From Your Counsel, 2016

Outlining the State Questions

Orginally printied in the October/November 2016 issue of The Education Focus

There are seven state questions appearing on the ballot for the upcoming November 8 election. This article summarizes each of the state questions appearing on the ballot, which will hopefully provide useful information before you enter the ballot booth to cast your vote. The state questions are summarized in the order that they will appear on the ballot. Full article.

Members have access to great legal protection for issues on or off the job

Originally printed in the August/September 2016 issue of The Education Focus

Back-to-school events occurring this time of year invariably involve questions about what kind of legal services and legal protection OEA provides its members. In other words, what else am I getting for my dues dollars? If for some reason belonging to an organization that believes public education is the cornerstone of a democratic society, whose vision is a great public school for every student and who believes that individuals are strengthened when they work together for the common good is not incentive enough to be a member, hopefully the following overview of the legal services available to every OEA member will close the deal. Full article.

Legislature passes TLE changes

Originally printed in the June/July 2016 issue of The Education Focus

The Oklahoma Legislature made several significant changes to the Oklahoma Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Evaluation System (TLE) during the last legislative session. HB 2957 has been signed by the governor and becomes effective July 1, 2016. This article outlines the major changes in the TLE for 2016-17 and subsequent school years. Full Article.

Make Certification Renewal a Priority

Originally printed in the April/May 2016 issue of The Education Focus

It is that time of year again; time to worry about those pesky housekeeping matters that, if left unattended, can cost you your job. At the top of that list is the renewal of your teaching certificate. Standard teaching certificates are valid for a five year period and expire on June 30 of the fifth year. You are required to have a valid teaching certificate on file with a school district and you can check with your school administration to determine the expiration date of your teaching certificate if you don’t already know or have a copy of your certificate. Full Article.

What If My School District Runs Out of Money?

Originally printed in the March 2016 issue of The Education Focus

With the current climate of sparse education funding becoming a stark reality year after year, many questions arise as to what will happen to an employee’s pay if a school district either runs short of money during the fiscal year, or runs out of money before the end of the current fiscal year. There are several remedies available to address either scenario. Full Article.

Additional Protection

Originally printed in the February 2016 issue of The Education Focus

Every classroom teacher in Oklahoma is one false accusation away from job loss, certification loss or a jail cell. Sadly, many school districts lack the funding or the fortitude to back a teacher’s version of events and simply suspend immediately and await the outcome of a criminal proceeding or presume the worst and set the case for termination. Full Article.

Not all insurance policies are created equal

Originally printed in the December/January 2015-16 issue of The Education Focus

You would not buy a homeowner’s or automobile insurance policy without first obtaining a copy of the policy and its terms – and an educator employment liability (EEL) policy is no different, except that there are vast differences in what various EEL policies provide and what they cover. Full Article.


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