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.

Community Outpouring Supports Ripon Teachers' Battle for Students

(Photo above) More than 250 Ripon parents, students, and teachers jammed the Monday night meeting of the Ripon Unified School District Board to show their support for the 140-member teachers association. The Association has been trying since May to get the school board to put Proposition 30 moneys into the classroom. When RUDTA President Rod Wright (standing) asked audience members to raise their hands if they were at the meeting to support the chapter, every hand went up.

Hundreds of parents, students, and community members joined members of the Ripon Unified Teachers Association in a march to and “jam” of the Monday evening meeting of the district’s school board.

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Legislature Lauds CTA on Read Across America Day

(Photo above) Assembly Member Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach), a former educator and CTA State Council representative, presents an Assembly Resolution on Read Across America Day to CTA Board Member Toby Boyd, an Elk Grove kindergarten teacher, during ceremonies on Monday.

For the first time, both Houses of the California legislature on March 2 celebrated Read Across America Day by presenting the California Teachers Association and our national affiliate resolutions honoring the organizations’ efforts to encourage parents and community members to read to children.

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Access, Accountability are Key Issues for California Charter Schools, Legislative Staff Learn

Dr. Michelle Renee, an Annenberg Institute of School Reform researcher, tells California legislators’ staff members at an informational briefing Friday that charter schools are public schools that should be open to all state youngsters. The briefing was hosted by CTA, the California Federation of Teachers, the California Labor Federation, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Public Advocates.

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Former Vice President Talks to CalSTRS Board about Environmental Dangers

(Photo above) CalSTRS Board Members and CTA members Dana Dillon and Harry Keiley focus intently on the presentation by Former Vice President Al Gore to the retirement system governing body about the threat posed by carbon emissions and steps being taken to move the nation and the world toward “green energy.”

On Friday in West Sacramento, former Vice President Al Gore made a powerful and detailed presentation to the governing board of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), which has been leading discussions on sustainable investing at a global level for almost a decade. CalSTRS was the first U.S. institutional client in the Vice President’s company, Generation Investment Management. in 2007.

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Small Chapter Captures Attention of Three TV Stations in Battle for Students

(Graphic above) Efforts by the 38-member Vineland Teachers' Association to make gains for students and for classrooms have captured the interest of local television news crews.

CTA Chapters come in all sizes, but it is usually our larger ones – with members in the thousands – that are featured on the evening television news.
But one CTA Chapter with just 38 members attracted the attention of three stations from the nearest big city – Bakersfield – in their battle to make students the district’s top priority.

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Stockton Teachers Mass in Fight to Make Classrooms, Students District's Top Priority

More than 350 members of the Stockton Teachers Association gathered on Wednesday to learn the status of their 31-month battle to win an excellent education for every student.

During the meeting, Chapter President John Steiner, a high school teacher, and bargaining team members provided a status report on negotiations with the district. The chapter’s organizing team spelled out steps members will be taking in the weeks ahead to pressure the district to make students the top priority and to put Proposition 30 funds into the classroom, as voters intended when they passed the ballot measure.

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Tale of Two Presidents: Priority of Relationship-Building Impacts Policy Outcomes


Two recent presidential biographies – one by a hard-bitten journalist and the other by an admiring son – provide an important nonpartisan learning from the Oval office: effective relational organizing can help advocates achieve their policy objectives.

Chuck Todd, in his biography of Pres. Barack Obama entitled The Stranger, and former Pres. George W. Bush, in his memoir about his dad, 41: a Portrait of My Father, agree about the importance of relationship building to the to the successes of the two presidents’ agendas.

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Ripon Chapter Presses District to Make Students the Top Priority

Graphic above: Members of the Ripon Unified Teachers Association (RUDTA) have pushing the district to support high quality classroom instruction and a specific kind of 3Rs, as well as a fourth one that puts Ripon students first.

Imagine a small school district that is amassing millions of dollars – some $10 million – as a rainy day reserve while classroom needs go unmet.

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Governor Proposes $7.8 Billion in New Funding for K-14 Schools in 2015-16 Budget Plan

(Photo above) Governor Jerry Brown unveils his 2015-16 fiscal year budget proposal during a Friday morning webcast.

On Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled his 2015-16 state budget proposal that would boost school funding by $7.8 billion.

The governor released the budget proposal during a morning news conference that was webcast by the California Channel, and he warned that despite a strengthening economy and voter approval of temporary tax increases in Proposition 30, the “carefully balanced” proposal was still “more precarious than I’d like.”

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New Legislature Officially Elects Sen. de Leon Speaker pro Tem, Assembly Member Atkins as Speaker

Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon takes the oath of office Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the 28th chief justice of the State of California, during the Senate’s opening session on Monday. 

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