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California Teachers Association

Founded in 1863, the California Teachers Association has become one of the strongest advocates for educators in the country. CTA includes teachers, counselors, school librarians, social workers, psychologists, and nurses. These educators in the K-12 school system are joined by community college faculty, California State University faculty, and education support professionals to make CTA the most inclusive and most powerful voice of educators in the state.

NEA President-Elect Lily Eskelsen García Tours California

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel and NEA President-Elect Lily Eskelsen García

Van Roekel Lily Eskelsen GarciaNEA's new top leader-elect, Lily Eskelsen García, is touring California where she is meeting with educators, CTA leaders and State Superintendent Tom Torlakson.

On her "Back to School" tour, Eskelsen García is focusing on Great Public Schools for All, toxic testing, teacher-led change and the student loan crisis.

More on the tour.

 

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Guest Blogger Jacqulla (Angel) Payne: Workshops Refresh and Inspire

This is the sixth time that I have attended the National Education Association's Representative Assembly, and each has proven to be an amazing experience being part of such a large assembly of educators - nearly 10,000!  Each time I have attended the RA, I've attended the Joint Women & Minority Issues pre-conference which begins two days before the RA.  They always have empowering keynote speakers and workshops that provide useful information, and this year I was not disappointed.

From their list of many workshops two stood out for me, which I've actually taken at a Region 3 Leadership Conference before.  It always amazes me how retaking some workshops actually makes the previous information more clear, or offers additional information which was not offered at the previous trainings, which was the case for me this time.  

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California Educators Call for Duncan Resignation

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Because of his ongoing lack of leadership and advocacy on what is really needed to help our schools succeed, the California delegation to the NEA Representative Assembly has submitted a New Business Item calling for Duncan's resignation

His department's failed education agenda has focused on more high-stakes testing, grading and pitting public school children against each other based on test scores, and for continuing to promote policies and decisions that undermine public schools and colleges, the teaching profession, education professionals and education unions.

Teachers are not the problem. Teachers are part of the solution. And it’s time we have a Secretary of Education who understands and believes that.

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Guest Blogger: Jacquella (Angel) Payne describes a "Call to Action"

Denver Convention CenterWhat Does a Call to Action Look Like? A call to action looks like NEA's annual Representative Assembly where more than 8,000 educators from 51 states show up to take action on behalf of students across the country.  A group of dedicated people who were willing to drop everything and converge on Denver, Colorado, which is where the RA is taking place this year.  Willing to stand in long lines while waiting to get checked into their hotels.  Willing to miss spending the 4th of July with their family and friends.

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Guest Blogger: Corey Penrose reflects on anti-union Supreme Court decision

The news finally pushed to my phone on the bus to the airport. News I was dreading. The Harris v. Quinn decision, the potential destruction of advocacy, one more cut into the flesh of a proud and noble profession.

In my imagination I wondered: What would the RA look like if, as politico.com predicted, the Supreme Court would use the nuclear option and decimate the funding of CTA?

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Guest Blogger: Gretel Liana Rodriguez describes her experiences as a novice NEA RA attendee

Gretel Liane Rodriguez This is my third NEA Representative Assembly, and I am as excited to be here as if it were my first! My first RA was in Washington, D.C., and I think that is the best place to attend the RA for the first time. I traveled all alone and didn’t know anyone that year. I have seven friends traveling with me this year, and I am rooming with two of them. I had to beg to find a roommate my first year. Luckily, a veteran took me under her wing. 

There is one true fact about the RA: Everyone is so friendly and kind to “newbies.” You feel loved and cared for – so Shout Out if you are new so that others can help you.

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Harris V Quinn Decision Silences Workers' Voices

This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Harris v. Quinn along the narrow scope of the original case. In the 5-4 decision, the high court ruled that eight Illinois home health-care workers cannot be required to contribute union bargaining fees.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote for the majority: "Because of Abood's questionable foundations ... we refuse to extend Abood to the new situation now before us," Alito wrote. "If we allowed Abood to be extended to those who are not full-fledged public employees, it would be hard to see just where to draw the line, and we therefore confine Abood's reach to full-fledged state employees."

While NEA and CTA narrowly escaped the loss of fair share fees, other cases are in the pipeline to strip unions of rights set forth in Abood. There are corporate forces behind efforts across the country taking aim at the rights and power of middle class families. While they have money, we have the spirit and the numbers. We will not give up fighting for the rights of our members, their families, and our middle class brothers and sisters, and for a fair economy that works for all of us.

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Pension legislation signed

Educators may notice a little extra going out of their paychecks into to the California State Retirement System (CalSTRS) beginning this month, but that’s a good thing since the money will not only come back to them at retirement, it will stabilize the retirement system into the future.

After years of attempts to close a shortfall in the teachers retirement system that has mounted to $74 billion, the Legislature in June approved Gov. Jerry Brown’s pension plan that provides increased contributions from educators, school districts and the state.

“For roughly the last 10 years our highest priority and our members’ most pressing concern has been to secure the long-term stability of the Defined Benefit Program,” said Harry Keiley, chair of the Teachers’ Retirement Board and member of the Santa Monica-Malibu Classroom Teachers Association.

The historic action calls for member contributions to increase from 8 to 10.25 percent over the next three years. School and community college district contributions will increase from 8.25 percent to 19.1 percent over seven years while the state’s portion would increase from the current 3.041 percent to 6.3 percent in the next three years. The increases began to take effect July 1.

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First Local Control Funding Formula Calculations Released Today

Local educational agencies (LEAs) now have access to the first official calculations of how the $42 billion in school funding under the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) will be distributed.

“California’s new funding formula puts more decisions about education funding where they belong—in the hands of schools, parents, and teachers—and dedicates more resources to students most in need,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. “The information we are providing today will help administrators, teachers, and parents as they work together to help all students succeed.” 

The calculations for school districts and charter schools are displayed in the traditional funding exhibits. In addition, LEAs now can review a "LCFF Funding Snapshot", a step toward transparency and accountability, providing a concise two-page summary of the main components of the LCFF transitional funding and information on each LEA’s attendance, LCFF entitlements, and funding sources. The data are also translated graphically.

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North Hollywood Educator To Receive National Recognition

Mel HouseMel House, a physical education educator at Rio Vista Elementary School in North Hollywood, CA, will receive the 2015 California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence, one of public education’s most prestigious awards.

House is among 39 public educators who will be honored at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala to be held in Washington, DC on February 13, 2015. One of public education’s most anticipated events, the gala attracts more than 850 of the nation’s leaders from public education, philanthropy, and the private sector.

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

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