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Featured Issues

Ongoing Issues

Adult, Alternative and Career Technical Education

Instruction must prepare students to enter the technical global economy as well as master academic skills. Workforce development should emphasize the creation of jobs in California that are safe and sustainable (including clean technologies and industries and a “green economy”), that protect and strengthen the rights of all employees to organize, and that maintain and improve real wages and benefits for working families. More

Assessment and Testing

CTA believes effective assessment and testing – both aligned to state standards and used as diagnostic tools – can improve instruction and learning. Testing must be age and subject appropriate. It must be free from cultural, racial, gender, socio-economic and linguistic biases. Teachers must have the resources and professional development to help their students succeed. State and federal intervention in challenged schools must focus on assistance, not sanctions. More

Charter Schools

The purpose of charter schools is to create new professional opportunities for teachers to improve student learning while encouraging the use of different and innovative teaching methods. Inherent in the concept of charter schools is the belief that meaningful educational reform must be developed at the local site level and with the full participation of all “stakeholders” – teachers and other school employees, school board members and other elected officials, parents, guardians and other community residents. More

Civil Rights in Education

CTA believes that all students should have equal access to a high quality public education free from discrimination or bias reflecting their economic status, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, status or other characteristics. To further protect students, their confidentiality must be maintained. With the same care and caution, the confidentiality of school employees must be respected and guarded. More

Class Size Reduction

Small class sizes are key to improving student learning. CTA believes that small class sizes, particularly in grades pre-kindergarten through 12, allows for the optimum development of a student’s potential and ensure individual attention to each student. A reasonable goal for California’s class size is a program that places California in the upper quartile of low class sizes in the United States. Right now, California has the largest class sizes in the country. More

Collective Bargaining

For educators in California, their union contract should be as vital as their student gradebook or lesson planner. It’s a critical document that’s the culmination of the collective bargaining process. Understanding it and how it came about is critical to understanding how a local CTA chapter impacts its members’ professional life in profound ways. More

Common Core State Standards

Common Core State Standards are K-12 English Language Arts/Literacy and Math standards that will create a clear, consistent level of knowledge for our public school students no matter where they live. More

Community Colleges

CTA believes that community colleges should provide all students with access to a high quality, free postsecondary education taught primarily by full-time instructors with a part-time complement. More

Credentialing and Professional Development

California’s high standards for the teaching profession and for student performance set the stage for educational excellence. All staff has the right to meaningful professional development that will help them more ably address all students’ needs. More

CTA Teacher Evaluation Framework - Guiding Principles

Teachers provide the stable, nurturing, inspiring environment that makes it possible to reach each student individually. Teachers and the classroom environment are the foundation of a solid educational experience. More

Curriculum and Instruction

CTA believes schools must have the resources to provide the learning conditions that help students gain the skills to function effectively in our complex democratic society. More

Due Process

Current misconceptions regarding the law have created several myths about tenure, popularly held, but all false. More

Early Childhood Education

CTA believes that early childhood education is crucial to students’ success in school and life. More

Education Improvement

There is a great deal of discussion about "education reform" in the national media. More

Educator Rights

As a California education employee you have certain rights guaranteed by law with respect to your employment. CTA works tirelessly in a variety of ways to preserve and enhance your employment rights and to protect you against certain acts of discrimination. More

ESEA - No Child Left Behind

In a dramatic two weeks of fast-paced legislative action, the House and then the Senate passed bills reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, now called the Every Child Achieves Act. The bill passed the Senate on July 16 by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 81 to 17. More

Financing Public Education

CTA believes that adequate state and federal funding is vital to ensuring each and every student the high quality education she/he deserves. Proposition 98’s minimum funding guarantee is a floor, not a ceiling for school funding. CTA opposes any reduction in revenue to the State’s General Fund that would reduce Proposition 98 funding, including tax cuts. More

Higher Education

CTA believes the state’s community colleges, state colleges and universities should make admission decisions that are bias-free and take into account a student’s individual abilities and achievements. No student should be denied access because of funding shortages. Academic freedom must be assured. More

Human Rights

The intent of the Human Rights Department is to promote positive human relations and improve the education of all students with a focus on equitable access to public education. More

Immigration Reform

CTA believes in an immigration process that includes due process, political asylum, and timely legalization without regard to national origin. Immigration policies should guarantee human rights and protect the integrity of the family unit without discrimination. CTA further believes, regardless of immigration status, emergency medical care should not be denied to any person. More

Language Acquisition and Development

The primary purpose of Language Acquisition programs is to help students acquire proficiency in English. English Learners should receive instruction in other subjects and should be assessed in these other subjects in their primary language until they achieve proficiency. More

Legislation

Monitoring the legislative process and advocating for laws that achieve gains for students, teachers and public education are among the cornerstones of CTA's mission. CTA’s State Council of Education is comprised of more than 800 elected teacher leaders and is the statewide representative body of the Association. This large, diverse group of elected representatives serves as the policymaking body, considering and acting on legislation affecting the welfare of public schools in California. More

Local Control Funding Formula

The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) is a new funding formula that increases school funding and directs more resources to California’s highest –need students. The LCFF gives more local control and flexibility to spend the money, delivering services to our most needy students. Built on a need criterion, target base grants will be distributed in certain target amounts with those amounts rising when the concentration of English learner, low-income, and foster youth grow. More

Negotiations

Collective bargaining enhances educational excellence and ensures educational employees a voice in their professional lives. Employees should be fairly compensated in line with their experience and training. State law should be expanded to provide employees with shared decision-making on curricular and other instructional issues. CTA believes in and supports strategies that promote affordable healthcare, including prescription drugs, for all Californians. More

Parent Trigger

Described by advocates as a citizen initiative to balance the power between parents, school administrators, and educators in the school reform process, “parent trigger” laws are being advocated as a “silver bullet” that cuts through the complexities of the “education establishment” and gives parents new, formal, legal power to fix their own children's schools. More

Political Involvement

CTA believes that all citizens – including students of voting age – have a right and responsibility to cast ballots in a free society. Elections and election procedures should be fair and free from any unnecessary regulations that hinder voter participation. Individuals must remain free to make small political contributions, and the right of non-profit groups to pool these contributions must not be undercut. More

Professional Rights and Responsibilities

Professional educators must be given the resources, structures, access, and freedom to fulfill their primary job responsibility: Helping students succeed. CTA believes that assistance from their peers can help educators improve instruction and increase student learning. Seniority rights ensure that students will benefit from instruction by experienced teachers. More

Quality Education Investment Act

The CTA-sponsored Quality Education Investment Act (QEIA) of 2006 is helping schools that are serving a higher percentage of low income, minority and English learners to close the achievement gap. In fact, new data show QEIA schools continuing to excel: about 85% have exceeded the 3-year API growth targets. More

Race to the Top

California has been awarded a $52.6 million federal Race to the Top (RTTT) Early Learning Challenge Grant. Separate from the regular RTTT program which is now in round 3, the Early Learning Challenge Grant will help more California children get good care and a good start at learning, which we know is key to their long-term success, at school and beyond. More

Retirement

CTA believes all public employees and education employees in particular deserve secure retirement benefits with defined and equitable benefits. Both the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) and the Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) should remain autonomous contributory systems providing a single tier of benefits to all employees. More

School Funding

As a result of Proposition 13, more than 80 percent of school funding comes from the state. It is incumbent on the state to uphold the California Constitution, which says that public education has first call on state moneys. The state's budget crisis from the not-too-distant past made us all too aware of the pitfalls of our faulty tax structure, which is currently benefitting the wealthiest corporations over Californians themselves. More

School Safety

School safety is a top priority and school districts should be working on their own safety systems while working with local law enforcement. Armed security should be left to the experts. But educators need and want continued training to help them spot potential mental health needs, bullying or high-risk behaviors. More

Special Education

CTA believes that students with exceptional needs must be educated in the most appropriate placement and that many of these children can benefit by instruction in regular education classes. Class size/caseload limits are vital to supporting educators’ efforts to educate these students, and full funding is crucial to the program’s success. More

State Budget

In the revised state budget proposal released on May 14, Governor Jerry Brown allocated billions more for schools. The $169-billion overall spending plan, which is $4 billion larger than the one Brown proposed in January, gives schools and community colleges $68.4 billion for the next fiscal year - $6 billion more than was anticipated earlier this year. More

Student Support Services

CTA is vitally concerned with protecting students’ physical, emotional, and mental health by supporting and assisting certificated educators help students acquire the skills they need to become academically and socially successful in school and beyond. More

Tax Fairness

California has long relied on mostly short-term solutions to our budget problems, which has done us no long-term favors. The health of California's public schools depends on stable tax revenues. It is time to demand action to restore fairness to the system and make sure everyone is paying their fair share. More

Teacher Quality

As the organization representing 325,000 California educators, CTA has a special interest in promoting teacher quality and quality teaching. CTA has concluded that teacher quality is a result of the relationship among several factors, three of which are addressed here: pre-service preparation, professional development, and the occupational environment in which teaching occurs. More

Testing and Standards

Contrary to claims by the testing industry, teachers and parents support testing - as long as the testing is fair and in alignment with the state standards and with what is being taught in the classroom. More

Vouchers

All voucher proposals reduce funding to neighborhood schools, meaning fewer textbooks, fewer teachers per student and more overcrowded classrooms. At the same time these programs cost taxpayers millions of dollars and increase bureaucratic and administrative costs. More

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

© 1999- California Teachers Association