The Blog at CTA

Poll: 57% Support Federal Tax Boost on Persons Earning More than $250,000

A new report from the Rasmussen Poll finds that by a 57-35%  margin, Americans favor increasing taxes on persons earning more than $250,000  annually. The report has a margin of error of +/- 3 points.

The new data, reported Friday by Rasmussen, in effect demonstrates  public support for a proposal by the Obama administration to increase tax  fairness by protecting the middle class and making sure the wealthy pay a fair  share of the costs of the public services they enjoy.

Raising revenues at the federal level would help protect schools against further cuts, like those that have slammed public education in California and throughout the country.

For more information, read the Rasmussen  Poll report and the actual survey  questions.

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Did Your Vote Matter? Just 334,000 Provided Electoral College Victory, RNC Head Asserts

Sometimes educators wonder if their votes make a difference. In California, those votes were a vital part of the winning margin in the passage of Proposition 30, the governor’s funding for schools measure, and the defeat of Proposition 32, the deceptive Special Exemptions Act.

Every vote matters, both in state politics and national elections.

A newly obtained briefing from the Republican National Committee to GOP US Senators drives the point home.  The briefing, posted online by MSNBC, asserts that only 333,908 votes in four states separated the re-election of Pres. Obama in the electoral college from a victory by challenger Gov. Mitt Romney.

Some analysts might argue that the assessment is an attempt to explain away the overwhelming margin of victory that National Education Association-recommended Pres. Obama won.  But either way, the key lesson: your vote matters.

Read the entire assessment at Republican National Chair's Report, courtesy of MSNBC.

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"Early Returns": LA District Rescinds Furloughs Due to Prop. 30's Passage

(Photo above) Surrounded by hundreds of educators, firefighters, nurses, and other school supporters, Gov. Jerry Brown declares victory for Proposition 30 on Election Night at a Sacramento gathering.

Some 600,000 students in Los Angeles were facing the prospects of a school year shortened by 10 days – but that harsh result was averted by voters’ passage of Proposition 30 on November 6.

That would have been one local impact of the $6 billion in automatic or “trigger” cuts that would have hit K-12 public education, the community colleges, and the state’s higher education systems if Proposition 30 had failed.

Very quickly after the measure’s overwhelming passage, the Los Angeles Unified School District announced that it would be rescinding the 10 lost instructional days and the attendant furloughs.

The leader of the Los Angeles’ district teachers association, United Teachers Los Angeles President Warren Fletcher, greeted the announcement by saying  “We are pleased to learn LAUSD intends to restore a full school year for students in the district—the first time since 2008.  The move follows the passage of Proposition 30 on Tuesday.”

“Our teachers took a risk last year, approving the Jobs Restoration and Furlough agreement, which included up to 10 furlough days,” UTLA’s Fletcher said. “As always, they put students first.  And now, we are on the cusp of having those furlough days cancelled and being able to provide our students width a full year of instruction.”

Got a similar situation in your local district to report?  We’d love to hear – please use our comments to add to the good news.

 

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Hundreds Celebrate Election Victory at Sacramento Gathering

CTA President Vogel talks to Gov Jerry Brown briefly on the podium after the governor declared victory for Prop 30, as State Superintendant Torlakson looks on.

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Clean Sweep: Voters Re-elect Pres. Obama, Pass Prop. 30, Defeat Prop. 32

State ballot proposition results posted on the California Secretary of State’s website show the significant margin of victory for educator-backed Prop 30 and the equally significant margin of defeat for educator-opposed Prop 32.

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Victory for California’s Students – Voters Protect Schools, Pass Prop. 30, Defeat 32

California students and working families won a clear victory today as voters clearly demonstrated their willingness to invest in our public schools and colleges and also rejected a deceptive ballot measure aimed at silencing educators, other workers and their unions.

“Today’s vote signaled that Californians believe in the value of public education and investing in our students and schools,” said CTA President Dean E. Vogel. “They want to see funding restored to our schools and colleges. They want to stop the tuition hikes and class size increases. They want to see students have music, and art, and libraries and access to counselors and nurses. They want to see our schools flourish and our students succeed.”  Read the press release.

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Election Day: Educators Keep Talking the Talk, Walking the Walk, Until Polls Close

Todd Thibodeau, Lesa Hertel and Cindee Stewart, teachers at Woodbine Elementary, discuss precinct walking early on Election Day.

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Vote Today as If Your Future Depends Upon it: (P.S.: It Does!)

Voters’ decisions today in California’s elections will impact virtually every aspect of our lives. The passage of Proposition 30 will protect California’s K-12 public schools, the community colleges, and the state university systems from another $6 billion in devastating cuts….cuts that would come on top of slashes that have pared $20 billion from the education of our most important natural resource – our young people.

Voters’ defeating Proposition 32, the Special Exemptions Act that would boost the political power of Super PACS and other wealthy special interests at the expense of the rest of us, will stop this cynical attack on middle-class workers, including educators, firefighters, and nurses.

Your vote matters – and the polls are open from 7 AM to 8 PM.

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$11 Million in Masked Political Contributions Could Land Someone in Jail

The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), the state’s political watchdog agency, and Attorney General Kamala Harris are reportedly considering whether to file charges against a shadowy Arizona Super PAC that funneled $11 million into a California business political action committee in efforts to defeat Proposition 30, the governor’s revenue measure to aid schools, and boost Proposition 32, the cynical “political reform” measure that would exempt – among other entities – Super PACs from its strictures. The story is reported by Kevin Yamamura in a CapitolAlert posting.

Meanwhile, the attorney for the Arizona Super PAC -- Americans for Responsible Leadership and The Center to Protect Patient Rights – claims that the PAC’s “settlement” letter width the FPPC does not represent an admission of guilt in civil or criminal proceedings:

"While these letters relate to Cal. Gov. Code § 84302 and 2 CA ADC § 18432.5, we want to make it clear that they have been sent pursuant to a settlement agreement width the California Fair Political Practices Commission and that neither ARL nor CPPR admit any wrongdoing or that the letters are required by applicable law," Attorney Michael D. Bopp wrote. "Further, ARL and CPPR reserve the right to contest any further proceedings that relate to the contributions discussed in the aforementioned letters."

Read the entire post at California officials consider civil, criminal action in mystery donation case.

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Schools Chief Torlakson Joins Callers Urging Yes on Proposition 30

(Photo above) From right, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and a volunteer take a breather from making phone calls to voters Monday evening at the Sacramento City Teachers Association (SCTA) phone bank.

Both hit the phones to help secure votes for Proposition 30, the only measure on the November 6 ballot that will protect K-12 public education, the community colleges, and the state university systems against another $6 billion in devastating funding cuts.

(From l.) Supt. Torlakson was calling voters Monday evening along width many volunteers. Teacher Stacey Willet  of Luther Burbank and her son were among them.  Stacey is  SCTA’s most dedicated phone-banker. She has made more than 1,200 phone calls herself, Chapter leaders report.

(Photos by Seth Bramble)

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