Articles posted by Capitol News

Capitol News

What happens in the state legislature, in the governor's office, and at state agencies can affect every teacher, education support professional, and student in the state. The Capitol News blog aims to provide members with timely information about what is going on in the state capitol.

Panel to Hear CTA-cosponsored Measure to Provide Equal Treatment to Small District Rural Employees

Shouldn’t all school employees be treated equally and fairly, no matter where they work?  CTA-cosponsored AB 1619, by Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), answers that question with a resounding “yes.”

The measure shores up existing law to prevent some districts and county offices – including small and rural ones – from refusing to award permanent status to employees, in some cases after decades of service to pupils.

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Individual grants up to $5,000 & Chapter grants up to $20,000 available for the 2014-15 school year

CTA members and chapters that want to support their strength-based approaches to school change are encouraged to apply for an IFT Grant for next year. This could be the individual practitioner who wants to try something new in their classroom or a team of teachers who share a common dream to advance their school’s success.

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Elk Grove teachers give “healthy hand” to their community

Elk Grove teachers gave a “healthy hand” to their community recently by hosting two Healthcare Education and Enrollment events in partnership with Assembly member Dr. Richard Pan. The Elk Grove Education Association (EGEA) joined with Pan’s office and other community organizations to help local families sign up for the Affordable Care Act/ Covered California. In preparation for the events in February and again on March 22, the association spread the word via more than 8,000 fliers to students, social media and by personally encouraging friends and families to participate. Joining the association were students from the Valley High School Health TECH Academy, who provided information on nutrition, heart health and led discussions on teen depression.

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Today, Smarter Balanced Field Testing Starts

Today, students in Grades 3-8 and Grade 11 are slated to begin taking “field test” versions of the new on-line student assessments that are synchronized with the Common Core State Standards.

More than three million students will be “piloting” the exams in math and English, according to the State Department of Education.

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Panel Approves CTA-cosponsored Family Leave Expansion Bill

Photo above - (At right at table) CTA Legislative Advocate Seth Bramble testifies in favor of AB 1562, the CTA-cosponsored measure by Assembly Member Jimmy Gomez (D- Los Angeles), during a Wednesday afternoon legislative hearing. (Photos by Len Feldman)

Members of the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee on Wednesday  approved AB 1562, a CTA-cosponsored measure to ensure that all educational employees are eligible to take family leave under the California Family Rights Act.

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CTA Urges Lawmakers to Protect Retirements and School Funding

(Photo above) Maggie Ellis (c.), an Elk Grove educator who chairs the retirement committee of the CTA State Council, CTA Board Member Toby Boyd, a kindergarten teacher, and Legislative Advocate Jennifer Baker discuss retirement issues with Assembly Member Rob Bonta  (D- Oakland ), who co-chaired the committee meeting. (Photos by Len Feldman)

CTA representatives testified before a second Joint Informational Hearing of the Assembly Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security Committee and the Senate Public Employment and Retirement Committee on Wednesday about maintaining the stability of the State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS).

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CTA Congratulates New Assembly Speaker-elect Toni Atkins; Educators Excited to Join Her in Hard Work for California’s Students and Schools

California Teachers Association President Dean E. Vogel issued this statement following the Assembly’s election of Assembly Member Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) as its new Speaker-elect earlier today:

“We have worked closely with Speaker-elect Toni Atkins since her election to the legislature, and we’re looking forward to continuing our joint efforts on behalf of California’s more than six million students and 325,000 educators."

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Significant Drop in Number of Districts in Financial Trouble, Supt. Torlakson Reports

Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson is reporting that the number of districts in financial trouble has dropped by more than 50%, year over year.

Last year at this time, 124 local education agencies (LEAs) were in either “negative or qualified” financial status, according to the First Interim Status Report for 2012-13.  By May 2013, 92 LEAs were still in a troubled financial place.

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Students or Billionaires First? Investigative Reporters Provide Answer


(Photo above) Michelle Rhee attacks teachers unions during a January 2012 “listening tour” of Sacramento.

Michelle Rhee, the former chancellor of the Washington D.C. schools, calls her organization “StudentsFirst,” but a new white paper by investigative reporters at the Center for Public Integrity suggests “Billionaires First” might be a more appropriate name.

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February Revenues Outpace Estimates by $968 Million

There’s even more good news on the revenue front: state income for February is up 20.9% over estimates, according to State Controller John Chiang.

That means California is seeing nearly a billion dollars more than projected in Gov. Jerry Brown’s January 2014 budget proposal.

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