The Blog

Early Child Educators Urge Lawmakers to Make Kindergarten Mandatory

At the state Capitol, Assembly Education Chair Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo), a coauthor of CTA’s sponsored mandatory kindergarten bill, discusses the measure with members of CTA’s Early Childhood Education Committee: Ruthie Fagerstrom, Carole Delgado, and Marie Ibsen.

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Outraged? Tell the Sacramento Bee How You Feel!

Sacramento Bee Columnist Dan Walters has fired off another inaccurate column that attacks our union for pressing for legal changes to speed up and streamline the teacher dismissal process to protect students and safeguard the profession.

Mr. Walters wrongly attacks educators for their support for AB 375 (Buchanan), a bill to streamline the dismissal process.

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Disappointing Outcome: Governor Vetoes Bill to Streamline Dismissal Process

At a recent forum on school finance, Assembly Education Chair Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo), at left,  and  Toby Boyd, an elementary teacher and member of the CTA Board of Directors, discuss some key education issues, including protecting children and safeguarding the teaching profession.

After two years of hard work with lawmakers aimed at streamlining the teacher dismissal process, protecting children’s safety, and safeguarding the profession, we have learned some disappointing news today.  Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed CTA-backed AB 375, a measure by Assembly Member Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo) and co-author Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) that was the product of that hard work.

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Bee's Editorializing Misses Again: Teachers Back Bills to Protect Students and Improve Testing

For the second time in a week, the Sacramento Bee has misreported facts on a key educational issue.

Bee political pundit Dan Walters – like the Bee’s editorial writers a few days ago – has wrongly asserted that a measure – in this case, two measures, AB 375 and AB 484 that CTA supports are not in children’s best interest.

In fact, CTA is backing AB 375, a measure by Assembly Education Chair Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo), because it will protect children and safeguard the profession by speeding up disciplinary action against certificated personnel – including teachers. The bill is awaiting the governor’s signature.

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Sacramento Bee Gets AB 375 Wrong

This morning, the Sacramento Bee ran an inaccurate and misleading editorial urging the governor to veto a bill supported by CTA: AB 375. We support this legislation because it streamlines the outdated teacher discipline and dismissal process while ensuring student safety and due process rights for educators. It also clarifies responsibilities of school districts and educators with respect to the appeal process.

The Bee editorial grossly misrepresents the bill and our support for it. AB 375 does not limit the number of witnesses that can be called during a dismissal hearing, for example, or how many people a school district can interview during its investigations. It does reasonably limit the number of depositions a district can do in preparing for a hearing to speed the process up. And it removes the Superior Court from the entire discipline process, saving districts time and money.

Here are a few other things the bill does:

  • AB 375 preserves the current ability of a district to file a notice of dismissal at any time on the basis of immoral conduct, including summer months.
  • Currently, a district is not obligated to place an employee on leave of absence if that employee is charged with homicide. AB 375 changes that.
  • AB 375 shortens the dismissal appeal process by setting a deadline of seven months from the request for a hearing to completion. 

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Two Key Bills Need Governor Signature

Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign two key bills–one that will streamline the teacher dismissal process to ensure student safety and one that suspends the STAR tests to allow students to transition to testing aligned to the Common Core State Standards. 

While the governor has 30 days from the end of the legislative session to sign the measures, he could make his decision at any time between now and then.

The first bill – CTA-supported AB 375 by Assembly Education Chair Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo) and Principal Coauthor Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) – streamlines and expedites the dismissal process to keep students safe, safeguard the integrity of the profession and protect the rights of educators.

The second measure – CTA-supported AB 484 by Assembly Member Susan Bonila (D-Concord) – will align student assessments with the new Common Core State Standards.  

  • Click here for more information about these measures and for a quick way to contact the governor in support of them.
  • Click here to read the solid San Jose Mercury editorial in support of AB 484.

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CTA Members Speak Out Against Editorial Attacks

This weekend, the San Diego Union Tribune ran a hatchet piece against our union in its Opinion-Editorial section. Along with this, it ran an article by Reformer du Jour Michelle Rhee. At no point did the news outlet ask for our stance or offer a spot to rebut the obviously politically-motivated, unsubstantiated claims. We thank our fearless members who speak up against these attacks and help dispel the myths being pushed out to the pubic.

Below is a response from Sweetwater Education Association member Helen Farias:

As a 2013 SUHSD Teacher of the Year and nominee for San Diego County Teacher of the Year, as well as an active member of Sweetwater Education Association and California Teachers Association, I take strong offense to your portrayal of teachers and their unions. You bash unions for protecting bad teachers, but I know that my union allows exceptional teachers to advocate for their students. Because of union protections, there are teachers in Sweetwater who are challenging one of the most corrupt school boards in the nation...

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Senate Appropriations Approves Streamlined Teacher Dismissal Bill

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Sept. 12 approved AB 375, a CTA-supported bill by Assembly Education Chair Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo) that would streamline the teacher dismissal process while protecting the rights of educators.

The measure, which is co-authored by Sen. Padilla (D-Pacoima), ensures that employees faced with serious accusations have a fair process to clear their name. AB 375 is now headed to the Senate floor, where action is expected by Friday. 

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