The Blog at CTA

CTA Members Go to Capitol to Battle for Students and Educators

(At right) Dan Reynolds, a classroom teacher and CTA member lobbyist, and other educators – including charter school teachers – take notes during a morning briefing on three key bills they will be talking to lawmakers about during Tuesday and Wednesday meetings.

About a dozen teachers from around the state are in the Capitol on these two days to discuss a crucial ballot measure and three CTA-position bills. They include members of four CTA State Council of Education committees: Professional Rights and Responsibilities, Civil Rights in Education, Teacher Evaluation and Academic Freedom, and Negotiations.

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Educators Battle Bill That Would Harm Students and Gain Approval of Measure Expanding Parental Leave

Sen. Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) meets with a team of educators, including Maria Elena Cabellero and Deb Behm, on issues including parental leave during a member lobby day in the state Capitol. (Photo by Seth Bramble.)

Three teams of educators, including education support professions, K-14 teachers, and higher education faculty, worked closely with lawmakers early this week on a range of key education issues. Much of their focus was on three measures –a CTA-cosponsored bill that would expand parental leave programs to cover education support personnel, a second CTA-cosponsored measure that would help provide fair treatment for part-time community college faculty, and a bad one that would undermine student learning.

The educators brought their expertise gained in the classroom and as members of several key State Council of Education policy committees, including Professional Rights and Responsibilities and Negotiations.

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Pending Bill Would Take Away Educators' Rights and Negatively Impact Students

Corporate millionaires and special interests have mounted an all-out assault on educators by attempting to do away with laws protecting teachers from arbitrary firings, providing transparency in layoff decisions and supporting due process rights.

Because they failed in the courts, they are now trying to push their agenda through lawmakers—an agenda that negatively impacts student learning.

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On Day of Teacher, Superintendent’s Accountability Task Force Presents Findings to State Board of Education

(From l.) CTA President Eric Heins points to some key elements of the task force report to a Capitol Television News Service reporter following his presentation to the State Board of Education on May 11, the Day of the Teacher.

Three words summarize the recommendations of Superintendent Tom Torlakson’s Advisory Task Force on Accountability and Continuous Improvement: “performance, equity, and improvement.”

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Assembly Education Chair Presents Day of Teacher Proclamation to CTA

(From l.) Assembly Member Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) presents a resolution to CTA President Eric C. Heins that proclaims Wednesday, May 11, as the 2016 Day of the Teacher.

May 11, 2016 is now “officially” this year’s Day of the Teacher, thanks to a legislative resolution by Assembly Education Chair Patrick O’Donnell.

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Civil Rights Warrior Huerta, Educators, and Community Backers Urge Appeals Court to Overturn Error-Ridden Ruling that Would Hurt Children

Just before attorneys representing more than 400,000 educators in CTA and CFT headed into a court of appeal, Civil Rights Icon Dolores Huerta, educators, and community members educated reporters about what is at stake. In a morning news conference in Los Angeles, they told the media that they are asking the California 2nd District Court of Appeal to overturn the wrong-headed June 2014 ruling in Vergara v. California that could harm more than 6,000,000 students.

Civil Rights Icon Dolores Huerta denounces the Vergara suit and the dishonest tactics used by its supporters. She is flanked by educators including (from l.) CTA President Eric C. Heins and Vice President Theresa Montaño.

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CTA, Union Representatives to Take Part in Thursday Pension Forum

In Sacramento last year, hundreds of working women and men turned out for a demonstration against Wall Street-proposed cuts in public employee pensions (Photo from CTA archives.)

Pension experts from the California Teachers Association (CTA), the California School Employees Association (CSEA), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and the California Professional Firefighters (CPF) will take part in several panels during Thursday’s Public Pension Forum in Sacramento.

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Faculty Association Announces Likely Start Date for First Statewide Strike at CSU

After two years of fruitless negotiations aimed at making faculty and students a top budget priority, California Faculty Association President Jennifer Eagan, a CSU professor of Philosophy and Public Affairs & Administration, tells reporters that the union has called its first statewide strike to begin in mid-April for five days. She is flanked by CFA members and supporters including (from r.) CTA Board Members Curtis Washington and Leslie Littman.

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Senate Panel Explores How to Head off Teacher Shortage

Providing Higher Pay, Better Preparation, Improved Working Conditions, Loan Forgiveness, and Good Principals and Listening to Teachers are Keys to Beating Teacher Shortage

Prof. Darling-Hammond, both a highly regarded education expert and chair of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, warned committee members that the state is heading for “déjà vu all over again,” another teacher shortage.

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CTA Vice President, San Diego Elementary Teacher Stress the Importance of Mentoring, Continuity, Teachers’ Voices

(From right) CTA Vice President Theresa Montano, a higher education professor, discusses the teacher shortage with Jill Tucker, education reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, following their participation on a panel focused on teacher preparation and induction. The CTA vice president stressed during her presentation the importance of good working conditions and adequate salaries to helping head off a looming teacher shortage.

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