Charter Educators, State Council Committees Lobby for More School Accountability

(Photo above from left) Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) and Jeff Johnston, an area high school teacher and vice chair of CTA State Council Negotiations Committee, discuss some of the key elements of CTA co-sponsored bills that would make charter schools more accountable to the public.

Educators working for the California Virtual Academy (CAVA), a statewide charter school, and members of several key CTA State Council committees were meeting with lawmakers in the state Capitol Tuesday afternoon in support of a package of bills aimed to increase accountability and transparency at charter schools and to ensure that their focus is on students, not profit.

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U.S. High Court to Consider Fair Share Lawsuit Next Session

Sally Fields in her role of Norma Rae makes it clear that without unions, working women and men have no voices. (Image used with permission.)

On Tuesday morning, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it has agreed to hear the Friedrichs vs. CTA case during its next session, which means the court could issue a decision in June 2016.

The lawsuit addresses two issues: does the First Amendment prohibit fair share fees in the public sector; and, second, may a union use an opt-out procedure to collect fair share fees.

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NEA and CTA Laud Friday's High Court Ruling Preventing States from Barring Same Gender Marriages

(Photo above) NEA President Lily Eskelsen García is praising the U.S. Supreme Court ruling. NEA and 22 state affiliates were part of a labor coalition that filed amicus briefs in support of the efforts to protect the rights of same gender couples to marry. CTA President Eric C. Heins has also praised the ruling in his contacts with the media.

Forty-eight years after it struck down state laws barring inter-racial marriage, the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday handed down an equally important decision, one that allows persons of the same gender to wed and invalidates state laws barring such marriages.

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CTA Officers Lead 1,000 Delegates to NEA RA

(Photo above) Billed as the “World’s largest Democratic Deliberative Assembly,” the annual NEA Representative Assembly brings together more than 8,000 elected educator-policymakers. Last year, delegates met in Denver. This year, they will assemble in Orlando, FL beginning in the last week of June.

Led by its newly elected team of officers, about 1,000 CTA members will be heading to the 94th annual National Education Association’s Representative Assembly in Orlando, FL this week.

CTA President Eric Heins, an elementary teacher, Vice President Theresa Montaño, a community college professor, and Secretary-Treasurer David Goldberg, an elementary teacher, will lead this year’s delegation.

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CTA and Coalition-backed Measure Would Close Tax Loopholes to Provide $9B for Public Services

(Photo above) Due to loopholes in Proposition 13, corporate owned commercial property has escaped its fair share of taxes. Those loopholes are costing California families and public services more than $9 billion annually.

A coalition of working families, lawmakers, students, CTA and other labor unions is backing SCA 5, a constitutional amendment that would close loopholes allowing corporations to avoid paying some $9 billion annually, their share of the costs of running the state and covering the costs of schools, law enforcement, healthcare, and other vital services.

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Lawmakers to Review Three CTA-cosponsored Charter School Accountability Bills on July 1

(Photo above) At a news conference last week at the state Capitol, Assembly Member Roger Hernandez (at podium) and charter school parents and teachers spelled out how a lack of transparency and a for-profit motive are harming students at a statewide charter school, the California Virtual Academy). They urged lawmakers to approve measures designed to increase charter school accountability.

Three CTA-cosponsored measures to increase charter school accountability and transparency are scheduled for hearings in two legislative committees on Wednesday, July 1.

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Assembly Member, Parents and Virtual Educators Charge: For-profit Charters are Failing Students, Violating Law

(Photo above) Flanked by educators, including educators teaching at California Virtual Academies (CAVA), CAVA parents and students, Assembly Member Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina) during a Thursday morning news conference slams the for-profit charter company for putting corporate interests above those of students and teachers.

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Assembly, CTA Honor Educators on Day of the Teacher and California ESP Day

(Photo above) From r., Assembly Education Chair Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach), CTA President-elect Eric Heins, and Assembly Member Jose Medina (D-Riverside) display the Assembly resolution that officially proclaimed, Wednesday, May 13, as the 2015 Day of the Teacher. The day is set aside in honor of the dedicated classroom and school personnel who work to help students succeed. CTA and California celebrated May 19 as California ESP Day as a tribute to the hard-working women and men who help ensure student success.

Over a two week period, CTA and the state celebrated two important days, the Day of the Teacher on May 13 and California Education Support Professional Day, honoring the vital support professionals who help our schools promote student success. California ESP Day came during the May 17-23 celebration of ESP Week.

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Educators Outline Lasting Effects of Budget Cuts on Schools

(Photo above) During a Monday media briefing in Sacramento, CTA Legislative Advocate Estelle Lemieux (at podium) details the $59 billion that will be required to fund educators, school programs, and services for students that were cut during the Great Recession. Educators are hopeful that funding due schools through the Prop. 98 guarantee will restore appropriations to pre-Recession levels.

Members of the Education Coalition on Monday urged lawmakers to keep the promise to California’s students that Proposition 98 provides and to restore $59 billion to fund educators, school programs and services slashed during the Great Recession.

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Hundreds Turn Out at Capital Middle School to Fight for Fair Taxation

(Photo above) Don Stauffer, a school science teacher at River City High school in the Washington school district, tells a crowd of about 200 Thursday morning that California corporations are ducking more than $9 billion annually of their fair share of property taxes, funds that are desperately needed for children’s education, healthcare, infrastructure, and other vital needs.

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) More than 200 educators, clergy, parents, retirees, labor union representatives, and others convened in front of Sutter Middle School to announce the creation of a coalition dedicated to making California’s property tax structure fairer.

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