Leadership

CTA Joins Movement to #BringBackOurGirls

Bring Back Our GirlsEarlier today, the CTA Board of Directors joined the worldwide #BringBackOurGirls movement and sent a letter to President Obama asking him to do everything in his power to rescue the more than 200 school girls who were kidnapped by terrorists in Nigeria and risk becoming victims of human trafficking.

According to news reports, the Nigerian government has been slow in its response since the militant group Boko Haram stormed a school and kidnapped the girls, who were there to take exams despite cultural pressures and threats from the militant group. Earlier this month a Boko Haram leader threatened to “sell” the girls.

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CTA Congratulates New Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins

Educators are eager to work with her on behalf of California’s students and schools

When new Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins was sworn in earlier today, CTA President Dean E. Vogel, an elementary educator and counselor, was among those guests invited to witness the ceremony.

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California Joins in on the Read Across America Celebration

Read Across AmericaCTA officers and board members spread out all over California on Monday, March 3 to help celebrate Read Across America.

Dean Vogel started the day with Tom Torlakson reading to 3rd graders in Sacramento, then followed that up with a visit to Suisun Elementary and their public library where he read “The Day the Crayons Quit” (photo at left).

Eric Heins spent time at Bagby Elementary in San Jose; Mikki Chichoki and Jose Alcala spent the morning at La Jolla Elementary in Moreno Valley reading to classes there, and Sue Cirillo read to eight different classes at Beachy Avenue Elementary in Arleta.

CTA Board Liaison Kendall Vaught read to two different classes at Commonwealth School in Fullerton. Dana Dillon was on hand to receive a resolution from the State Assembly in Sacramento. And prior to Read Across America Day, Tyrone Cabell and Toby Boyd both participated in large community events celebrating reading. 

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Close up: Wealthy Technology Czar Bankrolls Attack on Due-process Rights

A new article from the Huffington Post helps bring out of the shadows the Silicon Valley millionaire who is behind the latest legal assault on the time-tested processes that protect students and public schools from nepotism, favoritism, and cronyism.

The Post focuses on David Welch, the Silicon Valley electrical engineer who founded Infinera, a company working in fiber optics. It is Welch who hired top-dollar legal and public relations talent to help him win the notorious Vergara v. State of California lawsuit.

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Alpine Teachers Association Strike Fund Growing

Delegates to the California Teachers Association's State Council meeting in Los Angeles swelled the Alpine Teachers Association's strike fund by over $20,000 this weekend alone (January 25-26, 2014) in a flurry of union solidarity with their San Diego County colleagues.

CTA chapters and individual members from throughout California matched other donations or raised the ante to provide support for Alpine teachers should they have to walk picket lines. Chapter contributions include $1,000 from the San Jose Teachers Association, $2,000 from United Educators of San Francisco, and $5,000 from the San Diego Education Association. Once CTA's over 1,000 chapters and 325,000 individual members have opportunity to join in the drive, the potential for additional financial support is exponential.

Alpine Teachers Association members voted overwhelmingly to give their executive board authority to call for a strike. They did so in response to draconian salary and benefits cuts callously imposed by the Alpine Unified School District Board of Education.

A significant number of ATA members will be financially crippled by losing up to 35 percent of their annual compensation. "None of us want to strike," said ATA President Gayle Malone, "but the board's punitive imposition leaves us no viable alternative if they persist in failing to bargain with us fairly."

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CTA Honored with LAANE City of Justice Award

Dean Vogel and Kamala HarrisCTA is honored to have been recognized for our 150 years of advocacy on behalf of California’s educators and students by the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) at its City of Justice Awards Gala last night. 

“It takes all of us working together to make change. The fight for good paying jobs, for economic justice, for a healthy environment and for quality public schools can only be won when we work together," said CTA President Dean Vogel, speaking to a crowd of about 1,000 political activists. Dean was introduced by State Attorney General Kamala Harris (photo right).

In its 20 years, LAANE has been a progressive voice in creating a more equitable and just society. Our common goals have served to raise awareness about the necessity of a quality education, good jobs, and healthy communities. We’re proud to stand with LAANE in its ongoing commitment to civil rights and economic justice.

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Presidents Vlog: Back to School

What Local Control Funding actual means now that the school year has begun; using Common Core Standards as a guide; fighting high-stakes standardized testing; engaging communities; and, taking our profession back -- all in the latest President's Vlog...

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A Labor Day Reflection

Originally posted on Calitics.com

Labor Day is the one day of the year when we celebrate the historical achievements of the labor movement and honor those who contributed to the social and economic achievement of workers and the middle class. For me, though, this Labor Day is not only a chance to acknowledge what the labor movement has done in the past, but to reflect on what it can do in the present.

Last year at this time, teachers, firefighters, nurses and public servants came together to do something that had been unthinkable for 20 years. We persuaded voters to pass Proposition 30, a temporary tax increase to prevent drastic budget cuts to students and public schools and to keep our economy strong.

That vote was no fluke, because in the same election, voters also rejected Proposition 32, a third try at a ballot proposal that would have silenced middle-class workers and immobilized unions while strengthening the power of billionaire businessmen.

Working families may not have the billions of dollars and deep pockets of big tobacco, oil companies or Wall Street brokers, but last November, we showed that Californians want to invest in public education, their communities and their future. They want to see our economy restored so that more can work their way into the middle class, not fall out of it.

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Take Action to Expose Secret Super PACs

Last November, you said NO to the secret Super PACs’ agenda and helped the Alliance for a Better California defeat the deceptive Proposition 32. We want to thank you for your support.

During the campaign, we learned that the group ‘Americans for Responsible Leadership’ was actually a front used to funnel $11 million into California from anonymous donors trying to gain more power for special interests.

But even after being exposed, the Super PACs still refuse to name their real donors.

The state’s Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) began investigating the dark money groups last year and has already forced them to admit to their deception. They are empowered to expose the special interests for who they really are and fine them for breaking California law.

Help us unmask the Super PAC Billionaires now. Sign our petition to urge the FPPC to fast-track their investigation.

Californians deserve a speedy resolution to this issue to reveal the truth and preserve the integrity of our election process. Sign our petition today and help us ensure that this never happens again.

P.S. To learn more about our fight against the Super PACs, please read this news story.

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CTA and NEA Press Lawmakers to Make Reauthorized ESEA Work

Congress could take up its version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) – HR 5 or the Student Success Act – as early as next week. Our members in California and National Education Association members around the country are urging federal lawmakers to turn the reauthorization bill into one that will work for our students and our schools.

NEA has opposed the bill in committee, and we share concerns about several troubling aspects of the proposed legislation.

HR 5 would undermine the federal government‘s work to ensure equity for all students. The bill would undercut efforts to get targeted resources to schools that educate students width greater needs. HR 5 would also weaken collective bargaining protections involving teacher evaluation. The bill would also continue to force schools to use high stakes testing that is harming teaching and learning.

NEA is also working to stop amendments that would add private school vouchers to the bill. Our members and educators throughout the nation are urging Congress to restore bargaining rights and end the focus on high stakes testing.

Congress could amend the measure over the next several days. In its current form, the bill is not acceptable.

Please urge Congress to refocus the ESEA on its original purpose: ensuring equity for all students.

Call your Congressional Representatives at 1-866-420-3592 and ask them to:

  • Recognize educators’ roles in student success, which means stopping the push for high stakes testing and guaranteeing teachers a voice in their profession through collective bargaining.
  • Oppose any efforts to divert public education funding to private school vouchers.

Or email your Congressional Representatives width the same message.

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

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