I am honored to represent members to bring you the TVEA spotlight tonight. Along with me is our middle school area representative Steve Campos.
We recently concluded a special election for TVEA treasure, joining our board is Amber Kott, a 4th grade teacher at Red Hawk Elementary and once my colleague at Gardner Middle School.
The Temecula Valley Educators Association is building capacity as a strong labor partner representing certificated employees in problem solving. Our TVEA Leadership Council welcomed more than 23 new site leaders and position specialists from over 19 sites and employee groups. They are the first line of support to members when it comes to association and contract issues. We held a Leadership Union Academy on 9/30 to facilitate our TVEA leaders developing knowledge about the contract and skills on how to work with members and site administrators in problem-solving and due process situations.
Our strength as a labor partner is our ability to solve problems and the lowest level and strengthening an educator’s voice in TVUSD programs and decisions. Educators in a classroom or in an office have strong insight on what works in a learning environment and in building relationships with students in and out of the classroom.
To speak on behalf of middle school educators, here is Steve Campos.
Over the last weekend we partnered with Bike Temecula Valley in their Cycle for Hope Ride to organize 100+ student volunteers and help raise $10,000 for Community Mission of Hope, our local pantry and housing assistance organization. I worked with a healthy crowd of TVHS Bears to cheer on Doug Vomsteeg.
TVEA will also host a Friday Night Lights event for members at CHS on 10/14 and a special Thursday edition at TVHS on 10/27. We invite you to stop and visit with them in the endzone. We’ll have some treats there.
In our political advocacy, teachers who once worked in private industry are subject to reduced social security benefits of their own or spouse due to the Windfall Elimination Provision and the Government Pension Offset. We want anyone to contact their member of Congress and ask that these be fully repealed. California also has Proposition 28 which would increase funding to K-12 Art and Music without increasing taxes. The funding amounts to 1% of the current Prop 98 funds that would be earmarked to districts for the hiring of teachers, aides, staff training, supplies, materials, and educational partnershiops with arts and community organizations.
At the last meeting, there was discussion of what to do with funds in the budget. Before we consider new projects or programs, I ask for consideration to continue to strengthen what we have in place. We are in trajectory where funding has increased and we must evaluate how what we have needs adjustments. Prices for items in the internal warehouse where teachers order supplies and at the copy vendor have increased without an adjustment to classroom budgets. Last year, I remember having the same budget from 10 years prior. Talking to teachers, many buy their own supplies including printers and ink to support classroom resources, one spends $500 in toner each year! Student programs, such as the CyberPatriots program that was recognized by you last year, is looking for stable revenue streams to support student training and competitions. The middle school STEM and Home Ec Programs recently received $100 per section for consumables but nothing for equipment in case something breaks or needs replacement. That is $100 for 32 students for the semester, that is $3 per student. They need a reliable budget to continue a successful program. We need to support the programs we have now.
Another consideration is the progress that was made to continue to attract and retain quality educators in the district. Making sure that our educators can continue to be a community partner and live in the neighborhoods they work in can only happen if wages are a vital component of increased revenue to the district.
Remember my invitation to the Friday Night Lights. And I will be sitting over there rooting on Los Doyers online.