MCEA SGO Updates!

 

Among the many challenges we face as educators in this unprecedented year is dealing with an evaluation system that is not designed for these times. Since the beginning of the pandemic, when school buildings closed and education went remote, we have advocated for maximum flexibility on all aspects of evaluation. Flexibility enables educators and administrators to focus their entire effort on reinventing education to meet the needs of students in the face of our many challenges.

Last spring, that led to major changes in how and whether evaluations occurred and what factors went into those evaluations. Standardized testing was suspended and evaluation, where it occurred, took into account the dramatically changed circumstances. We believe that remains the only reasonable approach while much of the state continues with remote or hybrid education and every school operates under conditions never imagined when our evaluation system was created.

That is why we continue to advocate for a thoughtful, flexible approach this year in all aspects of evaluation, including in the area of student growth objectives, known as SGOs. We have consistently advocated with the Department of Education for SGO requirements to be delayed until we return to more normal teaching and learning conditions. While the department has not yet agreed to entirely eliminate the SGO requirement this year, it has indicated that it expects districts to be very flexible and has reiterated that educators have until Feb. 15 to revise their SGOs to reflect the real-world conditions we and our students face. We will continue to advocate for the full suspension of SGO requirements during this pandemic.

While that advocacy continues, please refer to the following resources for more information:

Additionally, we encourage members with questions and concerns about SGOs or other issues related to evaluation to attend the regular online Member Update sessions hosted by NJEA. The next one is scheduled for Nov. 2.

Should you have any questions or concerns about any aspect of evaluation, including SGO requirements, please reach out to your local president or UniServ field representative immediately so that problems can be addressed and your rights are protected.

 

Chapter 44, BCBS info

 

The NJDPB has still not posted an Open Enrollment link or banner on the website.

There is also still no 2021 contribution calculator or worksheets.

 

However, I have discovered that Horizon has a comprehensive Open Enrollment page for SHBP & SEHBP members:

https://www.horizonblue.com/shbp/open-enrollment

It contains a contribution calculator which includes and compares NJEHP contributions:

https://www.horizonblue.com/shbp/open-enrollment/2021-premium-contribution-calculator

There is also an Open Enrollment “webinar” presentation video: 

https://www.horizonblue.com/shbp/open-enrollment/2021-open-enrollment-webinars/local-education-employee-plans (It’s also here: https://youtu.be/WLGaNGbvaog)

Their plan description/side-by-side:

https://www.horizonblue.com/shbp/sites/default/files/SEHBP_Local_Education_Employee_2021.pdf

 

Finally, please take notice of information in the 9/21/2020 Certifying Officers Letter regarding SEHBP Open Enrollment: https://www.state.nj.us/treasury/pensions/documents/coltrs/coltr0920-oe-education.pdf

Specifically:

 

"Note: It will be necessary for members who have previously waived coverage to complete an Employee Coverage Waiver/Reinstatement Form this year."

 

By the way, the NJDPB does have some useful benefits videos, specifically those relating to Amino, OptumRx (including the new NJEHP plan), Hinge Health, and the Direct Primary Care providers (Paladina, R-Health, etc.):

https://www.state.nj.us/treasury/pensions/hb-virtual-passport.shtml

 

YouTube Video for SEHBP Local Education Employees: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLGaNGbvaog&feature=emb_logo

NJEA PAC announces endorsements in NJ’s 2021 primary legislative races

The New Jersey Education Association’s 125-member political action committee (NJEA PAC) has voted to endorse three legislative candidates in the 2021 primary election, which will be held on June 8, 2021. In October 2020, NJEA PAC endorsed Gov. Phil Murphy for governor in the Democratic primary.

In Legislative District 16, NJEA PAC has endorsed Andrew Zwicker for Senate and Roy Freiman for the Assembly in the Democratic primary. In Legislative District 26, NJEA PAC has endorsed BettyLou DeCroce in the Republican primary. NJEA PAC had previously endorsed Joe Cryan for Senate in the Legislative District 20 Democratic primary.

“We are proud to support both Republicans and Democrats in their respective primaries,” said NJEA President Marie Blistan. “Our members look at results, and all of these candidates are proven advocates for students and public schools. Our endorsement comes with a commitment to work for these candidates because we know action speaks louder than words.”

“BettyLou DeCroce is a solution seeker,” said NJEA Vice President Sean M. Spiller. “Her door is open and she cares about her constituents. Educators in her district know they can approach her with ideas and she will listen. We need more of that in our politics so we are proud to support her again.”

“Andrew Zwicker and Roy Frieman have partnered in the Assembly for the last two terms to keep our schools strong and to advocate for students,” said NJEA Secretary-Treasurer Steve Beatty. “NJEA members are supporting them in their primary races for Senate and Assembly because they have demonstrated their commitment to our shared values.”

Assemblywoman DeCroce sponsored Ch. 44 and Assemblyman Freiman co-sponsored the bill that provided much-needed relief on skyrocketing health care costs for public school employees and has the potential to save $1 billion a year. All three of the endorsed candidates voted in favor of the bill.

Both Assemblyman Zwicker and Assemblyman Freiman were prime sponsors of the educational support professional subcontracting bill that NJEA vehemently supported. All three of the endorsed candidates voted in favor of the bill.

All three endorsed candidates were co-sponsors of the just cause arbitration bill and voted in favor of the bill.

All 120 legislative seats are up in the 2021 general election, as well as the governor’s seat.

Earlier this month, candidates in the Republican gubernatorial primary were invited to participate in NJEA PAC’s screening process. Based on the results of that screening, the NJEA PAC Operating Committee did not endorse any candidate for governor in the Republican primary.

In October, NJEA PAC endorsed Gov. Phil Murphy in the Democratic primary.

Despite the challenges imposed by the global pandemic, NJEA PAC maintained their standards and practices for endorsements. Candidates were invited to respond to a questionnaire about their public education and labor priorities and they were invited to attend a virtual screening with members of their local screening committee, made up of NJEA members from their legislative district. The screening committee made recommendations to the full NJEA PAC, which voted on their recommendations.