News Messenger 10-16-15

Open Enrollment Extended Because of More Keenan Mistakes
Deadline Extended to October 27th    
Ongoing problems with Keenan, the outside broker the District hired to manage its health insurance, has forced the District to extend the open enrollment period until October 27th.

Credentialed educators who logged on to Benefit Bridge were presented with health insurance options that weren’t available and denied access to some plans that actually should have been available.  Allegedly Keenan assured the District that options would be correct prior to the beginning of the open enrollment period, but to the surprise of very few Keenan/Benefit Bridge failed to deliver.

The health plan choices are:  (a) Kaiser, or (b) HealthNet.  The dental choices are: (a) Delta Dental or (b) Premier Access.  Our settlement with the District resulted in the restoration of Premier Access as a dental plan choice.  In the past, Premier Access was a buy-up plan, meaning that an educator would be responsible to the price difference between Delta Dental and Premier Access, but now both plans are available at no cost to the teacher.  Unfortunately, Keenan/Benefit Bridge still hasn’t been updated to make Premier Access available to select as an option, even though the District has agreed to reinstate Premier Access.  (You can review a summary of the Premier Access benefit by clicking here.)

We have asked the District and the Board how many mistakes Keenan can make before it’s time to replace them?

We look forward to their response.

Athletic Grants Available
Deadline is January 15, 2016   
Public high schools in California can score up to $3,000 for their sports departments with a California Casualty Thomas R. Brown Athletics Grant. California Casualty, provider of the CTA Auto and Home Insurance Program, is providing $100,000 to offset budget cuts that have affected high school athletics.  Details and entry forms can be found by clicking here.  Applications must be received by January 15, 2016 for 2015/2016 consideration.
This past year, 14 California Schools shared $17,000 to offset participation fees, buy new uniforms and purchase concussion preventing helmets. Since its inception, more than $400,000 has been awarded to hundreds of public high schools across the U.S.
Update from Our Human Rights Committee
October is LGBT Month!    
October is LGBT History Month! Here is an easy way to show that you are an ally. Put a rainbow sticker on your name badge! If you are at the district office, stop by the Connect Center (next to the Enrollment Center). Ask for Emily Herr (LGBT Support Services) for stickers and support by clicking here.

October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Triple Negative Breast Cancer when I was 33. District employees were an amazing support to me, and  I would like us to continue our great work. Hope Scarves is run by a young woman with Stage 4 breast cancer, who collects and distributes scarves and stories of hope to people going through chemotherapy. If you would like to donate, please send your scarves in inter-district mail to Melanie Bean, Multilingual Dept. You are awesome!  For more information you can click here.


Melanie Bean
SCTA, Human Rights Chair

Printing Needs?
McClaskey Adult Ed Graphics Arts Can Help
McClaskey Graphic Arts, located on the corner of 53rd and J Street in the A. Warren McClaskey Adult Center, is a full service print shop that trains and empowers individuals with developmental disabilities.

This training increases their sense of independence and personal fulfillment. The aim of our program is to provide quality print services to local businesses at a reasonable cost while providing useful job skills.

Our services include the following: brochures, newsletters, prescription pads, appointment cards, NCR forms, remit envelopes, flyers, note pads, community performance programs, tickets and business collateral including letterhead, business cards and envelopes.

Additional services include copying, collating, stapling, two and three hole punch as well as comb binding. Please give us a call for your large and small printing needs. Serving the greater Sacramento area since 1979.

For great rates contact:

Kathy Harris
McClaskey Adult Center
5241 J Street
3rd Notice:  Special Education/Appendix D Committee

Planning Meeting October 22nd, Meeting with District Oct. 28th

Picking up with the important work we began at the end of the last school year, we are reactivating our Special Education/Appendix D committee.  Understanding and revising the District’s Special Education services certainly is an issue that is of great concern to educators throughout the District.

To get the process started, we are first holding a meeting for those SCTA-represented educators who are interested to prepare for our upcoming meeting with the District.  That planning meeting will be at the SCTA office (5300 Elvas Avenue) on Thursday, October 22, beginning at 4 p.m.

Our meeting with the District is scheduled for Wednesday, October 28th, at 4 p.m., with the location to be determined.

Your input and involvement is encouraged!

Disability Insurance Opportunity for New Teachers
If you’re a newly hired CTA member this year, you may be eligible for a special, limited-time opportunity to apply for CTA-endorsed Disability and Life Insurance from Standard Insurance Company (The Standard).
If you apply within your first 180 days of starting your new job, eligible CTA members can get up to $200,000 of Life Insurance coverage without answering any health questions.

You can also apply for Disability Insurance, which can help with the everyday bills like your mortgage and utilities, that continue even when you can’t work — expenses that health insurance won’t cover. The CTA-endorsed Disability Insurance plan was specially designed to address the gaps in coverage that many California educators face.

Remember, you only have 180 days to apply.

For costs and further details of the coverage and this enrollment opportunity, including exclusions, benefit waiting periods, any reductions or limitations and the terms under which the policy may be continued in force, call The Standard’s CTA Customer Service Department at 800.522.0406, or click here to apply online.

2nd Notice:  School Site Council Training November 2nd at SCTA 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

For Teachers and Parents!

SCTA will be offering a workshop for School Site Council members to learn their legal obligations and gain skills and knowledge to participate in their School Site councils within the Local Control Formula (LCAP / Local Control Accountability Plan).

The workshop will cover:

  • The Local Control Funding Formula
  •  Single Plan for Student Achievement
  • Program Improvement
  • School Change

The goal of this training is to educate, advocate and empower all school site council members to understand their roles and importance to the school.  


Parents serving on school site councils are invited and encouraged to attend.

The training will be held at SCTA, 5300 Elvas Avenue, Sacramento 95819.

Light dinner will be provided.


Training will be provided by Jane Robb, from the Instruction and Professional
Development Department of the California Teachers Association.

Reminder: Tutorial Opportunities for Sac City Teachers.
NCLB Supplemental Educational Services (SES) Agreement Finalized
Our agreement with the District regarding the NCLB Supplemental Education Services (SES) Teacher Tutors is in place.  The agreement can be viewed here.

The program will pay participating teachers $70 per hour for twenty-nine (29) hours.  Unlike other SES programs, some of which have been less than optimal, this program–where the District is program provider–has the support of SCTA.

For a flyer that provides an oversight of the program, click here.

For more details on the expectations for participating teachers, click here.

If you are interesting in applying, you can click here.

The application deadline is October 27th.




What Can You Do? The SCTA Strike Video



Sacramento City Teachers Association