Legislation

Pension legislation signed

Educators may notice a little extra going out of their paychecks into to the California State Retirement System (CalSTRS) beginning this month, but that’s a good thing since the money will not only come back to them at retirement, it will stabilize the retirement system into the future.

After years of attempts to close a shortfall in the teachers retirement system that has mounted to $74 billion, the Legislature in June approved Gov. Jerry Brown’s pension plan that provides increased contributions from educators, school districts and the state.

“For roughly the last 10 years our highest priority and our members’ most pressing concern has been to secure the long-term stability of the Defined Benefit Program,” said Harry Keiley, chair of the Teachers’ Retirement Board and member of the Santa Monica-Malibu Classroom Teachers Association.

The historic action calls for member contributions to increase from 8 to 10.25 percent over the next three years. School and community college district contributions will increase from 8.25 percent to 19.1 percent over seven years while the state’s portion would increase from the current 3.041 percent to 6.3 percent in the next three years. The increases began to take effect July 1.

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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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CTA-sponsored, Cosponsored Measures Gain Floor Approval

Thanks to your efforts in the field, CTA has won two major victories recently, following up on battles won just prior to a key legislative deadline.

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California Civil Rights Hero Opened State's Public Schools to Native Americans


If Californians ever doubt the power of one person to change history, they need only reflect on the life of Alice Piper, whose courageous insistence on her right to attend public schools led to a state Supreme Court decision that for the first time allowed Native Americans like Alice to go to local public schools instead of “separate but hardly equal” Indian schools.

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At Capitol, Educators Advocate for Increased Funding, Mandatory Kindergarten, Secure Retirement

Approximately 200 educators from across the state went office-to-office Wednesday to talk to their local lawmakers in the state Capitol.

The CTA Chapter presidents urged lawmakers to support Gov. Jerry Brown’s May Revision of the state budget, including his plan to pay back the money owed to schools after years of devastating cuts.

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In Capitol Today, Educators Advocate for Increased Funding, Mandatory Kindergarten, Secure Retirement

Help Pass CTA-sponsored Mandatory Kindergarten Bill

Hundreds of bills are on the Assembly and Senate suspense files, dozens of which are bills CTA supports.  

Right now, CTA-sponsored AB 1444, the mandatory kindergarten bill by Assembly Education Chair Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo) and Assembly Member Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), is in the Assembly Appropriations Committee, where it is scheduled for a hearing next week.

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