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Thursday, October 24, 2019

Resources for orientation of new members


 
Knowing what to tell a prospective member about DKG might seem a daunting task on your own but help is available on the international website. By looking under the Resources tab and then PowerPoints you will find a PowerPoint presentation with speaker notes entitled, “Pride in the Big Picture” which you can use at an orientation session to explain to prospective members what DKG is and the benefits of becoming a member. Another PowerPoint presentation with speaker notes that is available to use is the “ Sustaining Pride in the Big Picture” which you can use at a chapter meeting to reorient current members to the history and benefits of membership in the Society. For those who would prefer not to narrate the PowerPoints go to Videos instead of PowerPoints and you will find video versions of these two PowerPoints with narration by DKG Executive Director Nita Scott.

Friday, October 18, 2019

My Parent’s Keeper: The Guilt, Grief, Guesswork and Unexpected Gifts of Caregiving


The Educators Book Award Committee evaluates all books which meet the criteria of the award, however only one receives the award. With that in mind, the committee will share information through a blog format about books that were in the top five considered for the 2019 award. One of those books is My Parent’s Keeper: The Guilt, Grief, Guesswork and Unexpected Gifts of Caregiving by Jody Gastfriend. This book received one of the two Honorable Mention designations for 2019. The last 20 pages of this book provides a compilation of resources and strategies. Even more importantly, it stresses that no caregiver is alone; many people are on parallel paths in the journey called life.

Many of us will face the role reversal and become caregivers for those who gave us life. Note the title of the book. Gastfriend delineates the many aspects of being a caregiver. She outlines the need to address preparation for the possible change in roles through clear communication with all involved people. Too often, families avoid the conversation and make assumptions about “who” will become the caregiver. That just intensifies the stress for the “volunteer” caregiver.

Gastfriend outlines the false assumptions that many make about the “organizations” that will meet the financial costs. Many of the government programs do not cover the expenses—private pay becomes a reality that many have not included in their plans.

One of the author’s insights is poignant—a paraphrase—People do not plan to fail; people fail to plan. That is sage advice.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

The clock is ticking for International Scholarship applicants



February 1, 2020, is the deadline to apply for an International Scholarship. That date may seem months away, but the International Scholarship Committee urges applicants to get started on the process right away. Semester breaks and winter holidays may offer applicants more time to complete the application, but those same holidays can make it difficult to gather the required supporting documents for a timely submission.

Here are some key application facts to bear in mind:
  •  Applicants must be enrolled in their degree program at the time of application and must not complete the degree prior to July 30, 2020.
  • The application cannot be submitted until the university advisor has completed the program status report.
  •  University transcripts and letters of recommendation from a professional reference and the chapter president must come directly to Society Headquarters.
  • Application and supporting components must be postmarked or electronically time stamped by the February 1 deadline.
  • Applicants who submit too near the deadline have no chance to follow up on any missing components, and incomplete application packets will not be considered, no matter how worthy the applicant.

Monday, September 30, 2019

U.S. FORUM CONNECTION #189




This publication is intended for your information about issues important to education, women and children. How you choose to use the information included here is up to you.

This free newsletter is sponsored by the United States Forum of The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International. The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International is an organization of leading women educators with over 70,000 members. Delta Kappa Gamma members wishing to subscribe to this FREE newsletter should send a request to the editor Angela O. Bedenbaugh at Bedenbaugh.Angela@gmail.com.  We urge you to share this newsletter with other interested individuals who are not members of Delta Kappa Gamma or members who do not subscribe to this publication.
IN THIS ISSUE
constitutional change
HEALTH INSURANCE UPDATE
pAYCHECK FAIrNeSS ACt
STUDENT LOANS
POSSIBLE NEW MEMBER OF CONGRESS
HATE IN AMERICA
FREE CLASSROOM RESOURCES
NATIONAL LEGISLATIVE SEMINAR
WHISTLEBLOWER P.S.
CONTACTING YOUR LEGISLATOR
FORUM FACEBOOK PAGE LINK
FORUM WEBSITE
CALLING YOUR LEGISLATOR
constitutionAL change
Most of us are aware of the process of amending the U.S. Constitution. (I’m still waiting for the Equal Rights Amendment to pass.) Article V of the U.S. Constitution provides for the convening of a “Constitutional Convention” to substantially change or even to rewrite the Constitution. Earlier this year I received snail mail proposing convening a national Constitutional Convention.  Apparently, this has been receiving some attention in some of the states.  I was amazed to learn that the 2019 Mississippi Legislature was considering this. That there was considerable dissent in that body does not surprise me.  I do not know what is happening in other states, but this whole concept came as a great shock.  It would seem that a total rewrite would neglect to cover some situations which are now covered either by law or by the original constitution.
HEALTH INSURANCE UPDATE
The Affordable Care Act is still in the courts.  The individual mandate (anyone not subscribing to ACA) would pay a penalty.  The individual mandate was in effect through 2018 but disappears as of 2019.  Through the end of 2019 ACA provides
  • Young adults up to age 26 can be insured on their parent’s health insurance
  • There would be no annual and lifetime caps on benefits
  • Pre-existing conditions are covered
  • Coverage for mental health and addiction treatment services
  • Federal support for expanded Medicaid eligibility
  • Premium subsidies for low- and moderate-income individuals and families to purchase coverage and cost sharing subsidies to lower out-of-pocket costs

Whether the lawsuit (Texas vs Azar) eliminates ACA or not will be determined by the Supreme Court which will not hear the case until 2020 at the earliest.  If ACA is struck down, there is currently no health legislation to replace it.
The American Medical Association has its own recommendations.  “Continue efforts to cover the uninsured, and ensure that any future proposals do not cause individuals covered as a result of Affordable Care Act provisions to become uninsured, maintain key insurance market reforms, such as pre-existing conditions, guaranteed issue and parental coverage for young adults, stabilize and strengthen the individual insurance market, ensure that low/moderate income patients are able to secure affordable and adequate coverage, ensure that Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and other safety net programs are adequately funded, reduce regulatory burdens that detract from patient care and increase costs, provide greater cost transparency throughout the health care system, incorporate common sense medical liability reforms and continue the advancement of delivery reforms and new physician-led payment models to achieve better outcomes, higher quality and lower spending trends.”
Currently during the Democratic debates Medicare For All has been discussed.  One main part of the debate is whether or not people could keep their private insurance.  It is not clear whether the private insurance option would cover preexisting conditions and/or denial of coverage for selected major medical expenses.
pAYCHECK FAIRNESS ACT
The Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R.7) which directs the EEOC to collect compensation data on employees with respect to the sex, race, and national origin from employers. This could be used to enforce laws prohibiting pay discrimination. The bill has passed the House with 239 cosponsors, and it was sent to the Senate where it has not been brought up for a vote. An act of this type has been introduced in every session of Congress for at least the last ten years.  This legislation would begin addressing the pay discrimination identified in the case of Lilly Ledbetter which was partially remedied by the Lilly Ledbetter Act of 2009.
Background: Lilly Ledbetter worked as a supervisor for Goodyear Tire and Rubber.  After she retired, she got an anonymous note informing her that she had been paid substantially less than men with similar experience and seniority. (She was paid $3,727 per month whereas men were being paid $4,286 to $5,236 per month.)  She sued the company for back pay, but she eventually lost the suit in the Supreme Court because her suit was filed over 180 days after she received her last paycheck.  Although the Supreme Court majority ruled against her, Justices Ginsburg, Stevens, Souter and Breyer ruled in her favor. In an unusual move, Justice Ginsburg wrote the dissent and read it from the bench. She argued against applying the 180-day limit to file pay discrimination, because discrimination often occurs in small increments over long periods of time. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 lifted the time limitation on filing pay discrimination suits; however, it did not allow Mrs. Ledbetter to receive a settlement for back pay nor did it attack the problem of sexual pay discrimination.  Lilly Ledbetter not only lost the back pay due to discrimination, but her Social Security was and is based on her lower pay thus reducing her continued income over the rest of her lifetime.
STUDENT LOANS
There are several bills in Congress dealing with student loans.  These include the Student Loan Repayment Assistance Act of 2019 (H.R.3098), The Student Loan Interest Tax Deduction Expansion Act (H.R.1070), Student Loan Forgiveness (H.R.3098), The Student Borrower Bankruptcy Relief Act of 2019 (S.1414), and the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act (S.768). None has been brought to the floor for a vote in either house.
POSSIBLE NEW MEMBER OF CONGRESS
In the 1835 Treaty of New Echota, the Cherokee Nation was granted the right to appoint a delegate to serve as a member to the U.S. House of Representatives.  On September 5, 2019 the first person to fill this position was selected by the tribe.  The next step in the process would be whether the House of Representatives will seat this delegate. If seated this delegate would presumably have the same rights as delegates from the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.  These officials cannot vote on the House floor, but they can serve on and vote in committees, introduce legislation, and participate in debate.
HATE IN AMERICA
There are currently many hate groups and different types of hate groups.  After 9/11 the federal government found only one organization which had been tracking terrorist leaning groups in the U.S.  This was the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama and founded in 1971.  In the intervening years the center has been involved in a number of law suits ranging from crowding in juvenile detention facilities, killings of gay people, school discrimination problems and other problems most of which they have won. The center has recently published maps showing various types of hate groups.  It can be found at https://www.splcenter.org/hate-map. The map allows one to check hate group variety as well as how many and which such groups exist in your area.
FREE CLASSROOM RESOURCES
The National Women’s History Museum (https://www.womenshistory.org) contains history lesson plans, biographies, posters and videos.

The Energy Teacher Resource (http://energyteacher.org) created by the Association of Science Technology Centers designed for teaching grades K-12 provides videos and
energy literacy resources.

The Green Room (https://bit.ly./2Goy/OA) is another free K-12 resource which provides suggested classroom activities created by the National Wildlife Federation to provide suggestions on activities dealing with wildlife, habitat, and ecosystems.
NATIONAL LEGISLATIVE SEMINAR
Now is the time to make plans to attend the National Legislative Seminar. The seminar will be held at the Holiday Inn Crystal City on March 15-18, 2020.  The registration form and additional information can be found on the United States Forum website (www.usforumdkg.org).  We look forward to seeing you in March!
WHISTLEBLOWER P.S.
(H.R.3625)  PCAOB Whistleblower Protection Act of 2019 passed the house on September 23. 2019
As of September 1, many bills have been passed by the House.  Few have been brought to the floor of the Senate for a vote. 
To obtain a daily update on legislation that is pending, go to www.govtrack.us and sign up for legislative updates.  You can choose to get updates on topics of interest via email. When you open the email and click on a bill title, you get a summary of the bill. If you don’t want daily updates, you can go to the site and click on a section called “Find Legislation that Affects You.”  This site uses the congress.gov information provided by the Library of Congress and organizes it for you.  When you click on a bill here, the sponsor, the history, and the current status of the bill in the legislative process are given.  The site also gives information about the likelihood of the bill becoming a law and includes legislators’ statements in regards to this piece of legislation. 
****************************************************************************************************
FORUM FACEBOOK PAGE LINK
For those of you desiring discussion of legislative topics there is a U.S. Forum Facebook page online at http://www.facebook.com/DKG.US.Forum and a Group page online at
https://www.facebook.com/groups/2269724846587657/?source_id=349823881770007
Let us know the issues that concern you and let your voice be heard!

CONTACTING YOUR LEGISLATOR
If you wish to contact your senator to express your opinion, you can call the Congressional Switchboard at 1-202-224-3121.  [This is not a toll-free number].  Another way of contacting your senator is via email or a telephone number which is not toll free both of which are available at
Email access and addresses
http://www.house.gov/ for members of the House of Representatives
http://www.senate.gov/ for members of the U.S. Senate
White House 1-202-456-1111
FIVE CONSTITUENT CONTACTS WILL CAUSE A LEGISLATOR TO PAY SERIOUS ATTENTION TO A GIVEN ISSUE.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Chapter Membership Chair Guidance

 
Are you a chapter membership chair looking for guidance into your role? Headquarters recently updated and combined the booklets Guidelines for Chapter Presidents, Guidelines for Chapter Treasurers and Guidelines for Membership Chairs into one booklet called Guidelines for Chapter Leaders. The booklet can be obtained in two ways either by ordering a copy from the DKG Store or by going to the international website and going to the Resources tab then Chapter Tools and either downloading the booklet to your computer or printing it out. Within the booklet you will find information on what the duties of your position entail, how to manage membership records, where to find member resources and how to maintain a strong chapter just to name a few topics.

Another helpful tool is the Chapter Leaders Calendar also located under the Resources tab and then Chapter Tools. This calendar highlights various deadlines for chapter officers month by month.

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