Okaloosa TIGER endorses Walker and Thrush for school board


Okaloosa TIGER, a political committee registered with the Florida Division of Elections has endorsed the following candidates for Okaloosa County School Board:
Rodney Walker, District 3
Melissa Thrush, District 5

Dates to remember:
Primary election, August 26
Last day to register: July 28
Early voting, August 11 through August 23
Early voting information: http://govote-okaloosa.com/?id=13
“Vote by mail” page on the Supervisor of Elections’ website:  http://govote-okaloosa.com/?id=12

General Election:   November 4
Last day to register:   October 6

American Fidelity Enrollment

The time is near for the OCEA & OCESPA Annual Benefits Review and Enrollment. Don’t miss it! The enrollment begins April 14, 2014 and will end April 18, 2014.

Please plan on meeting with the American Fidelity Representative at your school site to review your benefits and the products available to members only through payroll deduction.

Please click on this link to view the enrollment information and schedule.

OCESPA member, Lorin Lewis, Okaloosa ESP of the Year!

Lorin Lewis ESPY
OCESPA member and Pryor Middle School bookkeeper, Lorin Lewis poses with Supt Mary Beth Jackson and her principal, Jeff Palmer, as she is recognized as the 2014 Okaloosa ESP of the Year.   The annual breakfast honoring all ESPY nominees was held March 14 at the Niceville Community Center.   Congratulations, Lorin!

Salary Schedules Approved!

Educational support personnel have overwhelmingly ratified the new salary schedules according to unofficial results.   Votes from each worksite will be tallied early Thursday.    The school board ratified the agreement  Monday evening.   The new salaries will be effective as of July 1, 2013 and employees should see the increases in their September paychecks, with a retroactive payment for August (and July, if applicable).     Details of the new salary schedules can be found in the links below.

OCESPA Addendum for Ratification 2013-14 rev 08212013

Ed Support Proposed Salary Schedule 2013-14 Rev 08212013

Contract Ratifcation Vote Tuesday, August 27

All educational support employees in the OCSD are asked to vote on the proposed salary schedule (and addendum) below.  The proposed agreement was reached  between OCESPA and the school board on August 7, 2013.    The OCESPA Executive Board recommends that our ESPs vote to ratify the agreement.  Voting notices should be posted at each worksite on Thursday to notify all ESP employees of the location and time to vote on 8/27.   If approved by our bargaining unit and the school board (will vote at their 8/26 meeting), employees should see the salary increase in the September pay, with a retroactive payment back to July 1 where applicable.   Please don’t forget to vote!

OCESPA Addendum for Ratification 2013-14 rev 08212013

Ed Support Proposed Salary Schedule 2013-14 Rev 08212013

FEA applauds Senate for rejecting parent trigger

Florida Education Association (FEA) President Andy Ford praised the Florida Senate for rejecting the controversial parent trigger bill that was promoted by the for-profit charter school industry and Jeb Bush’s foundation. The measure failed on a 20-20 tie vote.

“The parent trigger measure is a political device created by venture capitalists looking to rapidly expand for-profit charter school chains. Major parent groups in Florida opposed this bill,” Ford said. “This bill depends on professional lobbyists and outside forces to use marketing forces to persuade parents in a challenged school to transfer a valuable public asset from the jurisdiction of an elected school board into the hands of a corporation.”

Ford said he was heartened by the fact that this bill was defeated for the second straight year, but remains concerned that this idea will return again in future legislative sessions.

“Public schools are our schools. They don’t belong to the school board, the Legislature, the governor or the State Board of Education, and they certainly don’t belong to a privately owned, for-profit charter-school company,” Ford said. “They belong to all of us in Florida because they’ve been bought, paid for and maintained with our hard-earned tax dollars.”

Ford said it’s past time that the state make a serious effort to properly finance our public schools and make a significant investment in our children.

“Instead of chasing gimmicks like parent trigger, we should be making the investment to ensure that every neighborhood public school is as great as it can be,” Ford said.