The Blog

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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NEA President-Elect Lily Eskelsen García Tours California

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel and NEA President-Elect Lily Eskelsen García

Van Roekel Lily Eskelsen GarciaNEA's new top leader-elect, Lily Eskelsen García, is touring California where she is meeting with educators, CTA leaders and State Superintendent Tom Torlakson.

On her "Back to School" tour, Eskelsen García is focusing on Great Public Schools for All, toxic testing, teacher-led change and the student loan crisis.

More on the tour.

 

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

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