Articles posted by CTA

California Teachers Association

Founded in 1863, the California Teachers Association has become one of the strongest advocates for educators in the country. CTA includes teachers, counselors, school librarians, social workers, psychologists, and nurses. These educators in the K-12 school system are joined by community college faculty, California State University faculty, and education support professionals to make CTA the most inclusive and most powerful voice of educators in the state.

Pension legislation signed

Educators may notice a little extra going out of their paychecks into to the California State Retirement System (CalSTRS) beginning this month, but that’s a good thing since the money will not only come back to them at retirement, it will stabilize the retirement system into the future.

After years of attempts to close a shortfall in the teachers retirement system that has mounted to $74 billion, the Legislature in June approved Gov. Jerry Brown’s pension plan that provides increased contributions from educators, school districts and the state.

“For roughly the last 10 years our highest priority and our members’ most pressing concern has been to secure the long-term stability of the Defined Benefit Program,” said Harry Keiley, chair of the Teachers’ Retirement Board and member of the Santa Monica-Malibu Classroom Teachers Association.

The historic action calls for member contributions to increase from 8 to 10.25 percent over the next three years. School and community college district contributions will increase from 8.25 percent to 19.1 percent over seven years while the state’s portion would increase from the current 3.041 percent to 6.3 percent in the next three years. The increases began to take effect July 1.

Read more »

First Local Control Funding Formula Calculations Released Today

Local educational agencies (LEAs) now have access to the first official calculations of how the $42 billion in school funding under the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) will be distributed.

“California’s new funding formula puts more decisions about education funding where they belong—in the hands of schools, parents, and teachers—and dedicates more resources to students most in need,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. “The information we are providing today will help administrators, teachers, and parents as they work together to help all students succeed.” 

The calculations for school districts and charter schools are displayed in the traditional funding exhibits. In addition, LEAs now can review a "LCFF Funding Snapshot", a step toward transparency and accountability, providing a concise two-page summary of the main components of the LCFF transitional funding and information on each LEA’s attendance, LCFF entitlements, and funding sources. The data are also translated graphically.

Read more »

North Hollywood Educator To Receive National Recognition

Mel HouseMel House, a physical education educator at Rio Vista Elementary School in North Hollywood, CA, will receive the 2015 California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence, one of public education’s most prestigious awards.

House is among 39 public educators who will be honored at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala to be held in Washington, DC on February 13, 2015. One of public education’s most anticipated events, the gala attracts more than 850 of the nation’s leaders from public education, philanthropy, and the private sector.

Read more »

CTA/NEA Retired Presents Scholarships Honoring Russo

CTANEA Scholarship RussoMembers of the CTA/NEA Retired Association presented two $1,000 scholarships Thursday to two college students in a Bay Area ceremony. This was the first annual awarding of the Sharilynn Gardella Russo Memorial Scholarship to honor the education contributions of Russo, who worked for over 35 years as a speech and language pathologist and audiologist for the Contra Costa County Office of Education.

There is currently a shortage in California of speech and language pathologists and their assistants. “With these CTA scholarships we hope to encourage students to enroll in these programs,” the CTA/NEA Retired said in a statement, and the two students receiving the scholarships are going on to study in this field. The award event was held in the Sharilynn Gardella Russo Conference Room at the CTA Regional Resource Center office in Concord. Russo died in a car accident in 2012 shortly after being elected president of CTA/NEA Retired.

Read more »

NEA President: We Won't Give Up

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel responds to the latest round of attacks on the teaching profession and our union:

"I have a message for those people who would seek to reduce children to a test score and teaching to a technological transaction. You are mistaken if you think we will see your attacks and get discouraged, that we will read the headlines and give up. You may put students in the name of your campaigns but that doesn’t mean you really care about the millions of children in our public schools. If you did truly care, you they would look at the more than half of public school children who live in poverty and wage your crusades against the inequity in our economy." 

Watch the video to hear his full statement:


Read more »

Vergara Verdict Flawed, Like Lawsuit Itself

Like the Vergara lawsuit itself, today’s ruling is deeply flawed. CTA, CFT and the state of California will appeal. We will appeal on behalf of students and educators. Circumventing the legislative process to strip teachers of their professional rights hurts our students and our schools. 

During the nearly two-month trial, numerous defense witnesses, including superintendents, principals, teachers, and nationally-recognized education policy experts testified that these laws work well and benefit students in well-run school districts all over the state. The plaintiffs put on administrators from poorly-managed school districts like Oakland, who attempted to blame the challenged statutes for their district’s problems, rather than poor management and an incredibly high teacher and administrator turnover rates.

Read more »

Former CTA Board Member Cynthia Peña Dies After Long Illness

Cynthia PenaCynthia Peña of Pacific Grove, an award-winning Salinas educator and former elected member of the CTA Board of Directors, died Sunday after a long and courageous battle with cancer. She died at a hospital in Burlingame, surrounded by family and friends. She was 56.

Her enthusiastic dedication to her students and to the thousands of coastal-area educators she represented on the CTA Board for 10 years, up to June of 2012, was an inspiration to many, said Dean E. Vogel, president of the 325,000-member California Teachers Association. “Cynthia will be remembered for her love of the teaching profession, her passion for union work, and her classroom commitment to her countless students over the years.”

Read more »

300 California Groups Back Common Core

Just as CTA members are reading their latest California Educator magazine all about the value and challenges of the Common Core State Standards, there is good news that more than 300 California business, nonprofit and children’s groups have signed a statement supporting the landmark new standards.

Circulated by the nonprofit children’s group Children Now, the full statement of signers represents an impressive array of community and business groups, including the California State PTA and various chambers of commerce, the San Diego NAACP, several urban school district superintendents, and various chapters of United Way. Read this EdSource story about the outpouring of support.

The statement says Common Core “will benefit students by having fewer, clearer, and deeper standards and require a greater use of analysis, critical thinking and real-world skills.” The petition also backs the Smarter Balanced assessments of the standards because the tests “are designed to help educators and parents know if students are progressing and understanding what they are supposed to be learning.”

Read more »

Degrees Not Debt

Every American deserves a fair shot at higher education. But student debt has become a barrier to accessing the American Dream.

We believe need-based student aid must be increased, student loans must be made more affordable, public service must be encouraged through expanded loan forgiveness, institutional aid must be increased.

Read more »

CTA Members: Thank You for GOTV Efforts

A letter from CTA President Dean Vogel: 

I want to thank you all for getting out and exercising your right to vote yesterday, and for all the work you did to get colleagues, family and friends to the polls. California students and educators were victorious in all our key races. 

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson came in first. As expected with three candidates in the race, no one got the 50 percent majority necessary to win in the primary. Torlakson will face corporate education reformer and school privatizer Marshall Tuck in November. So please, keep talking about Tom even now. This will be a big battle, and we expect a lot of outside special-interest money for Tuck.

Read more »

Every child deserves a chance to learn and no child succeeds alone.

© 1999- California Teachers Association