The Blog at CTA

Acting Gov. Torlakson Proclaims July 26 as "Change Lives -- Be a Teacher Day"

During a legislative reception, Supt. of Public Instruction (l.) touches base with CTA President Eric Heins, an elementary school teacher.

With Gov. Jerry Brown and other state officials higher in the line of succession at the Democratic National Convention, Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson is the state’s acting governor. On Tuesday, he used those temporary powers for an important cause – to declare the day “Change Lives – Be a Teacher Day.”

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Educators Defeat Bill to Weaken Teacher Protections and Harm Students

Getting ready to testify. (From l.) Deborah Behm, Dan Reynolds, and other education community representatives wait for their chance to testify before the Senate Education Committee against CTA-opposed AB 934 (Bonilla).

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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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Devastating Cuts Reduced Faculty: Recovery Will Take Time

A new report from the Sacramento Bee based on data from the state credentialing agency paints a stark picture of how years of underfunding have decimated California’s teaching ranks.

The Bee finds that from 2008 to 2013, funding cuts reduced the number of new teachers by more than 40%.   The Bee concludes the layoff had a corollary effect on teacher recruitment by discouraging enrollment in teaching programs in the state by about 41%.

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CTA Co-sponsored Bill Would Help Laid-Off Teachers Retrain to Teach in Hard-to-Staff Math, Science, and Special Education Classes

Breaking News Update:

The Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee approved CTA co-sponsored SB 1291 during its hearing earlier today.  The measure now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee for its next hearing. The bill gained votes from only Democratic members of the labor panel.

CTA is co-sponsoring legislation that will help California secure the teachers it needs to fill hard-to-staff positions in math, science, and special education classes while helping laid-off educators secure the training they need to gain certification in these areas.

 CTA co-sponsored SB1291, by Sen. Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa), is slated for a hearing in the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee next Wednesday, April 25th.

Faxes and e-mails sent to the committee chair can help assure the measure’s passage.

Below is a sample letter that  contains key points on the bill. CTA members can also click through to CTA’s Legislative Action Center to facilitate sending e-mails to legislators at

Faxes can be sent to Sen. Ted Lieu directly via 916.327.5703.

Key Points:

SB 1291 (Evans) allows unemployed teachers to be eligible for unemployment insurance while taking certification training needed to teach vacancies in hard to staff assignments such as math, science and special education.

This year, California’s dire budget deficit led to more than 30,000 preliminary pink slips issued by the March 15 state deadline, and it’s feared that fewer pink slips will be rescinded this year due to the severity of the budget crisis.  At the same time, my community is faced width the need to improve our pipeline to recruit and retain teachers.

Other important information includes number of pink slips, number of anticipated rehires, and/or a personal story about the situation in a CTA chapter’s area.

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

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