President Vogel: School Funding Formula Changes Are Historic
The governor’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) can bring about historic changes in California public education funding that will help our students of greatest need and all students, President Dean E. Vogel said in his speech to State Council delegates.
“For too long, too many at-risk kids have received too little attention from this state,” Vogel said. “We have an historic opportunity to help change that for our students, for their families and for generations to come.”
While CTA is supportive of the goals of the governor’s LCFF plan submitted as part of his state budget proposal, Vogel made it clear that there are some concerns that need to be worked out as legislators rush to reach a final state budget agreement by June 15. “As your president, I guarantee you, we will never support anything – including a district accountability plan – that undermines our collective bargaining rights or gives over-reaching authority to county superintendents. It’s not going to happen.”
Council added an addendum to the CTA state budget principles adopted in April to reiterate educators’ concerns about increasing base grant funding and accountability issues related to the LCFF.
Reminding delegates about CTA’s long history of fighting for more resources for public schools over the union’s 150-year history, Vogel said the governor’s approach of targeting at-risk students reflects our core values. It parallels the goals of the CTA-sponsored Quality Education Investment Act (QEIA) of 2006, which applies nearly $3 billion in targeted reforms such as smaller class sizes at hundreds of at-risk schools over eight years.
Also, Vogel updated Council about CTA’s ongoing strategic long-term planning process, saying the Strategic Planning Group has identified eight areas on which to focus.
Watch video excerpts of President Vogel’s speech here.
Executive Director Doggett Says Farewell to Council
After 18 years as CTA’s top executive and 46 years as a teacher and passionate union leader, CTA Executive Director Carolyn Doggett gave her final speech to State Council and was honored by several speakers. She is retiring Sept. 1.
The first woman executive director in the history of CTA, Doggett said it was “an honor and privilege” to serve California’s educators and be at the helm when so many key political victories were won by so many educators pulling together across the state. She noted how the media refers to CTA as “powerful” and a “relentless political machine.”
“I proudly wear those terms as a badge of courage,” she said. “They speak to the strength of this organization, the power of collective action and the tenacity of teachers.”
As her CTA bio shows, Doggett thrives on politics. Some highlights that she recalled at Council: On her watch, starting in 1995, CTA’s “Don’t Crowd Our Kids” campaign led to the state’s landmark Class Size Reduction Program for lower grades; two school voucher ballot measures were killed; three “paycheck deception” measures to silence teachers’ political voices were defeated; in 2005, CTA fought and beat three destructive ballot schemes pushed by Arnold Schwarzenegger; in 2006, the CTA-sponsored QEIA law to help at-risk students was passed, funded by $3 billion from the settlement of the union’s lawsuit against the state for shortchanging schools; and in 2012, the passage of the governor’s Prop. 30 to provide $47 billion in funding for public schools and local services over seven years.
To the applause of Council delegates, Doggett said, “First, foremost and always, our members are our greatest strength. We have, from our inception 150 years ago, always been willing to deal with the tough educational and social issues.”
Former CTA presidents Barbara E. Kerr and Wayne Johnson praised her leadership skills, which were partly honed in Alaska as a teacher and union activist. Kerr remembered how Doggett, as president of the Anchorage Burrough Education Association, was told by a man at a school board meeting to sit down, that women were not allowed to speak. She refused to sit down.
“And she’s been standing up for people ever since,” Kerr said.
Johnson recalled how Doggett marshaled 10,000 CTA members for a rally in Sacramento in 2000 that resulted in an extra $1.84 billion going to public schools from the state’s huge budget surplus at the time. “This woman has passion and integrity,” he said. “She can fight with the best of them. She is always on the right side.”
Watch a video tribute to Doggett’s eventful career here.
In other actions, CTA State Council:
- To address concerns about the disproportionate suspensions and expulsions of African-American and Latino students, delegates revised CTA policy, as recommended by the Civil Rights in Education Committee, to add this line about using these penalties: “This decision should be used only as a last resort and only when psychological, emotional or physical safety is compromised.”
- Directed the CTA president to write a letter to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges to express concerns with the commission’s sanctioning of California community colleges at a rate that is16 times more than commissions in other regions across the nation.
- Adopted collective bargaining goals for CTA chapters for 2013-14, as recommended by the Negotiations Committee.
- Elected Erika Jones as the NEA Alternate Director, Seat 3 , for a term of September 1, 2013, - August 31, 2016. Delegates also elected Chris Aguilar as CTA/ABC Committee Member District F for a term of June 26, 2013 – June 25, 2016.
- Recommended incumbent Mike Honda for Congressional District 17 in the June 2014 Primary Election.
- Celebrated the national LGBT Pride month of June with a presentation from several Council members about the struggles of the LGBT civil rights movement. June is pride month in honor of the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan, a turning point in the movement.
- Adopted the 2013-14 CTA budget, which reflects an annual $3 per member dues decrease as calculated by the dues formula.
- Honored 25 teacher union activists with state We Honor Ours (WHO) Awards for their respective CTA Service Center Councils.
- Recognized Paula Monroe of the Redlands Education Support Professionals Association as the CTA Education Support Professional of the Year.
- Honored these activists with the Ted Bass Teacher in Politics Awards: Overall Award, Brannin Dorsey; Getting Others Involved, Ann Katzburg; State Priorities, Linda Krause; Local Priorities, Stacy Georgetti and Kim Lusk; Coalition Building, Laura DuPre.
- Bestowed these Joyce Fadem Chapter in Politics Awards: For small CTA chapter, Alameda Education Association; medium chapter, Association of Placentia-Linda Educators; large chapter, Modesto Teachers Association; rookie chapter, Castro Valley Teachers Association.
- Honored the winning journalists in the 54th annual CTA John Swett Awards for Media Excellence competition at a special reception in their honor.