CTA President Dean E. Vogel
With the beginning of 2014, my hopes are higher than ever for CTA members and our ability to effect positive change in our public schools. Right now, California’s schools and colleges are beginning to restore critical programs and provide the resources that educators need to help students learn — after years of bare-bones budgets. It was our tenacity in electing Governor Jerry Brown in 2010, and in passing Proposition 30 and defeating Proposition 32 in 2012, that has led us to this point in time.
The momentum continues. Last month, the governor unveiled his proposed state budget, which would provide $10 billion in new funding for K-12 schools and community colleges. This includes $6 billion to eliminate all deferral payments to local school districts and colleges, as well as $244 million for the CSU and UC systems of higher education. Additionally, the governor committed to working with all parties to stabilize the teachers’ retirement system.
This infusion of money for education never would have happened without thousands of CTA members who mobilized to pass Prop. 30 in 2012. And we are all thankful for that effort.
Yes, during the past few years we’ve been reminded about the true value of organizing, leading the profession, empowering our members, and engaging our communities. Not surprisingly, these are goals that have emerged as part of CTA’s long-term strategic planning.
For more than two years, we’ve been asking you how your union could better help you, your students, and the profession. More than 30,000 of you weighed in, and your feedback was used to create CTA’s strategic plan, called “Our Union, Our Future.” Since the plan was introduced last October, CTA has held a number of telephone town hall meetings. Again, more than 30,000 of you participated, and your engagement in the plan and commitment to your students came through loud and clear.
Together, we will lead our profession and promote a teacher-led, student-centered transformation — all the while building a brighter future for our students and building public support for public schools and colleges.
This is our time. It’s our time as educators to unite around common goals, to work with parents and community groups, and to drive the education agenda in California. And we can only achieve success by working together. This strategic plan recognizes that the mission of CTA is carried out by building a strong union on the foundation of educators who are active and engaged in their local schools, their local associations, and their local communities.
And it is the crescendo of all of our voices that will make this plan a success — ultimately building a better foundation for the health of our communities and the viability of public education.
This is our time!
Back to Main Page