May 14-15, 2013
Dean E. Vogel
Revised Budget Plan Puts More Money into Education
True to his stated priorities, Governor Brown announced a very austere May revised budget plan and continued to make public education a priority. Thanks to higher than expected revenues, The governor added money to the base grants of the proposed new school funding formula, added $1.6 billion to pay back education deferrals, and rightfully added $1billion to help implement the Common Core State Standards. CTA continues to support the goals of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and agrees that it is time to take a stand to ensure all public schools get the resources they need to provide a quality education to all students. However, CTA still has significant concerns around the accountability language in the LCFF. CTA will not support any district accountability plan that undermines collective bargaining or gives over-reaching authority to County Offices of Education. For more information read the CTA Budget Principles approved by State Council and check out additional state budget information on www.cta.org
Moving Forward with CTA’s Strategic Plan
CTA is moving forward with developing a long-term strategic plan. Through our process called, Your Voice. Our Union. Our Future., we have heard from thousands and thousands of CTA members. Nearly 20,000 educators took the online survey and there have been discussions at various CTA meetings and conferences. Using this input, the Strategic Planning Group met in April and outlined eight areas upon which to focus and build the strategic plan. They include building an organizing culture, transforming our profession, community engagement, developing leaders, education advocacy, social justice and organizing new members. For more information, visit www.cta.org/ourfuture.
Meeting with the Orange County Register
In a change of operations for the Orange County Register, the newspaper’s Editorial Board asked to meet with CTA to talk about various education issues and concerns. It was a good meeting. The new publisher is trying to change the way the paper does business by targeting local communities in Orange County and by expanding their editorial focus. It’s clear that we still don’t agree on all issues, but we did find some common ground on the point that in order to improve student learning, every voice – including teachers and parents – must be part of the discussion. Check out my guest opinion article that outlines the work CTA is doing to improve student learning.
No Kochs in LA
CTA and several other labor unions have joined together to speak out against the potential sale of the Los Angeles Times to the Koch Brothers. The Tribune Corporation has announced its plans to sell the LA Times and, right now, two of the top bidders are the Koch Brothers and Rupert Murdoch – both are out-of-state media conglomerates that have well organized and financed agendas against working families. CTA is working with the LA County Federation of Labor and several other unions to encourage the Tribune to keep the paper locally owned. In one letter to the Tribune, the group wrote, “We are against any potential ownership that sees the LA Times as a vehicle for divisive political efforts. And with millions of union members in Los Angeles and California, we have grave concerns about giving the Koch Brothers the ability to turn the LA Times into a faux-media mallet meant only to bash unions into oblivion and deprive working men and women of any organized voice in our civic matters.”