Legislation

CTA, Learning First Call for Thoughtful Implementation of Common Core Standards

Dean Vogel, a kindergarten teacher and president of the California Teachers Association, and Cheryl Scott Williams, the executive director of Learning First Alliance, a nonprofit based in Alexandria, Va. in a Sacramento Bee Op/ed are urging districts to implement the new Common Core State Standards thoughtfully by learning from teachers about what works for students.

The two call on parents and community members to give districts time to implement the new curriculum effectively before insisting on new testing programs.

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Stress

 It was a while ago. I was working on a story on class size reduction. A chapter president had recommended I visit a teacher he knew with a crowded classroom. I arranged to visit with a photographer and asked the teacher to notify his principal, which is standard procedure.  The principal in the Sacramento school came out to greet me as I was signing in and asked us to step into his office. I figured he was going to offer some background about the school and additional information.

Was I in for a surprise!

How dare I interfere with instructional minutes, he scolded me. I’d better be quick, he let me know, adding that he resented the intrusion. I explained that our purpose was to increase awareness so the state would provide more money for class-size reduction, and he called me a liar.

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Well-intentioned Political “Reform” Bill Would Undercut Our Voices

In the last days of the legislative session, lawmakers in the Assembly are poised to take up a CTA- and labor-opposed bill that could undermine the ability of organizations like teacher unions to speak out in the political arena for public education, students, and our members.

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School Facilities Bond Measure Stalls in Legislature

The reports are heart-rending.  Classrooms that are super-hot in the spring and summer and freezing in the winter.  Computers and other materials ruined because of leaky roofs. Students crowded into classrooms and temporary structures because there aren’t enough classrooms to go around.

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CTA Fights Efforts to Force Applicants to Give Up Social Media Privacy

In order to protect employee rights, CTA is now opposing AB 25 (Campos), a bill that would originally have prohibited employers from forcing applicants and employees to give management access to their Facebook and other social media accounts.

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Decrying $12 Trillion in Student Debt, NEA, CTA and Affiliates Press for Degrees Not Debt during Statewide Tour

(Photo above) Lily Eskelsen García, president-elect of the National Education Association, tells reporters in Los Angeles on Thursday morning that NEA, California Teachers Association, the Community College Association, the California Faculty Association, and Student CTA are working together on the “Degrees, Not Debt” program to help increase student aid and reduce student debt. The efforts are being supported by Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, who joined the NEA and CTA leaders at an afternoon news conference in Oakland.

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CTA Hosts Meeting of Community of Practice, Advocates for Youth with Disabilities

(Photo below)  At right, Ed Amundson, the CTA Liaison to the California Community of Practice (COP), a coalition advocating on behalf of youth with disabilities and their families, arranged for the organization to hold its August 13 meeting at the CTA Governmental Relations Office in Sacramento.

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Legislators Beat One Key Deadline in August as Second One Looms

On the legislative schedule, Friday, August 15, is listed as the last day for state Senate and Assembly fiscal committees to meet and send measures to the floor of their respective houses. This year, lawmakers wrapped up that duty a day early.

 

Facing long agendas, the two key “money” committees – the Assembly Appropriations Committee and its Senate counterpart, the Senate Appropriations Committee -- reviewed and winnowed down the number of bills in their suspense files.

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

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