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Opportunities for Involvement

How can I register to vote?

You can obtain a registration by mail by calling your local board of elections (in Howard County 410-313-2727). You can also print a voter registration application from the State Board of Elections website.

If you are a new Maryland resident, you can register even though you do not yet have your Maryland driver’s license.

A voter registration application may be submitted to your local board of elections or the State Board of Elections at any time.

How can I help friends of education get elected?

The Howard County Board of Education is composed of seven members elected at-large for four-year terms, and a student member elected by students for a one-year term. . HCEA is involved in the election process – making recommendations to you as well as soliciting members to work the polls on election day.

HCEA cannot use even one single dollar of your dues to support our recommended candidates. You can make a difference by contributing a small amount each paycheck which will be earmarked to the Fund For Children and Public Education. Read more about the Fund.

HCEA members will be active in upcoming race and other campaigns. If you would like to work for the election of a friend-of-education, call HCEA and we can make the connection for you.

How can I be more active in my building?

Talk to your HCEA rep about becoming part of your building’s “HCEA Rep Team”. If your building does not have a rep, contact HCEA at 410-997-3440 to volunteer! We will provide you with the necessary information to do your job; we won’t leave you out there all alone!

Many buildings have an “HCEA Rep Team” to share responsibility for signing up new members, distributing information, soliciting member ideas and comments, conducting Association elections and providing assistance.

If you have questions or want more information contact HCEA at 410-997-3440.

Who chooses HCEA representatives on HCPSS committees?

HCEA is often asked to name an HCEA member to serve on a committee developing policy or practice for the Howard County Schools. HCEA’s participation gives educators another voice and adds the Associaton’s perspective to efforts to improve our schools.

HCEA President Benjamin Schmitt names representatives to such committees. If you have a special interest or area of expertise and would like to be considered, call Benjamin Schmitt at the HCEA office at 410-997-3440.

Can HCEA help me share my expertise with new teachers?

HCEA is working on many levels to help provide support to our new colleagues and members. Experienced educators can play a part by becoming part of HCEA’s Professional Development Committee.

HCEA has trained a number of its members in the “I Can Do It” program. For more information call the HCEA Office at 410-997-3440.

The IPD Committee will be also be offering a program for educators with less than 5 years of experience called SPARKS. For more information call the HCEA Office at 410-997-3440.

If you’d like additional information on becoming a participant or a member of the Professional Development Committee contact HCEA President Benjamin Schmitt at [email protected] or at 410-997-3440.

How can I get involved in HCEA lobbying activities in Annapolis?

Your elected representatives need you to help them understand the issues surrounding education and education funding. If you’d like to get regular updates on legislative issues and respond by contacting the legislators in your district (by phone, fax or e-mail!), let HCEA know.

Also, once a week during the legislative session (from early January to early April), HCEA members travel to Annapolis to be briefed about the status of current legislation affecting schools and school employees and to talk to their state delegates and senators. (A light meal is provided at MSEA headquarters.)

Come to the HCEA office after school. We leave at 4:30 PM. We return at 9:00 PM. You don’t need any special expertise. Just your passion for your career and the students you teach.

For more information, call HCEA at 410-997-3440.

Why should I contribute to the Fund for Children and Public Education?

The HCEA/MSEA/NEA Fund for Children and Public Education is the Association’s political action committee. Your Association dues dollars cannot be spent to support candidates who support public education and your future. So HCEA raises voluntary contributions to help elect friends of education to local, state and national office.

Learn more about the Fund for Children and Public Education.

Why should I care about politics?

Elected politicians, or those appointed by them, decide every one of the important education issues we deal with every day. If you ever wondered why HCEA and MSEA are involved in politics locally and statewide, just check out the list below. Need we say more?

Your salary Local Board of Education School budget As determined by General Assembly (state aid to education), county officials and Local Board of Education Amount of federal school aid President and Congress Certification standards State Board of Education (appointed by Governor) and State Department of Education Class size Budget as determined by governor and General Assembly, county and local Board of Education Length of school year State Board of Education Duty free lunch Local Board of Education Length of workday Local Board of Education Health/Dental insurance benefit Local Board of Education Mandatory classes State Board of Education and State Department of Education Social Security participation General Assembly Course content State Board of Education and State Department of Education Fringe benefits General Assembly, Local Board of Education, elected county officials Employee collective bargaining rights and due process General Assembly, Local Board of Education, elected county officials Health and safety standards General Assembly, Congress Chapter I (Title I) funding Congress Retirement benefits General Assembly, Maryland Teachers Retirement and Pension System Board Tuition tax credits General Assembly, Congress Corporal punishment policies General Assembly Worker’s compensation General Assembly Unemployment Compensation General Assembly Licensing fees General Assembly Tax credits for school supplies General Assembly

To get involved contact HCEA at 410-997-3440.

What’s a “Ten Minute Meeting”?

A “Ten-Minute Meeting” is a short meeting — we promise no more than ten minutes — where your HCEA Building Rep can bring you up to date on some HCEA issue or activity, get your input and questions and give you an opportunity to support HCEA’s advocacy.

There’s always opportunity to hang around and talk — but, if you’re busy, you can get in and get out.

The attached file contains several sample agendas.

Look for an announcement at your work site.

View sample ten minutes agendas.

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