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Description: Recess and Teacher Contracts | News to Note | New Reports

Public Policy Notes S outhe r n E a r ly C hild hood As s o ci a tio n NGA Elects New Leadership At its annual meeting in July the National Governor s Association elected new leadership for 20152016. Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (D) The National Governor s has assumed Association is the primary the position of vice chair leadership forum for gov- of the Assoernors throughout the ciation. country. Its role is to Governor Provide a bipartisan Pat forum for governors McCrory to exchange views and of North Carolina (R) will serve share best practices Identify priority issues on the Executive Committee. and work with goverGovernor nors to establish biEarl Ray partisan positions to Tomblin of influence key federal West Virginpolicies and ia (D) will Develop innovative serve as vice solutions to state polichair of the cy challenges and proEconomic Development vide tailored technical assistance to gov- and Commerce Committee. ernors. The NGA Center for Best Practices disseminates the Governor policy work of the Associ- Robert ation. Several SECA gov- Bentley ernors will assume leader- of Alaship roles for 2015-2016. bama (R) will serve as vice chair of the Education and Workforce Committee. Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas (R) will serve as vice chair of the Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee. Governor Phil Bryant of Mississippi (R) was named to the board of the NGA Center for Best Practices. September 2015 Public Policy Notes Inside this issue Recess and 2 Teacher Contracts News to Note 3 New Reports 4 Why should we care about what NGA is doing and which governors are in leadership roles As the Association develops these projects many of their reports and conclusions translate directly into In April the Association announced that it policy initiatives from governors at would work with five states including Ken- the state level. It s tucky and Mississippi always wise as an adto improve the quality vocate to be aware of of their early care and the projects research education systems. and reports that can Click here to learn influence policies more about the Associ- that may be proation s early childhood posed in your state. initiatives. Recess A New Bargaining Chip in Teacher s Contracts The teachers of the Seattle Washington School District ended a nine-day strike and welcomed students to school for their first day of the new year on September 17th. This was the first strike of educators in that area in thirty years and some of the bargaining issues revolved around two issues of particular importance to our colleagues Professional pay base salary increases of 3 percent 2 percent and 4.5 percent plus the state COLA of 4.8 percent Fair teacher and staff evaluations Test scores will no longer be tied to teacher evaluations plus there is new contract language that supports teachers professional growth. Educator workload relief Additional staff to reduce workloads and provide student services. Student equity around discipline and the opportunity gap Creating race and equity teams at 30 of the district s schools. The administration s proposal to lengthen the school day Teachers will be compensated for additional work. Recess Testing According to the local press the contract dispute marked a strategy shift by teachers nationwide to take on broader issues that promote the public interest experts have said. The Seattle teachers union tapped into community protests over too much testing not enough recess and concerns about racial disparity in discipline and student performance. Source Seattle students return to school as teachers strike suspended Phoung Le Highlights (of the agreement) include You ll find the fact sheet Why Do Children Need Recess at School What Teachers and Parents Need to Know in this issue of The SECA Reporter. Click here to access a copy of the Fact Sheet. Laundromats & Early Literacy Too Small to Fail the Coin Laundry Association and its partners have committed to engage parents through approximately 5 000 selfservice laundries in underserved communities by providing them with information and tools to support their children s early brain and language development. Too Small to Fail will create a Talking is Teaching Talk Read Sing toolkit with engaging resources to help families turn laundry time into meaningful opportunities to talk read and sing with their children. Click here to learn more about this initiative. Source Seattle Education Association 9 18 2015 The loss of recess for elementary students has been a major concern of the Southern Early Childhood Association and our Editorial Committee recently produced the first of a series of fact sheets that will identify and focus on issues of particular concern for young children. Recess Guaranteed 30 minutes of recess for all elementary students Reasonable testing New policies to reduce the overtesting of our students. Public Policy Notes News to Note State of California Passes Strict Immunization Law After an outbreak of measles in Disneyland the state legislature of California has passed one of the strictest laws in the country concerning immunization requirements for school students. SB 277 was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on June 30 2015. The new law which will be implemented July 1 2016 protects every child s right to be safe at school by preventing preventable contagions from spreading at school and in the community. SB277 makes California one of three states in the nation where schools will only accept a medical exemption to legally required vaccinations for children attending school. It s Try This West Virginia Launches a New Effort toward Healthier Citizens A group of organizations local citizens and communities have joined together to launch an initiative that recognizes that far too many citizens of West Virginia are subject to debilitating chronic diseases that could be addressed through healthier lifestyle choices. The initiative takes a four-prong approach National Panel of New Principals The A new website that is available 24 7 has been launched and is packed with hundreds of ideas resources and great West Virginia models. An annual conference for local people who want to build healthier communities. Minigrants for community teams that want to carry out healthy lifestyle projects in their communities. Year round availability of resources to help local people plan projects. National Panel of New Principals is the only initiative of its kind that is dedicated to principals in the first or second year of their principalship. By participating new principals will contribute to a dynamic knowledge base about what it s really like to be a new principal today. And they ll gain insights into how their experience as a new principal compares to their peers both within their state and throughout the nation. The Panel was created by the National Association of Elementary School Principals as a way to mentor and support new professionals in these roles within education. According to an article published in Education Week one of the aha findings (from a survey) was the high percentage of new principals who said they aren t prepared to lead schools with prekindergarten programs....While 53% of the panelists who responded said their schools house pre-K programs and 65% said they were ultimately responsible for those children only 1 in 5 felt well trained in instructional methods for early learners. Source Rookie Principals Group Sheds Light on Early Career Challenges Education Week 8 19 2015 Page 3 a tremendous honor to be called a hero by the iconic magazine TIME in the company of giants of history including Edward Jenner and Jonas Salk said Dr. Pan a State Senator representing Sacramento (and sponsor of SB277). Vaccines protect our communities from diseases that crippled or killed millions of people. My efforts to strengthen immunization rates is an example of how I am keeping my promise to build a healthier and safer California. Click here for more information. On October 3 2015 HealthyBodies Healthy Spirits of West Virginia will host a meeting in Buckhannon West Virginia. This meeting is designed to support the faith based community in making good health our spiritual work. Volume 8 Issue 9 Southern Early Childhood Association 1123 S. University Ste 255 Little Rock AR 72204 Phone 800-305-SECA Fax 501-227-5297 E-mail info How to Use Public Policy Notes If you re interested in advocacy one of the most effective tools that you can have is access to information. This newsletter is provided as a service to locate and share information that we think will be helpful to you in your work at the state level and to keep you updated on what s happening in public policy. You ll find information that Compares your state to other SECA states--how you re doing what issues you have in common what the hot topics are in your states. Brings the national scene to your fingertips and gives you a perspective on how national events might impact you...You ll also receive information about where to find additional information. We hope you ll find it helpful. Children need you to be their voice in your community and state. This monthly newsletter is produced by Glenda Bean SECA Executive Director. SECA strives to provide non-partisan and non-biased information A Voice for Southern Children that is of interest to early childhood educators. Sign up at http public-policy public-policy-notes to receive notice of its availability each month. New Reports Early Social-Emotional Functioning and Public Health The Relationship Between Kindergarten Social Competence and Future Wellness Researchers found statistically significant associations between measured social-emotional skills in kindergarten and key young adult outcomes across multiple domains of education employment criminal activity substance use and mental health. Published by the American Association of Public Health. Click here for a PDF of the report. Income and Poverty in the United States 2014 The Census Bureau has released the income and poverty data for 2014. The Bureau found that the median household income remained statistically identical to the 2013 median and that poverty increased among groups that have typically not been as vulnerable married couples with children and people 25 years and older with at least an undergraduate degree. For a copy of the report click here. The 2015 Kids Count Databook is now available. Produced by the Annie E. Casey Foundation KIDS COUNT is the premier source for data on child and family well-being in the United States. You can access state specific information on indicators of child well-being that can be utilized in your advocacy efforts.