The Federal Education Association’s idea to host public meetings about staffing changes at Defense Department schools is on hold.

Citing "confusion and uncertainty" over proposals to change middle school and kindergarten class sizes, teachers union President Michael Priser proposed the meetings last month to the head of the Department of Defense Education Activity.

But DODEA Director Shirley Miles has declined the union’s offer, Priser said Thursday.

"The invitation to Dr. Miles remains open," Priser said. "We feel there is a need for public meetings with her and FEA to discuss with parents and the community decisions that have an impact on the children of our military personnel."

Beginning in the fall, a task force will begin looking into several middle school issues, including staffing and the pupil-to-teacher ratio. It will not make any recommendations until after the 2009/2010 school year.

While Miles will not hold town hall meetings with the union, she will continue to participate in such meetings with commanders and promptly answers questions from parents and teachers, said DODEA spokeswoman Elaine Kanellis.

"Dr. Miles also accepts many impromptu requests to meet with principals, teachers, superintendents, and association representatives on her travels," Kanellis said. "She welcomes any opportunity to participate in command-sponsored town hall meetings and commanders know they can contact her at any time with regard to any issue."

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