The Blog at CTA

Supt. Torlakson, Assembly Member Dickinson Work with Community to Get Children Backpacks

Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, a former teacher, and Assembly Member Roger Dickinson are working with the community to help ensure that all students in the Sacramento City Unified School District have backpacks and other school essentials.

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The Sacramento Bee Thinks Teachers are Selfish

The Sacramento Bee has done it again – attacked teachers and two pro-education elected officials. In an editorial published on Thursday, "Teacher protections that hurt students are indefensible – unless you’re state’s top education official”, The Bee slams Gov. Brown and Supt. Torlakson for appealing the misguided “Vergara ruling” that would undermine teacher due process and seniority protections.

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Outraged? Tell the Sacramento Bee How You Feel!

Sacramento Bee Columnist Dan Walters has fired off another inaccurate column that attacks our union for pressing for legal changes to speed up and streamline the teacher dismissal process to protect students and safeguard the profession.

Mr. Walters wrongly attacks educators for their support for AB 375 (Buchanan), a bill to streamline the dismissal process.

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Bee's Editorializing Misses Again: Teachers Back Bills to Protect Students and Improve Testing

For the second time in a week, the Sacramento Bee has misreported facts on a key educational issue.

Bee political pundit Dan Walters – like the Bee’s editorial writers a few days ago – has wrongly asserted that a measure – in this case, two measures, AB 375 and AB 484 that CTA supports are not in children’s best interest.

In fact, CTA is backing AB 375, a measure by Assembly Education Chair Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo), because it will protect children and safeguard the profession by speeding up disciplinary action against certificated personnel – including teachers. The bill is awaiting the governor’s signature.

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Diane Ravitch Slams Corporate Reformers and Lauds Public Schools in Sacramento Address


(In photo above from r.) Author Diane Ravitch delivered a rousing defense of public education in the state capital on Friday night.  CTA Secretary Treasurer Mikki Cichocki-Semo was among the panelists who introduced. (Photo by Jose Medina)

During a powerful presentation to an estimated hundreds of educators, parents, and community members on Friday night in Sacramento, Prof. and author Diane Ravitch delivered a strident defense of public education and a formidable attack on the “corporate reformers” who seek to profit by convincing elected officials and voters that schools are not doing the job.

Ravitch, a research professor of education at New York University and a historian of education, illuminated the Memorial Auditorium near the state Capitol with her message about the deceptive attacks on public education and the “so-called” reform proposals that would cripple schools while enriching special interests.

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As Deadline Nears, Educators Walk and Talk for Prop. 30, against Prop. 32

(Photo above:  From left, on Saturday morning, Educator Carlos Rico discusses the day’s precinct walking width volunteer Jan Arias outside the Sacramento City Teachers Association building in East Sacramento. Educators are working hard to secure voter approval of Proposition 30, the governor's revenue measure for schools, and voter rejection of Proposition 32, the deceptive measure that would give wealthy special interests more political power.) 

(Photo at left: CTA Staff Member Seth Bramble gives volunteers some tips about effective precinct-walking as they prepare to talk to hundreds of voters in the Sacramento area.)

Throughout California on the next-to-last weekend before Election Day, Nov. 6, thousands of educators, nurses, firefighters, college students, and school supporters are taking to the streets and the phone lines to contact voters in support of Proposition 30 and in opposition to Proposition 32.

For students, parents, and educators, Proposition 30 is a vital measure.  It is the only ballot measure that will prevent another $6 billion in automatic funding cuts to K-12 public schools, the community colleges, and the state’s university systems. Cuts of that magnitude, on top of more than $20 billion in cuts that have rocked public education and harmed students, could shutter Sacramento schools 10 days early this year. Parents and teachers know that students can’t afford to lose the learning time.

For middle-class families, defeating Proposition 32, the deceptive “Special Exemptions Act,” is just as important.

Proposition 32 would increase the power of wealthy special interests to influence state politicians.  The measure would make it harder for educators and others to secure desperately needed funding from state lawmakers and the governor.

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Noted Communications Professor Urges “Yes” Vote on Prop. 30, “No” Vote on Proposition 32

(From right) During a panel discussion of the 2012 election on Tuesday night at the California museum, California State University Sacramento Communications Professor Emeritus Barbara O’Connor tells members of the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce’s Metro Edge group that Proposition 30, the governor’s revenue measure, is the only one on the November ballot that will help stave of more than $500 million in additional cuts to state colleges and universities, as California’s Capitol Writer Greg Lucas looks on.

O’Connor detailed how cuts at the higher education entities had harmed her students, and she countered the assertion by a fellow panelist, Tony Quinn of the California Target Book, that despite past predictions of destruction due to cuts like those occasioned by the passage of Proposition 13, the state and its programs have weathered the reductions.

“[The destruction] is happening. Trust me,” O’Connor insisted. “The average time it takes to get out at Sac. State is six years. That’s not good. Tuition has gone up.  The state’s share of money for UC and CSU has gone down a lot.  It’s not just education either. Now I’m on AARP (American Association of Retired People) board….all of those programs [such as health and welfare and children’s programs] are going to get massive cuts.  [By voting for Proposition 30] you are going to have a chance to decide what California is going to look like.”

Reporter Lucas also challenged Quinn’s assessment that “schools won’t be cut that much” if Proposition 30 fails.  “Not that much?  They’ve already been cut $5 billion.  That’s not just walking around money….,” Lucas told an audience of about 105 Chamber members, their guests, and reporters.

During an exclusive interview width, Prof. O’Connor noted her opposition to Proposition 32, the deceptive “election reform” measure that would exempt corporate special interests from regulations and further tilt the campaign playing field in favor of the wealthy at the expense of middle class working women and men.

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Dialing for School Dollars, Campaign Fairness

Alice Mercer of Bancroft Elementary tapes Kara Synhorst or Luther Burbank in a video testimony about why she opposes Proposition 32.

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Fighting the Good Fight: Educators Help Elect Pro-student, Pro-teacher Candidates

(Above from l.) Sacramento County Board of Education Member Harold Fong (l.) and Sacramento Educator Robert Lynch exult Tuesday night after pundits call Fong the winner in his bid for re-election. Educators worked hard to re-elect Fong.

(At left) Fong thanks Sacramento Teacher Scott Smith and other educators during a victory speech on election night. Educators and parents walked precincts and talked to voters in person and by phone to help Fong prevail.

The June primary election was a prelude to the high-stakes November general election, where voters will decide whether to approve Gov. Jerry Brown's revenue initiative that would implement temporary taxes to stave off another $5.5 billion in devastating cuts to public education.

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

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