Articles posted by Capitol News

Capitol News

What happens in the state legislature, in the governor's office, and at state agencies can affect every teacher, education support professional, and student in the state. The Capitol News blog aims to provide members with timely information about what is going on in the state capitol.

CTA Hosts Meeting of Community of Practice, Advocates for Youth with Disabilities

(Photo below)  At right, Ed Amundson, the CTA Liaison to the California Community of Practice (COP), a coalition advocating on behalf of youth with disabilities and their families, arranged for the organization to hold its August 13 meeting at the CTA Governmental Relations Office in Sacramento.

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Legislators Beat One Key Deadline in August as Second One Looms

On the legislative schedule, Friday, August 15, is listed as the last day for state Senate and Assembly fiscal committees to meet and send measures to the floor of their respective houses. This year, lawmakers wrapped up that duty a day early.

 

Facing long agendas, the two key “money” committees – the Assembly Appropriations Committee and its Senate counterpart, the Senate Appropriations Committee -- reviewed and winnowed down the number of bills in their suspense files.

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State Revenues up Another 4.5%, Controller Chiang Reports

Voters’ approval of Proposition 30 in November 2012 is still paying dividends for California, its schools, and its students, according to the July 2014 “cash report” issued by State Controller John Chiang.

Total revenues for July, which is the first month of the state’s 2014-2015 fiscal or accounting year, are outpacing estimates in the Budget Act by $231.9 million or $4.5%.

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Urge Legislators to Help Reduce Student Absences, Truancies

You can help fight absenteeism and truancy by contacting your state Senator and asking her or him to vote for AB 1866, by Assembly Member Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima).  Use the Contact Your Legislator link at cta.org to identify your Senator and send an email in support of the measure.

 

AB 1866 will help reduce student truancy and absenteeism by creating the state’s first system for collecting and reporting student attendance data. The bill is part of a five-measure package of legislation sponsored by California Attorney General Kamala Harris to address state policy on student attendance.

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At San Jose Conference, Chapter Presidents Master New Skills, Discuss Challenges with Supt. Torlakson

More than 700 new and experienced CTA Chapter Presidents gathered in San Jose this past weekend to network, learn new skills, and find out more about the challenges facing our schools and educators in the years ahead.

The 60th annual Presidents Conference gave the presidents a chance to work with CTA leaders and staff on issues ranging from bargaining and education reform to political action.

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Write the Chronicle to Let Readers Know Why Entrepreneur Tuck, the Would-be Superintendent, is Wrong

Marshall Tuck, the entrepreneur who would like to be the state’s education chief, has fired off another attack on our basic rights, rights hit by a recent flawed ruling by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge. The ruling, in Vergara v. State of California, attacks teachers’ job protections, due process, and seniority rights.

 

In an opinion piece that is an insult to all of our highly dedicated colleagues, Tuck praises the bad ruling.

 

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Educators Urge Senate Education Members to Vote for Key Cosponsored Bills

(From right) Sen. Marty Block (D-San Diego) discusses two key CTA cosponsored bills with three educators, Liz Esquiel Waterman, a fourth-grade teacher at Terra Bella Elementary in Terra Bella;  Chantaine Fauntleroy, a teacher at Bret Harte Middle School in Hayward; and Deborah Adams Behm, a fifth-grade teacher at Stone Elementary in Alvord.

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Teachers Seek Charter Accountability, Employment Fairness

(Photo above) CTA Legislative Advocate Seth Bramble explains some of the finer points of two CTA-backed measures to a group of educators, including (from r.) Deborah Adams Behm, a fifth-grade teacher at Stone Elementary in Alvord, Chantaine Fauntleroy, a teacher at Bret Harte Middle School in Hayward, and (not pictured) Liz Esquiel Waterman, a fourth-grade teacher at Terra Bella Elementary in Terra Bella.

The teachers came to Sacramento today in support of two CTA-backed measures that will separately increase transparency and accountability for charter schools and provide employment equity to a small group of educators not now receiving fair treatment.

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TAKE ACTION: Help Win Passage of CTA's Mandatory Kindergarten Bill

CTA believes in providing students with a quality education beginning the very moment they get to our schools. Mandatory kindergarten before first grade will help build the critical skills for student success. 

CTA is sponsoring AB 1444 (Buchanan/Weber) because kindergarten provides students with that much-needed, early learning that prepares them to succeed throughout their academic careers. Studies show students from lower socio-economic circumstances do better when they attend kindergarten. 

AB 1444 is CTA's only sponsored bill for 2014, and is scheduled for a hearing this Wednesday, June 18, in the Senate Education Committee. Please call your State Senator immediately at her/his office in your legislative district to vote for CTA-Sponsored AB 1444 and urge them to pass the bill that would require completion of kindergarten as a prerequisite to first-grade enrollment. 

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Local Budget Transparency and Cap on School District Reserves

The Governor has agreed to put language in a State Budget Trailer bill that would call for transparency and a cap on local school district budget reserves. Local Budget Transparency would begin with the 2015-16 fiscal year and the cap is triggered when the state begins to put money away in the Proposition 98 “Rainy Day” fund.

We support this because taxpayer dollars need to be spent in our classrooms and on our children not sitting in bank accounts. Parents and communities need to know how much money local school districts are holding back and not spending on our students. Asking for school district transparency on school district reserves is all about local control and accountability for parents and communities. 

Wednesday night the Budget Conference Committee voted to place this language in a trailer bill. However, management folks (CSBA, CASBO, ACSA and all other large districts’ management lobbyists) are protesting and very busy calling the Legislature and telling them that this is not fiscally prudent and that a cap on reserves would be a hardship to districts. We all know… that is not true.


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