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.

State Secures Waiver of Federal Testing to Implement New Assessments

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and State Board of Education President Michael Kirst have announced that the federal government has agreed to California’s request for a one-year waiver on required federal student testing.

The waiver action, announced Friday, frees California from any fiscal penalties relating to its decision to set aside federally required tests in order to implement computer-assisted assessments of students that synch with the new and ambitious Common Core State Standards.

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From Generation to Generation: Future Farmers Visit Capitol Habitat


(Photo above) Led by two teachers who graduated from their high school a generation before, a group of students from Ernest Righetti High School in Santa Maria learn about CTA’s legislative advocacy on their behalf from CTA staff members (from l.) Debbie Oshige and Seth Bramble during a March 6 briefing in Sacramento.  (Photos by Len Feldman)

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CTA Leader to Legislature: Teachers' Voices Must Be Heard and Valued

(Photo above) CTA Vice President Eric Heins (c.) and a team of CTA staff, including (from l.) Legislative Advocate Patricia Rucker, IPD Consultant Norma Sanchez, and Legislative Advocate Isabelle Garcia listen and communicate about the testimony being heard by the Senate Education Committee during its informational hearing on “Teaching in the 21st Century” on March 5.

(Photos by Len Feldman)

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CTA Pres., State Supt. Mesmerize Students on Read Across America Day

(Photo Above - From l.) CTA Pres. Dean Vogel, a kindergarten teacher, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson read a powerful book about a young girl’s battle to overcome her reading disability – with the help of a dedicated teacher – as part of the Read Across America celebration on March 3. (Photos by Len Feldman)


The CTA leader and the superintendent read to third grade students of Catherine Boulos at David Lubin School in the Sacramento Unified School District Monday morning.

The two education leaders were among hundreds of educators, parents, and other adults who read to students at school on a national day dedicated to the vital educational “task.”

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CTA VP Heins to Address Senate Education Committee on Wed., March 5

CTA Vice President Eric Heins,  a veteran of more than 20 years in the classroom, is slated to testify before the Senate Education Committee during its Wednesday 9:00 a.m. informational hearing on “Teaching in the 21st Century:  Recruitment, Preparation, Retention, and Professional Development.”

CTA Vice President Heins will be one of the panelists addressing teachers’ needs and the process of bringing new teachers into the profession.

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Wealth Disparities Balloon: Working Poor, Our Students' Parents, Have Hard Time

(Graphic above: source – Economic Analysis and Research Network.)

A recent San Francisco Chronicle article highlights a new study by the Economic Analysis and Research Network  that finds the income disparity between the wealthy and everyone else in California has grown.

The state now stands 17th nationally in terms of income disparity, with the top 1 percent averaging $1.2 million annually, versus $46,000 for everyone else.

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March 1 is Deadline for School Site Safety Plan Update, Supt. Torlakson Reminds Educators

Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson is reminding schools that each has until March 1 to review and update a “comprehensive school safety plan.”  The law requires the plan to cover items ranging from bullying prevention to disaster preparedness.

“School climate has a real and lasting effect on a student’s ability to learn,” Supt. Torlakson said. “Nothing is more important than our students’ safety, and preparation is one of the first and most important steps a school can take in creating a more positive school climate.”

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Write the Bee to Let Readers Know Rep. Miller is Wrong on Vergara Case

Undeterred by the facts, U.S. Congressman George Miller and an educator coauthor have authored a Sacramento Bee Op-Ed that slams teachers for having due process rights.

The retiring congressman and one Los Angeles Unified School District educator have teamed up to declare that the Vergara v. State of California assault on teachers’ due-process protections is a good thing.

Unlike the congressman, teachers know that these procedures have for more than 80 years protected academic freedom and helped attract and keep highly qualified teachers for our students.

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Assembly Member Honors CTA Boys and Men of Color Program During Capitol Tour

(Photo above) Assembly Member Steve Bradford (D-Inglewood) introduces CTA member Keith Brown and his students to Dotson Wilson, clerk of the Assembly, during a Thursday tour of the Capitol.

Assembly Member Steve Bradford (D-Inglewood) welcomed 19 Bret Harte Middle School students and their teacher, Keith Brown, to the state Capitol on February 20. Brown, who is vice chair of CTA’s School Safety and School Management Committee, has been a leader in the CTA Boys and Men of Color program.

Backed by the California Endowment, the program aims to help increase the graduation rates of young men of color, who are at greatest risk of dropping out of school, as well as to help them succeed in school, career, and life.

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Parents, Students, CTA and Allies Prepare to Launch Defense against Meritless "Vergara" Attack

(Photo above) Joined by parents, students, teachers, and other members and allies, CTA President Dean Vogel stresses that the Vergara v. State of California suit is an outright attack on teachers’ rights in the form of a meritless lawsuit. (Photo by Mike Myslinski)

CTA and its allies held a news conference this morning near the Los Angeles Superior Court where anti-union attorneys have tried to make a case that the professional and due process rights that have been in place for teachers for more than 80 years harm California’s students.

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