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.

That Sound You're Hearing is Applause for You

Today is the last day of American Education week, a time set aside to honor our dedicated school professionals for their commitment to students at all levels of public education. (Graphic courtesy of NEA.)

Throughout California, millions of parents and community members are cheering CTA members for your dedication and hard work in classrooms and schools across the state.

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Feeling You’re Being Followed? It May Be the Koch Intelligence Agency (KIA)!

A new expose in Politico reveals that the radical right billionaires, Charles and David Koch, have set up an “intelligence” unit designed to collect information about progressive political activists.

The brothers Koch view it as “competitive intelligence,” and they’ve hired a team of 25, including a former Central Intelligence Agency operative, to keep tabs on political opponents.


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California Faculty Association Takes Its Fight for Fairness to CSU Trustees’ Meeting

(LONG BEACH, Calif.) -- More than 1500 California Faculty Association members and students from all 23 Cal State campuses converged on the Office of the Chancellor in their Fight for Five Campaign in Long Beach California.

Students and faculty delivered their message “loudly and clearly” to the CSU Board of Trustees on Tuesday.

With signs reading “Cheating Faculty is Cheating Students,” the higher education faculty and students marched around Long Beach before rallying at the site of Tuesday’s meeting of the CSU Board of Trustees.

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US High Court Gets 24 More Briefs Supporting CTA Fair Share in Friedrichs Case

The men and women in black: the nine-member U.S. Supreme Court is expected to release its ruling on Friedrichs v. CTA in 2016. (Photo: BBC.)

A plethora of Civil rights organizations, academicians, public officials, hospitals, and government agencies are joining CTA in its battle to defeat a court case underwritten by radical-right billionaires, the Koch brothers.

Friedrichs v. CTA, which is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, aims at stifling the voices of working women and men, further undermining the economic security of the nation’s middle class, and reducing vital public services, including police, fire, and emergency medical services.

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US Secretary of Labor Perez Warns: Bad Friedrichs Ruling Would Block Efforts to Make Economy Work for All

Secretary Perez is urging union members and progressives to help educate the public about the threats posed by the pending Friedrichs v. CTA case.

As part of a week of action activities against a legal attack on unions, U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez, a Harvard-educated attorney and former law school professor, is warning that a bad ruling in the Friedrichs v. CTA lawsuit pending before the U.S. Supreme Court could derail efforts to achieve economic equality for working women and men.

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At Education Forum, CTA Stresses: Our Power Comes from Our Members

Sacramento Bee Columnist Dan Walters (at left) poses a question about CTA v. Friedrichs to Teri Holoman (at right), CTA’s political action manager, during a Thursday afternoon panel on Political Forces at the Capitol Weekly/UC Center forum, as Richard Zeiger, a retired chief deputy superintendent of public education, ponders his own response.

Teri Holoman, CTA’s new political action manager, helped educate reporters and the public about CTA’s working structure during a Thursday afternoon forum hosted by Capitol Weekly and the University of California Center.

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Former State Schools Chief Eastin Issues Fiery Defense of Schools and a Fiscal Challenge to Voters


Former Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin denounced as shameful California’s 46th national ranking in per student spending and warned that the expiration of Proposition 30’s school funding could deal a harsh blow to students’ education.

“Cadillac prisons and jalopy schools are a disgrace…and a violation of the constitution,” former Supt. of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin told more than 70 participants in Thursday’s Capitol Weekly/ UC Center forum on education in Sacramento. She traced California public schools’ funding decline, from fifth nationally in 1955 to as far down as 50th in recent years.

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Educators Press for Multiple Measures of Student Achievement and More Funding

(From r.) Shannan Brown, California 2011 Teacher of the Year and president of the San Juan Teachers Association, Thursday morning makes a strong case for using multiple measures of student performance. Her answer came in response to a question posed by EdSource Reporter John Fensterwald. 

During the Capitol Weekly /UC Center panel on accountability, Brown stressed the importance of measures that reflect the curriculum standards and include student portfolios, a method for measuring student performance over time. 

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CTA Member and Dept. Chair Urges: It’s Imperative to Involve Parents, Communities in Our Schools

(At center) Angela Stegall, a CTA member and Dept. Chair at Marysville High School, stresses Thursday during a Capitol Weekly/UC Center panel on the new Common Core Standards that bringing parents, community, and business leaders into schools is crucial to the success of students. Other members of the panel include (f. right) Hilary McLean of Capitol Impact, Andrea Venezia of EdInsights, and Moderator Tom Chernow, a reporter for the Capitol Report (not pictured).

Angela Stegall, a teacher at Marysville High school, told participants in Thursday’s panel on Common Core Standards, that another positive spinoff of the new standards is more parents wanting to become involved in their schools.

“It’s imperative that we continue to involve our parents and local stakeholders including businesses, and the media,” Stegall said.  She noted that schools face a challenge of informing the public about why the results from the new Smart Balance Assessments and prior California assessments aren’t comparable. 

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Agency’s Historic Ruling Will Help Teachers Improve Learning Conditions at Statewide Charter

Three CTA teachers at CAVA – from r. Debbie Scoltock, an algebra and geometry high school teacher; Sara Vigrass, an elementary teacher; and Jen Shilen, a social sciences teacher – told the legislative staff they were committed to telling the story about CAVA because change is needed.

Teachers at the California Virtual Academies (CAVA) have gained a stronger voice in advocating for their 15,000 students, thanks to a decision by the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB).

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

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