The Blog at CTA

On Day of Teacher, Superintendent’s Accountability Task Force Presents Findings to State Board of Education

(From l.) CTA President Eric Heins points to some key elements of the task force report to a Capitol Television News Service reporter following his presentation to the State Board of Education on May 11, the Day of the Teacher.

Three words summarize the recommendations of Superintendent Tom Torlakson’s Advisory Task Force on Accountability and Continuous Improvement: “performance, equity, and improvement.”

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Lawmakers, Educators Propose Comprehensive Changes to Boost Charter Accountability, Transparency, and Fair Access to All Students

(Photo above) Backed by teacher representatives and charter school teachers, Sen. Leno spells out that his SB 322 “helps ensure that admission requirements for charter schools encourage equal access for all students….”

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Two Key Bills Need Governor Signature

Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign two key bills–one that will streamline the teacher dismissal process to ensure student safety and one that suspends the STAR tests to allow students to transition to testing aligned to the Common Core State Standards. 

While the governor has 30 days from the end of the legislative session to sign the measures, he could make his decision at any time between now and then.

The first bill – CTA-supported AB 375 by Assembly Education Chair Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo) and Principal Coauthor Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) – streamlines and expedites the dismissal process to keep students safe, safeguard the integrity of the profession and protect the rights of educators.

The second measure – CTA-supported AB 484 by Assembly Member Susan Bonila (D-Concord) – will align student assessments with the new Common Core State Standards.  

  • Click here for more information about these measures and for a quick way to contact the governor in support of them.
  • Click here to read the solid San Jose Mercury editorial in support of AB 484.

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Legislature Approves State Budget: California Educators Are Encouraged by the New Compromise on the Local Control School Funding Formula

The state Senate and Assembly today passed AB 110, the legislature’s budget bill that will make a historic change in how schools are funded. The new budget, which is on its way to the governor for his signature, also provides more than $2 billion to begin repaying school districts funding they are owed after years of drastic cuts. It provides additional funding to ensure that virtually all districts get back to their 2007-08 state funding levels. It also targets more funding to help the state’s neediest students.

“While it will take years for our schools to fully recover, this budget is a big step in the right direction. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a state budget proposal width a significant increase in education funding,” said CTA President Dean E. Vogel. “The governor’s Local Control Funding Formula that is part of the final budget adds up to renewed opportunities for our schools. We are also encouraged by the $1.25 billion for the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. These new standards will dramatically impact teaching and learning. Educators must have the resources they need to help students succeed.”

New language regarding school district accountability provisions in the final budget protects collective bargaining and limits the oversight of County Offices of Education. This agreement holds the promise of a better future for our students. Take a closer look at details of the agreed-upon budget.

The legislature approved the spending bill a day before the June 15 deadline for sending the measure to the governor.  The governor has until June 30 to sign the budget into law to take effect on July 1, the start of the state’s new fiscal year.

Lawmakers are also debating and approving several “budget trailer measures” that help implement the new spending plan.

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Capitol News: Improving Charter School Governance

On Wednesday, May 8, 2013, the Assembly Education Committee approved a proposal co-sponsored by CTA that requires charter school governing boards to comply width a statute that promotes transparency and accountability to parents and the public in the operation of public schools and expenditure of public funds.

Overall, the goal of AB 913 (Chau) is to have charter schools operate width integrity to ensure their employees (some of whom are represented by CTA) are not deemed ineligible to participate in governmental pension plans by the IRS. Charter school employees are part of the public education system and should receive the protections and benefit plans afforded to all public educational employees, including participation in CalSTRS and CalPERS.

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