MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
TEXAS STATE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION
TSTA Headquarters – Austin, TX
June 11-12, 2011
I. Call to Order
The regular meeting of the TSTA Board of Directors convened at 8:38 a.m. on Saturday, June 11, 2011, at the TSTA Headquarters in Austin, Texas.
II. Pledge of Allegiance & Moment of Silence
The Board of Directors recited the pledge to the U.S. and Texas flags.
III. Roll Call
President, Rita Haecker;
Vice President, Jason Hillman;
Region 1A, Patrick Gabbert;
Region 1B, Cathleen Stein (ALT);
Region 1C, Hilario Cavazos (ALT);
Region 1D, Gracie Oviedo;
Region 1E, Yolanda C. Molina;
Region 2A, George Cordova;
Region 2B, Noel Candelaria;
Region 2C, Chuck Isner;
Region 2D, David DeLuca;
Region 2E, Rae Nwosu;
Region 2F, James Harris;
Region 3A, Tim Tibai;
Region 3B, Ovidia Molina;
Region 3C, Gordon Gauthier;
Region 3D, Davey Vela;
Region 3E, Charlenee Hardee;
Region 4A, Barbara Davis-Staley;
Region 4B, Debra Howell;
Region 4D, Angela Davis;
Region 4E and NEA Dir., Pl. 2, Evelina Loya;
NEA Dir., Pl. 1, Frances Smith;
NEA Dir., Pl. 3, Ginny Evans;
Supervisory At Large, J. L. Martinez;
ESP At-Large, Linda Estrada;
EST At-Large, Raymond Flood;
ESP At-Large, Lee Terrazas;
TSTA-R, Johnetta Williams;
TFA, Ken Buckman;
TSTA-SP, Danielle Thorp.
Region 4C President John Brunger resigned from the board prior to the board meeting, and the Region 4C Vice President was not able to attend.
IV. Establishmemt of a Quorum
The President declared the presence of a quorum.
V. Adoption of Agenda
Motion (Cavazos/Davis) to adopt the agenda, with flexibility for the chair to move items as necessary. Approved.
VI. Introduction of Guests
President Haecker asked the guests present to introduce themselves. Guests Present: Beth Shellenberg, Jeanette Garcia-Avila, Bobby Lerma, and Harvey Yarbrough. Staff present: Kristi Taylor, and joining late were Joey Moore, Babs Didner, Richard Kouri, and Patrick Harvey. On Sunday Carmen Quesada served as the strategic planning facilitator.
VII. Approval of Minutes—April 14, 2011
Motion (O. Molina/Davis) to approve the minutes of its April 14, 2011, meeting. Approved.
VIII. Executive Session
The Board went into executive session at 8:50 a.m. and adjourned from executive session at 10:54 a.m.
In open session, President Haecker announced that the Board has approved a contract effective September 1, 2011, for Richard Kouri as the new Executive Director of TSTA.
IX. Small Group Discussion – Member Accountability
The board broke into groups to discuss accountability for member/leader attendance at meetings paid for by member dues. The board discussion focused on the following issues:
- What should the expectations/standards be?
- Should there be different expectations depending on the nature of the meeting?
- Does it matter if the dues dollars are NEA, TSTA, Region, or Local?
- How should compliance with expectations be tracked? Who is responsible for tracking?
- Who is responsible for enforcing standards?
- What are acceptable penalties or other actions to be taken? What factors should be considered?
Groups reported back the following thoughts:
- There should be a written agreement or some form of written commitment from participants.
- Clear communication of expectations should be established up front.
- It should be understood that unavoidable circumstances sometimes arise so enforcement measures should be determined on a case-by-case basis.
- The host of the event should be responsible for tracking attendance.
- Local presidents should be responsible for participating Local members, and Regional presidents should be responsible for participating Regional members.
- Participants should be responsible for reporting back to the appropriate association unit.
- Experienced leaders need to set the example for behavior.
- Consider reimbursing expenses rather than paying up front as an enforcement mechanism.
Motion (Oviedo/Vela) that TSTA send to local and regional presidents a summary of the board discussion on the issue of accountability and a template of expectations/standards for attendance, election, or participation at training sessions, workshops, conferences, governance meetings as delegates, governance meetings as committee or task force members or as a team where any dues money is expended.
Discussion: Board members also expressed that it would be useful to put this information on the website. There should be a conscientious effort for organizers of events to focus on cost savings measures. In any discussion about enforcement the tone should focus on the positive outcomes to avoid disenfranchising members. Discussion of enforcement may be premature until members have been educated and the culture has changed. This discussion should be included at the Leadership Conference. Visual reminders at events may be helpful reinforcement for participants. Leaders should always ensure that attendees feel welcome and a valued participant at events.
[Board recessed for lunch at 12:20 pm and resumed the meeting at 1:10 pm]
X. Discussion Items
A. Proposed Policy Regarding Ethnic Minority Delegates
Executive Director E. C. Walker briefly reviewed the proposed amendment and recommended that the policy manual not actually include the entire chart due to its length. Since the chart primarily will be used by staff to calculate delegate numbers, it would be an excessive use of paper to include it in the policy manual. It can be posted on the website and made available to individuals on request.
Due to the numerous small changes required within the policy and for ease in drafting, Walker proposes the repeal of the current policy and the adoption of new revised policy including proposed language.
Region 3B President Ovidia Molina recommended that the phrase “as soon as practical” in Section II.B be amended to say “following the calculation.” Walker explained that the intent was to express that allocations would be provided to local presidents as soon as possible but there is some lag time between January 15 and when the calculations can be made. He will re-draft the language.
B. Proposed Due Date for Compliance Documents
Executive Director E. C. Walker briefly reviewed the proposed amendment and pointed out that the suggested change in percentage in Subsection 1 has no practical impact to locals. Historically, locals either prepare their plan and work to achieve full funding, or they do not submit any documentation to earn partial funding.
XI. Action Items
A. Appointment of TSTA Auditor
Motion (Gauthier/Candelaria) to approve John F. Lewis, P.C., as the auditing firm for the 2010-11 fiscal year end audit. Approved.
B. Sparsity Grants
Executive Director Walker noted that there were no requests for sparsity grants beyond those automatically authorized by policy. Therefore, this item is an information item only. No action is required.
TFA President Ken Buckman asked whether TFA qualified for the grant. Walker acknowledged that because of the bylaws change to the status of TFA to treat them as a Region for certain purposes they would in fact qualify for the grant. This was an oversight. Without objection, Walker indicated that the memo (located at Exhibit 3) should be corrected to include TFA as a sparsity grant recipient.
C. Statewide Standing Committees
Executive Director Walker explained that there is no proposed change to the Board Policy on Standing Committees but it is probably a good practice for the board to review them each year to ensure the committees are relevant and do not need to be changed.
Motion (Hillman/Davis-Staley) that the TSTA Board reaffirm Board Policy IP-11 regarding Statewide Standing Committees. Approved.
XII. Reports and Information Items
A. Board Reports
Advisory Committee Report
James Harris (Region 2F) reviewed the written Advisory Committee report with the Board.
NEA Directors Report
NEA Directors Ginny Evans, Frances Smith, and Evelina Loya noted that NEA President Dennis Van Roekel was conducting RA Townhall meetings, with the next one scheduled for June 21 to discuss teacher evaluations. The NEA Board voted to recommend endorsement of President Obama in the next election. Because of this decision, California is not endorsing Van Roekel in his re-election bid for NEA President. Also, the 2012 Western Region Conference will be in Oklahoma, and Loya is on the Western Region Planning Committee.
Region Presidents Reports
Board members noted the following activities in their Locals and Regions:
- Region 3B – successfully supported candidates in the Katy School Board elections; have new members attending the RA in Chicago; re-elected Ovidia Molina as president
- Region 2C – was asked to provide input to the Superintendent after giving a presentation on bully principals at a local meeting
- Region 1C – busted an ATPE stronghold campus; were involved in local school board elections; have a new staff person; Rene De La Vina who won five grievances in one day
- Region 1D – supported and helped re-elect three school board members
- Region 1A – the superintendent (who was a TSTA member) resigned and the new school board, primarily under the board president, is gunning for AOBE and everything possible is being done to prevent AOBE members from attending school board meetings; AOBE is making plans for their summer recruitment drive
- Region 2A – had a successful school bond election
- Region 4E – had a compliance workshop for locals
- Region 4B – held elections to fill unexpired terms on the board and Ginny Evans was elected vice president; met with the new superintendent and CFO … the rumor is they will not be holding any NEO’s because they are not planning to hire any new teachers
- Region 4D – held elections and Angela Davis was re-elected NEA Dallas president; Davis attended NEA training for presidents and leaders; the Dallas Superintendent is leaving
- Region 3D – Mark McCloy will be the new region president
- Region 2D – new region officers: Tony Uzzell, President; Susan Seaton, Vice President; Maggie Uzzell, Treasurer; and Deann Henley, Secretary
- Region 3E – supported 3 of 4 school board candidates in elections (one of the ones supported got elected); superintendent is reportedly leaving; Port Arthur is going to C-Scope next year
- Region 2E – next year the region president will be Trasell Underwood; Education Austin is looking for new recruiting suggestions because they are losing 100-150 members due to RIFs and as a merged local cannot take advantage of reduced dues
- Region 1B – successfully supported winning candidates in school board elections
Quilt fundraiser beginning September 1 will culminate at the HoD in 2012. Tickets are $2.00.
TSTA-SP is preparing for the summer leadership conference. Several locals have helped them be able to send more people. Texas has one person running for the NEA-SP board.
ESP At large Directors Report
ESP At Large director Lee Terrazas reported that she was re-elected in her local.
Supervisory At Large Report
Supervisory At Large member J. L. Martinez affirmed the Region 1A report. AOBE is dealing with a hostile school board. Administrators are being re-shuffled.
B. Staff Reports
Organizing Center for Business and Technology
Chief Financial Officer Babs Didner pointed out that there have been more drops at this point in the current fiscal year than at this point last year. She warned everyone to expect a tight year-end budget and to expect a tight budget next year.
Executive Director Walker noted that, if needed, TSTA will likely use more NEA money this year than originally anticipated in order to stay in the black. He also noted that the current expectation is that NEA will continue to fully fund the third year of the Texas Project.
President Haecker also commended the Regions who have been showing membership growth since April.
Organizing Center for Affiliate and Leadership Development
OCALD Director Patrick Harvey noted that the Leadership Week schedule is changing slightly from that shown in the board packet. A revised schedule will be available soon.
Harvey also provided a status update on the AR Program, and explained that OCALD is working on putting together the baseline data necessary to implement this program. It is very complex and time-consuming and the best mechanism is for local leaders to help fill out the blue cards that field staff have been circulating.
In response to questions about Emerging Leaders, Harvey indicated that OCALD guarantees funding for only one person, but he encouraged board members to forward more names if they have identified potential leaders in their areas. If there are gaps in numbers he may try to add individuals into the program.
Organizing Center for Legal Services
General Counsel Joey Moore reported that the Help Center is handling twice as many cases this year compared to last year. Statewide issues to be aware of are:
- TASB Model Contract Language
- TAKS scores tied to summative appraisals and evaluation growth plans
Moore noted that these are also good potential organizing efforts, and the Legal department is working with OCALD to assist such efforts.
In response to a request, Moore indicated that she would include statistical call data from the previous year with her reported data for the current year so board members can compare the data.
Organizing Center for Public Affairs
Public Affairs Director Richard Kouri handed out an OpEd piece from President Haecker that was published in the Houston Chronicle and Austin American Statesman. Kouri also provided an update on the bills currently in play in the special session, the most significant being SB-8.
He noted that TASB and TASA are beginning to make a public argument that teacher unions are forcing school boards to fire people. Board members should counter any such argument by pointing out that this is a false choice because: (1) the legislature is not using its resources, such as the rainy day fund, (2) the legislature continues to give corporate tax breaks that impact the amount of money that would go to school districts, and (3) there are other local resources school districts could cut besides jobs.
Kouri also noted that SB-8 does not actually do anything, it just empowers school boards to do it. This underscores why school board elections will be extremely important. TSTA is in a very vulnerable position and cannot relax. The Day of Action was a good starting point but locals need to build on it.
Kouri then responded to questions from the board. He also noted that the new website is two months behind schedule.
Executive Director Report
Executive Director Walker referred to his written reports and then responded to questions.
In response to the question of whether or not field staff can engage in member recruitment, Walker explained that they can but leaders should understand the expectation. There are times TSTA does expect staff to participate in member recruitment, but primarily staff members are expected to be a mentor and resource as TSTA moves to member-to-member campaigning.
C. Officers Reports
Vice President’s Activities and Report – written only, no questions
In addition to her written report President Haecker shared her experience participating in the Congressional Round Table with NEA President Dennis Van Roekel in Houston. Haecker said it emphasized to her the need to educate parents and the community about what is happening in public schools.
D. Summary of State House of Delegates Actions – written report
E. 2010-11 Governance Affirmative Action Report – written report
F. Timeline for Board Retreat / Orientation / Regional Presidents Training
President Haecker pointed out that new region president training was going to be a full day training session, so attendees for that would need to come in earlier than in the past.
G. Calendar of Events
President Haecker pointed out that there are two meeting dates on the calendar that conflict with other meetings, so TSTA is attempting to change those dates. The two dates that might change are:
- October 29, 2011 – CB&E Committee meeting
- January 21, 2012 – CB&E Committee and TSTA Standing Committee meetings
XIII. Informal Session/Communications/Announcements
A. Board Correspondence – circulated at meeting
- May 16, 2011, letter from John Brunger resigning as Region 4C President due to health issues
- May 18, 2011, email from Noel Candelaria resigning as Region 2B President for the term beginning July 15, 2011
- June 7, 2011, email from Rae Nwosu resigning as Region 2E President for the term beginning July 15, 2011
B. Outgoing Board Members Recognition
The following board members, who are going off the board, were recognized at the meeting:
- Vice President, Jason Hillman
- Region 1B, Janie Lingner
- Region 1E, Yolanda C. Molina;
- Region 2D, David DeLuca;
- Region 2F, James Harris;
- Region 3C, Gordon Gauthier;
- Region 3D, Davey Vela;
- Region 4A, Barbara Davis-Staley;
- NEA Dir., Pl. 3, Ginny Evans;
- ESP At-Large, Raymond Flood; and
- ESP At-Large, Lee Terrazas
[The Board recessed at 5:45 p.m. and resumed the meeting on Sunday, July 12, 2011, at 8:45 a.m.]
XIV. New Action Items
Motion (Oviedo/Nwosu) to suspend the rules in order to add two items on the agenda for the board to consider waiving the penalty for San Antonio Alliance and Education Austin failing to submit their audit by the deadline. Approved.
Motion (Oviedo/Vela) for the TSTA Board to waive the due date for the compliance document of the audit so that the San Antonio Alliance is still eligible for the rebate.
Discussion: Region 1D President Gracie Oviedo explained that their auditor had some family issues that caused a delay in their process, and changing auditors at this stage was cost prohibitive. She indicated that she has a draft of the audit and expects to turn it in within the next two weeks. Education Austin uses the same auditor.
Motion to Amend the main motion (Isner/Y. Molina) to extend the deadline to submit the compliance documents to September 1, 2011. Approved.
Motion (Oviedo/Vela) as amended. Approved.
Motion (Nwosu/Cordova) that TSTA waive the due date for the audit, which is part of the compliance documents, so that Education Austin still receives a rebate if the audit is submitted by September 1, 2011. Approved.
XV. Strategic Planning
Consultant Carmen Quesada reviewed with the board the draft TSTA Strategic Plan. The board engaged in further training and board discussion related to the plan.
The board meeting adjourned at 11:39 a.m.