By Dina Martin
The 2009 Education Support Professional of the Year, Mike Shanteler of the Redlands ESP Association (second from left), joins CTA Vice President Dean Vogel, CTA President David A. Sanchez, and CTA Secretary-Treasurer Gail Mendes.
In advance of the gubernatorial election in November, CTA’s State Council of Education voted on March 27 to support state Attorney General Jerry Brown in his bid for governor, state Sen. Tom Torlakson for superintendent of public instruction, and other candidates for constitutional offices.
“Jerry Brown is the choice of educators because he has shown himself to be committed to ensuring all students have a quality education and providing public schools and colleges with the resources they need to succeed,” said CTA President David A. Sanchez. “California needs a leader who fully understands the problems that threaten the stability of our state and who knows what is needed to resolve them.”
State Council also voted to support state Sen. Tom Torlakson for superintendent of public instruction. “Tom is a former teacher who has been a true champion of public education as a legislator,” said Sanchez. “He has carried legislation to increase funding for education, and worked with CTA to sponsor the Quality Education Investment Act, which has directed nearly $3 billion for proven classroom reforms to assist lower-performing schools, rather than sanctions. CTA wholeheartedly gives its support to his campaign.”
In other races, Council voted to support San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom for lieutenant governor; Assembly Member Dave Jones for insurance commissioner; and Chris Parker and Jerome Horton for the State Board of Equalization, 2nd and 4th District seats, respectively. Council took an “Oppose” position on Proposition 14, the Open Primaries initiative. (See CTA’s recommendations for the June primary on page 26. For further information, see www.cta.org/Issues-and-Action/Election-2010.)
The release of the Obama administration’s blueprint for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act earlier in March was also a major topic of concern for Council during its two-day meeting. Sanchez said CTA will work with the National Education Association as well as the American Federation of Teachers to push back the punitive aspects of the plan. Council urged that CTA provide teachers across the state with as much information as possible regarding the blueprint. In anticipation of the recommendation, the CTA ESEA Reauthorization Workgroup developed an outline of principles for ESEA reauthorization, which is available on the CTA website at www.cta.org/Issues-and-Action/ESEA-NCLB/Principles.
The news that 26,000 pink slips have been sent to teachers so far this year, on top of 17,000 layoffs last year, is not only devastating for members, but has an impact on CTA’s ability to provide important services. The organization, which represents 320,000 educators, has had to make budget cuts due to a loss of membership, CTA Executive Director Carolyn Doggett told Council during her remarks on Sunday morning. Despite a $10 million hole in the CTA budget, however, CTA’s books are balanced and the CTA Board and the Budget Committee are taking a proactive approach to keep CTA strong.
“Our number one priority is to keep any CTA budget cuts as far away from the services we provide to local chapters as possible,” she said.
Budget-conscious measures that are being implemented include combining the 2010 Rural Issues, Urban Issues and ESP conferences into one Issues Conference; canceling the CTA Board and ABC Committee meetings for March; and, as attrition allows, leaving some staff positions vacant.
In other action, State Council:
- Re-elected the following CTA Board members by acclamation for a three-year term beginning June 26, 2010: Eric Heins (Dist. C), Dana Dillon (Dist. D),Tyrone Cabell (Dist. L), and Mikki Cichocki (Dist. O).
- Also elected by acclamation for a three-year term beginning June 26, 2010, the following representatives to CTA’s ABC political action committee: Terri Jackson (Dist. C), Joan Sholars (Dist. J-HE), Rick McClure (Dist. K), and Madeline Shapiro (Dist. L).
- Re-elected Sonia Martin-Solis as NEA Director, District 6/14, effective Sept. 1.
- Honored three of the California Teachers of the Year: Amber Carrow of the Riverside City Teachers Association, Kathy Marvin of the Irvine Teachers Association, and Melanie Tolan of the Association of Educators (San Diego).
- Recognized the 2009 Education Support Professional of the Year, Mike Shanteler of the Redlands ESP Association.
- Approved a recommendation that CTA support the circulation of petitions for the California Democracy Act and encourage members to sign them.
- Authorized up to $1 million from the Initiative Fund to support CTA’s position opposing Proposition 14, the Open Primaries initiative.
- Urged local chapters to join the California Federation of Teachers in Sacramento April 21 to celebrate the arrival of the March for California’s Future at the state Capitol.