: WORKING TOGETHER TO INSPIRE BETTER READERS Presenter: Donna Ciocca, Author, and Adjunct Professor at PSU, SNHU, and NHTI It’s true! Two minds are better than one. The more educators work in collaboration, the easier the job and the higher the likelihood of success. Using communication to choose individualized instructional strategies, and meaningful assessment the outcomes will be optimized. K-5   HELP

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