The Blog

CTA President Urges Region II Members to Speak Our Truth to Voters

CTA President Dean E. Vogel, a kindergarten teacher from Vacaville, tells several hundreds of CTA members at the Region 2 Leadership Conference that voters overwhelmingly trust teachers and want to hear from them as they prepare to vote on Nov. 4.

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Capitol News: Legislature Sends Budget, Trailer Bills to Governor

AB 86, Education Trailer Bill, Details Actions Affecting Schools

If Governor Jerry Brown signs the state budget bill by June 30th widthout making any changes, public education will see $55.3 billion in Proposition 98 funding for 2013-2014. That figure includes $2.1 billion for the governor's Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), $1.25 billion to implement the Common Core State Standards, and $4.3 billion to begin to pay down money the state has owed to schools from past years.

The trailer bills width the greatest direct impact on public education are AB 86, which contains the "education trailer language," SB 91, which deals width the Local Control Funding Formula, and AB 78, which governs how schools may use Proposition 39 funds to reduce their energy costs by adding "green technology."

Overall, the new state budget would:
  • Provide LCFF target base grants of $6845 for K-3, $6947 for 4-6, $7154 for 7-8, and $8289 for 9-12.
  • Increase the K-3 base grant by 10.4% for Class Size Reduction and the 9-12 base grant by 2.6% to encourage the provision of Career and Technical Education programs.
  • Establish LCFF supplemental grant of 20% of the base for students identified as English learners, foster care youth, or in financial need (as defined by eligibility in the Free or Reduce Price Meal Program).
  • Phase in the LCFF over eight years.
  • Allocate $250 million in one-time funds for Career and Technical Education.
  • Underwrite a 1.63% enrollment growth funding for the community colleges, pay down community college deferrals by $178 million in 2012-2013 and another $30 million in 2013-14, and provide $25 million in planning grants for adult education programs to promote regional collaboration between community colleges and K-12 school districts.
  • Maintain total revenue limit and categorical program funding for each district and charter school at its 2013 level.
  • Create new charter school accountability.
  • Empower districts to create local accountability plans widthout giving overriding authority to county offices of education.
Under state law, the governor has the power of the "line-item" veto to blue-pencil or reduce appropriations in the spending bills sent to him by the legislature. The constitution gives him until June 30th to sign the budget.

For more detailed information, see CTA's 2013-14 State Budget Highlights.

 

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Legislature Approves State Budget: California Educators Are Encouraged by the New Compromise on the Local Control School Funding Formula

The state Senate and Assembly today passed AB 110, the legislature’s budget bill that will make a historic change in how schools are funded. The new budget, which is on its way to the governor for his signature, also provides more than $2 billion to begin repaying school districts funding they are owed after years of drastic cuts. It provides additional funding to ensure that virtually all districts get back to their 2007-08 state funding levels. It also targets more funding to help the state’s neediest students.

“While it will take years for our schools to fully recover, this budget is a big step in the right direction. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a state budget proposal width a significant increase in education funding,” said CTA President Dean E. Vogel. “The governor’s Local Control Funding Formula that is part of the final budget adds up to renewed opportunities for our schools. We are also encouraged by the $1.25 billion for the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. These new standards will dramatically impact teaching and learning. Educators must have the resources they need to help students succeed.”

New language regarding school district accountability provisions in the final budget protects collective bargaining and limits the oversight of County Offices of Education. This agreement holds the promise of a better future for our students. Take a closer look at details of the agreed-upon budget.

The legislature approved the spending bill a day before the June 15 deadline for sending the measure to the governor.  The governor has until June 30 to sign the budget into law to take effect on July 1, the start of the state’s new fiscal year.

Lawmakers are also debating and approving several “budget trailer measures” that help implement the new spending plan.

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CTA Pres. Vogel Takes on Romero Assertions in OC Register

The Orange County Register published this response from CTA President Dean Vogel to an earlier column by former Sen. Gloria Romero:

Protecting our teachers

DAVIS, Dean Vogel, president, California Teachers Association: Former state Sen. Gloria Romero's column questioning the California Teachers Association's motivations for "suddenly" supporting a new teacher dismissal bill was short on facts and long on inaccurate speculation ["CTA goes Hollywood on teacher dismissal bills," Opinion, April 2]. The CTA wanted to support legislation by Sen. Alex Padilla last year [SB1530], and offered amendments we believed would correct some significant problems width his bill.

Far from jumping late onto any dismissal bandwagon, CTA has led support of efforts to expedite the dismissal process, maintain existing safeguards that remove teachers from classrooms immediately when charged width serious offenses and toughen penalties for districts and school personnel who fail to follow mandated abuse-reporting procedures. These are the facts, despite any claims from paid spokespersons for organizations founded and funded in part by outspoken, school-privatization proponents and hedge-fund managers who see dollar signs in public-school funding.

We are pleased now that Sen. Padilla has teamed width Assembly Member Joan Buchanan to craft just such legislation, AB1338 and AB375, bills that, while not perfect, eliminate the problematic potential for added expense and redundant hearings inherent in the earlier bill. CTA has taken an interim-support position on these new bills and will, in all likelihood, issue our final support later this month, coupled width our insistence that districts must be held accountable for following these laws.

We understand that some so-called "reform" groups will oppose any legislation supported by the teachers' union. So, we applaud California lawmakers who are moving ahead width bills that keep children safe and streamline the process for removing people who don't belong in our classrooms, while still maintaining safeguards against false allegations.

We hope Romero is also supportive of these goals.

Want to know more about CTA's position on teacher evaluation?  It's just a click away.

 

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