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Monday, September 30, 2019


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  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.
constitutional change
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 The map allows one to check hate group variety as well as how many and which such groups exist in your area.
The National Women’s History Museum ( contains history lesson plans, biographies, posters and videos.

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

The Green Room ( 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.
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 (  We look forward to seeing you in March!
(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 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 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. 
For those of you desiring discussion of legislative topics there is a U.S. Forum Facebook page online at and a Group page online at
Let us know the issues that concern you and let your voice be heard!

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 for members of the House of Representatives for members of the U.S. Senate
White House 1-202-456-1111

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.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Are you making a difference? Get involved at the state and national level - Learning Advocacy skills

DKG members, do you want to improve the prospects of future generations of American women and children and educational issues? If so, it is crucial that you let your voice be heard.
  • Advocate for issues that are important to your community, state, and even nation.
  • Know the underlying legislation for your issue.
  • Know the facts and have a clear and concise message.
  • Start by writing letters to your elected officials and editors of newspapers.
  • Let your voice be heard on unfavorable actions.
  • Use personal testimonies to support your cause.
  • Develop and maintain ongoing relationships with legislators and their aides.
  • Engage the public and make your voice heard.
  • Check out the following website for more information. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Be Informed on the Legislative Process - Part IV

 Part IV:  How can DKG State Organizations evaluate bills in their state legislatures?

The DKG California Education Law/Policy Committee has established a bill evaluator program to evaluate legislation in California. This program could be replicated by other states. In keeping with the state’s legislative priorities, the legislative advocate selects bills for consideration by DKG members. The selection of bills could be done by a Legislative Coordinator or Legislative Chair. Members throughout the state apply to be bill evaluators and then are offered an on-line bill evaluator training each year. The Legislative Coordinator sends the bill numbers to the bill evaluators, who can study the bills they choose to review. There is a link on the California legislative website which offers a bill’s number, the date a bill was introduced, its title, its author, the text, its history, any amendments, and its status in the legislative process. Bill evaluators are also encouraged to contact the author’s office staff to learn more about the legislation. After reviewing the information, bill evaluators complete a Google form which asks for the bill number and its title, the basic provisions of the bill and its background, and arguments for and against the bill, as well as groups supporting and opposing the bill. The evaluator also suggests a position that DKG California might take in relation to this legislation. The position might be to support, oppose, or watch the legislation. The Educational Law/Policy Committee then reads the bill evaluators’ recommendations and contacts members to write letters of support as needed.

Other states may wish to evaluate legislation in their states and can get more information about the bill evaluator program.
·         Go to and click on “Committees.”
·         Go to the Education Law/Policy Committee. 
·         Go to Legislative “Resources” and click on “Bill Evaluator.” 

Information about the bill evaluator program and the Google form that bill evaluators submit are included on that link. 

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