The Blog

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 »

Local Budget Transparency and Cap on School District Reserves

The Governor has agreed to put language in a State Budget Trailer bill that would call for transparency and a cap on local school district budget reserves. Local Budget Transparency would begin with the 2015-16 fiscal year and the cap is triggered when the state begins to put money away in the Proposition 98 “Rainy Day” fund.

We support this because taxpayer dollars need to be spent in our classrooms and on our children not sitting in bank accounts. Parents and communities need to know how much money local school districts are holding back and not spending on our students. Asking for school district transparency on school district reserves is all about local control and accountability for parents and communities. 

Wednesday night the Budget Conference Committee voted to place this language in a trailer bill. However, management folks (CSBA, CASBO, ACSA and all other large districts’ management lobbyists) are protesting and very busy calling the Legislature and telling them that this is not fiscally prudent and that a cap on reserves would be a hardship to districts. We all know… that is not true.


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 »

CTA-sponsored, Cosponsored Measures Gain Floor Approval

Thanks to your efforts in the field, CTA has won two major victories recently, following up on battles won just prior to a key legislative deadline.

Read more »

California Civil Rights Hero Opened State's Public Schools to Native Americans


If Californians ever doubt the power of one person to change history, they need only reflect on the life of Alice Piper, whose courageous insistence on her right to attend public schools led to a state Supreme Court decision that for the first time allowed Native Americans like Alice to go to local public schools instead of “separate but hardly equal” Indian schools.

<

Read more »

At Capitol, Educators Advocate for Increased Funding, Mandatory Kindergarten, Secure Retirement

Approximately 200 educators from across the state went office-to-office Wednesday to talk to their local lawmakers in the state Capitol.

The CTA Chapter presidents urged lawmakers to support Gov. Jerry Brown’s May Revision of the state budget, including his plan to pay back the money owed to schools after years of devastating cuts.

Read more »

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

© 1999- California Teachers Association