The Blog

State Revenues up Another 4.5%, Controller Chiang Reports

Voters’ approval of Proposition 30 in November 2012 is still paying dividends for California, its schools, and its students, according to the July 2014 “cash report” issued by State Controller John Chiang.

Total revenues for July, which is the first month of the state’s 2014-2015 fiscal or accounting year, are outpacing estimates in the Budget Act by $231.9 million or $4.5%.

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Urge Legislators to Help Reduce Student Absences, Truancies

You can help fight absenteeism and truancy by contacting your state Senator and asking her or him to vote for AB 1866, by Assembly Member Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima).  Use the Contact Your Legislator link at cta.org to identify your Senator and send an email in support of the measure.

 

AB 1866 will help reduce student truancy and absenteeism by creating the state’s first system for collecting and reporting student attendance data. The bill is part of a five-measure package of legislation sponsored by California Attorney General Kamala Harris to address state policy on student attendance.

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At San Jose Conference, Chapter Presidents Master New Skills, Discuss Challenges with Supt. Torlakson

More than 700 new and experienced CTA Chapter Presidents gathered in San Jose this past weekend to network, learn new skills, and find out more about the challenges facing our schools and educators in the years ahead.

The 60th annual Presidents Conference gave the presidents a chance to work with CTA leaders and staff on issues ranging from bargaining and education reform to political action.

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Write the Chronicle to Let Readers Know Why Entrepreneur Tuck, the Would-be Superintendent, is Wrong

Marshall Tuck, the entrepreneur who would like to be the state’s education chief, has fired off another attack on our basic rights, rights hit by a recent flawed ruling by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge. The ruling, in Vergara v. State of California, attacks teachers’ job protections, due process, and seniority rights.

 

In an opinion piece that is an insult to all of our highly dedicated colleagues, Tuck praises the bad ruling.

 

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Guest Blogger Jacqulla (Angel) Payne: Workshops Refresh and Inspire

This is the sixth time that I have attended the National Education Association's Representative Assembly, and each has proven to be an amazing experience being part of such a large assembly of educators - nearly 10,000!  Each time I have attended the RA, I've attended the Joint Women & Minority Issues pre-conference which begins two days before the RA.  They always have empowering keynote speakers and workshops that provide useful information, and this year I was not disappointed.

From their list of many workshops two stood out for me, which I've actually taken at a Region 3 Leadership Conference before.  It always amazes me how retaking some workshops actually makes the previous information more clear, or offers additional information which was not offered at the previous trainings, which was the case for me this time.  

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California Educators Call for Duncan Resignation

Because of his ongoing lack of leadership and advocacy on what is really needed to help our schools succeed, the California delegation to the NEA Representative Assembly has submitted a New Business Item calling for Duncan's resignation

His department's failed education agenda has focused on more high-stakes testing, grading and pitting public school children against each other based on test scores, and for continuing to promote policies and decisions that undermine public schools and colleges, the teaching profession, education professionals and education unions.

Teachers are not the problem. Teachers are part of the solution. And it’s time we have a Secretary of Education who understands and believes that.

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Guest Blogger: Jacquella (Angel) Payne describes a "Call to Action"

Denver Convention CenterWhat Does a Call to Action Look Like? A call to action looks like NEA's annual Representative Assembly where more than 8,000 educators from 51 states show up to take action on behalf of students across the country.  A group of dedicated people who were willing to drop everything and converge on Denver, Colorado, which is where the RA is taking place this year.  Willing to stand in long lines while waiting to get checked into their hotels.  Willing to miss spending the 4th of July with their family and friends.

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Guest Blogger: Corey Penrose reflects on anti-union Supreme Court decision

The news finally pushed to my phone on the bus to the airport. News I was dreading. The Harris v. Quinn decision, the potential destruction of advocacy, one more cut into the flesh of a proud and noble profession.

In my imagination I wondered: What would the RA look like if, as politico.com predicted, the Supreme Court would use the nuclear option and decimate the funding of CTA?

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Guest Blogger: Gretel Liana Rodriguez describes her experiences as a novice NEA RA attendee

Gretel Liane Rodriguez This is my third NEA Representative Assembly, and I am as excited to be here as if it were my first! My first RA was in Washington, D.C., and I think that is the best place to attend the RA for the first time. I traveled all alone and didn’t know anyone that year. I have seven friends traveling with me this year, and I am rooming with two of them. I had to beg to find a roommate my first year. Luckily, a veteran took me under her wing. 

There is one true fact about the RA: Everyone is so friendly and kind to “newbies.” You feel loved and cared for – so Shout Out if you are new so that others can help you.

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Harris V Quinn Decision Silences Workers' Voices

This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Harris v. Quinn along the narrow scope of the original case. In the 5-4 decision, the high court ruled that eight Illinois home health-care workers cannot be required to contribute union bargaining fees.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote for the majority: "Because of Abood's questionable foundations ... we refuse to extend Abood to the new situation now before us," Alito wrote. "If we allowed Abood to be extended to those who are not full-fledged public employees, it would be hard to see just where to draw the line, and we therefore confine Abood's reach to full-fledged state employees."

While NEA and CTA narrowly escaped the loss of fair share fees, other cases are in the pipeline to strip unions of rights set forth in Abood. There are corporate forces behind efforts across the country taking aim at the rights and power of middle class families. While they have money, we have the spirit and the numbers. We will not give up fighting for the rights of our members, their families, and our middle class brothers and sisters, and for a fair economy that works for all of us.

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