Mopping up the pension mess
NJEA members are willing to do the work
When it comes to New Jersey’s pension funding crisis, there are a few things just about everyone agrees on. It’s been a long time in the making. Governors and legislatures of both parties share the blame for a long series of bad choices. And there are no easy fixes for two decades of state funding failures that have led New Jersey to this point. But when it comes to solutions, the consensus breaks down because not everyone is willing to make the hard choices and do the hard work to get New Jersey back on track. And that work is going to be hard on every level.
The other empty seat
For NJEA members and other public employees, Gov. Christie’s most well-known lie is the one he told them during his 2009 campaign: “Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. In fact, in order to ensure your retirement savings are safe, I believe we must prioritize the protection of pension fund dollars.”
NJEA is accepting nominations for the 2016 Equality Champion Award, which honors members who have been champions in defense of human and civil rights that have significantly affected education and the achievement of equal opportunity for those facing discrimination due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Award criteria and a nomination form are available at njea.org/EqualityChampion. Nomination deadline is March 1.
NJEA is accepting nominations for the 2016 Ethnic Minority Affairs & Leadership Image Award, which honors members who have been champions of ethnic minority rights/issues and have significantly affected education and the achievement of equal opportunity for those facing discrimination due to their ethnicity. Award criteria and a nomination forms are available at njea.org/imageaward. Nomination deadline is March 1.
NJEA ESP Conference
The NJEA Educational Support Professional (ESP) of the Year will be honored at the 42nd annual NJEA ESP Conference held Feb. 5-7 at the Hilton East Brunswick. NJEA will also confer the ESP Career Achievement and Friend of ESP awards there. Register by Jan. 8 to reserve your spot.
What happens in the schoolhouse is affected by what happens in the Statehouse. That’s why when it comes to legislation and politics, it’s vital that NJEA members get educated, get organized and get involved. The 2016 NJEA Walter J. O’Brien Legislative and Political Action Conference provides you with an opportunity for all three. Learn more
Exceptional Children Conference
Mark your calendar to attend the NJEA Exceptional Children Conference on Saturday, April 9 at the East Brunswick Hilton. The theme of this year’s conference is “Creating Learning Environments for All Students.” Register by Feb. 24 for a 50 percent discount.
Winter Leadership Conferences
NJEA brings its popular Winter Leadership Conferences to three locations throughout the state. All levels of association leaders - from seasoned veterans to new members - will benefit from the specialized training and networking opportunities offered at these conferences.
Health & Safety Conference
The 2016 NJEA Northern Regional Health & Safety Conference will be held on Saturday, April 9 at the Teaneck Marriott at Glenpointe in Teaneck, NJ. The conference is open to all NJEA members in the northern region at no cost and is limited to the first 100 participants. Register by April 4.
NJ educators receive NEA Foundation grants. Sharon Galt, a foreign language educator at Sterling High School in Somerdale has received a $2,000 Learning & Leadership Grant from the NEA Foundation to improve her Spanish linguistic and cultural knowledge by traveling to South America. Galt will make her Spanish classes more lively and challenging and present a more authentic experience to her students upon her return. Read more
Washington Township bus driver honored by county teacher's union
Chrissy Kosar, a bus driver in the Washington Township School District for nearly a decade, was recently named the Educational Support Professional (ESP) of the Year by the Gloucester County Education Association. Kosar received her award at a ceremony at Nicolosi's Catering in West Deptford on Nov. 18.
Students can honor school heroes
The Trenton Thunder baseball team and the New Jersey Education Association are once again sponsoring a student essay contest open to all New Jersey public school students.
The topic of the contest is “My hero works at school.” Students are encouraged to write a short, but thoughtful essay about a school employee who has positively impacted them. Essays should be no more than 250 words. Learn more
The Philadelphia Soul arena football team, based in Voorhees, are Philadelphia’s winningest team since 2004. In partnership with NJEA, the Soul are visiting schools with their “Activate Your Soul” school program and they invite every school in New Jersey to join them in helping keep our children active and healthy. Learn more
News 12 New Jersey seeks the best and brightest seniors from New Jersey high schools for its SCHOLAR ATHLETE OF THE WEEK. News 12 New Jersey is currently accepting nomination applications from high school athletic directors and/or coaches, detailing the accomplishments of their nominees. Read more
Have you submitted a photo using the NJEA app? Check out the SNappSHOTS gallery to see if your photo made the cut!
OpenEd.com is an online catalog of educational assessments, homework assignments, videos, games and lesson plans aligned to every Common Core standard and several other standards. The site offers the ability for teachers to assign resources to their students online, allowing students to take assessments, do homework, etc. on their own computers or tablets. Resources are free, but a premium subscription is offered that grants access to content from leading publishers. More On the Web resources