The Blog at CTA

What the NEA RA is Really Like From a First Time Delegate

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First time delegate and CTA member, Renata Sanchez shares her experience at the NEA Representative Assembly 2017.

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Why and How Not All California Charter Schools Benefit Students

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In a revealing and timely package of articles, videos and research, the new edition of the CTA California Educator magazine explores why not all charter schools in the state are created equal, the for-profit agenda of many of them, and how some are hurting students and communities by bending rules to the breaking point.

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Signing of Anti-Racial Mascot Bill is Union Values Victory


A sign at a recent rally protests the use of Native American caricatures as the symbol of school and professional sports teams.

Key provisions of the California Teachers Association’s Mission Statement spell out the organization’s commitment to protecting human dignity: “The California Teachers Association exists ….to ensure that human dignity and civil rights of all children and youth are protected and to secure a more just, equitable, and democratic society.”

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Charter School Operators Charged with Interfering with, Coercing Employees Seeking to Form Union

(Photo above) Flanked by charter school teachers and other supporters, Assemblymember Roger Hernandez (at podium) talks to reporters during a recent Capitol news conference about his CTA-cosponsored measure to shore up the rights of charter school employees to organize. The measure also aims to block charter school management companies to profit at students’ expense.

The employees of Los Angeles’ largest charter school management organization are charging the chain’s management with using coercion and trying to undermine the educators’ right to form a union.

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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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Guest Blogger: Gretel Liana Rodriguez describes her experiences as a novice NEA RA attendee

Gretel Liane Rodriguez This is my third NEA Representative Assembly, and I am as excited to be here as if it were my first! My first RA was in Washington, D.C., and I think that is the best place to attend the RA for the first time. I traveled all alone and didn’t know anyone that year. I have seven friends traveling with me this year, and I am rooming with two of them. I had to beg to find a roommate my first year. Luckily, a veteran took me under her wing. 

There is one true fact about the RA: Everyone is so friendly and kind to “newbies.” You feel loved and cared for – so Shout Out if you are new so that others can help you.

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City Budget in the Red? Mayor Reed Blames the Unions!

Sacramento Bee Columnist Dan Walters has apparently come to believe the spin spun by the pension “reformers” who assert that cities’ fiscal woes are due to the high costs of providing pensions to the women and men – the first responders and others – who put their lives on the line for these cities’ residents.

The word whirling by the likes of San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed –  and the Texas millionaire who is supporting his efforts – holds that if these “high pension payments” were reduced to better levels, all would be right for the cities.

In fact, cities in fiscal trouble don’t have their police officers and firefighters to blame.  The voters should be blaming officials – like Mayor Reed – who made fiscal and urban planning decisions that have put their localities in the hole.

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New Web Site Spotlights Right Wing Zealots Playing the Part of Think-Tanks

The Beatles sang that “money can’t buy you love,” but it certainly can buy a lot of right-wing “thinking.”

New information cobbled together by two sources – the Center for Media and Democracy and its partner Progress Now – is shining a spotlight on efforts by right-wing zealots to package their corporate agenda as if it were the product of nonpartisan research.

Simply put, the bad guys are pretending to be good-guy researchers.  

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Anti-union Plaintiffs Drop Two Districts from Suit

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit -- Vegara v. State of California -- have dropped two school districts from the suit that seeks to overturn due process protections for teachers and other laws governing layoffs. The lawsuit threatens to make it harder to attract and retain quality teachers by asserting that the laws governing teacher dismissals, permanent status, and layoffs are unconstitutional.

Dismissing two of three school districts demonstrates the plaintiffs don’t have viable claims in this case.  We continue to see this case as baseless and meritless, and we believe it does nothing to address the real problems facing our schools. Simply put, this lawsuit highlights the wrong problems, proposes the wrong solutions, and follows the wrong process.

The plaintiffs, a group called Students Matter—which describes itself as a nonprofit organization dedicated to sponsoring impact litigation to promote access to quality public education—say they are focusing on defendants including Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, the state, and the two teachers unions, which voluntarily signed on to defend vital state education laws.

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Vote Today as If Your Future Depends Upon it: (P.S.: It Does!)

Voters’ decisions today in California’s elections will impact virtually every aspect of our lives. The passage of Proposition 30 will protect California’s K-12 public schools, the community colleges, and the state university systems from another $6 billion in devastating cuts….cuts that would come on top of slashes that have pared $20 billion from the education of our most important natural resource – our young people.

Voters’ defeating Proposition 32, the Special Exemptions Act that would boost the political power of Super PACS and other wealthy special interests at the expense of the rest of us, will stop this cynical attack on middle-class workers, including educators, firefighters, and nurses.

Your vote matters – and the polls are open from 7 AM to 8 PM.

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

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