Articles posted by Capitol News

Capitol News

What happens in the state legislature, in the governor's office, and at state agencies can affect every teacher, education support professional, and student in the state. The Capitol News blog aims to provide members with timely information about what is going on in the state capitol.

New Legislature Officially Elects Sen. de Leon Speaker pro Tem, Assembly Member Atkins as Speaker

Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon takes the oath of office Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the 28th chief justice of the State of California, during the Senate’s opening session on Monday. 

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Voters Heeded Teachers and Re-elected Teacher Torlakson as Supt of Public Instruction

(Photo above) Beaming and surrounded by supporting CTA members, Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson makes his victory speech at CTA election night headquarters in Sacramento.

"Our opponents poured more than $8 million into campaign ads to defeat the only teacher running for Supt. of Public Instruction. Aided by teachers’ recommendations, voters saw through the efforts by billionaires to buy race the race and overwhelming re-elected Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

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No Tricks: Chico Educators Urge CTA Members to Vote for Supt. Torlakson in GOTV Efforts

(Photo above) A costumed Susan Green and her daughter, Clara, reach out to CTA members by phone, urging them to support an educator, Tom Torlakson, for re-election as State Superintendent of Public Instruction.  Green, who teaches at Cal State University Chico, is a member of CTA’s State Council of Education and statewide Treasurer of the California Faculty Association. She is supporting Supt. Torlakson because of his years as a classroom teacher, coach, and higher education instructor and his courageous advocacy for public education during his legislative career.

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CTA Joins Labor in Walking and Talking for Pro-education Candidates

(Photo above) At Center, CTA President Dean E. Vogel, an elementary teacher; and CTA Vice President Eric Heins, also an elementary teacher, join with (from l.) Sacramento Central Labor Council Leader Bill Camp, U.S. Rep. Ami Bera and his wife, and CFT Vice representatives to rally volunteers preparing to do Election Day precinct walking on behalf of pro-education candidates.

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Here's Some Holiday Cheer to Help You Say "Bah, Humbug" to School Scrooges

They call themselves “reformers,” but most insiders know them as “corporate” front people.  They make their living by telling anyone who’ll listen that public schools are failing.

Happily, you can cheer yourself up and get and disseminate the information that proves these reformers wrong.  This time of year, what better way of saying “bah, humbug” to these anti-public education Scrooges than by reading and sharing an expose’ about who they are and what falsehoods they are spreading about our public schools.

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Right-wing Group Spawns "Jeffersonian Project" to Sidestep Non-profit Restrictions

That loud whirring sound you’re hearing is Thomas Jefferson, the founding father and fierce champion of Democracy, spinning in his grave at the news the radical right-wing group – the American Legislative Exchange Council (or ALEC) – has created a code-named “Jeffersonian Project” designed to let it skirt restrictions on political giving that come with its status as a 401(c)3 “charitable organization.”

ALEC, a collection of business organizations, other deep-pocket political givers, and radical right politicians, has a clear agenda – privatizing public schools, corporatizing government functions and outsourcing them to the private sector, and gagging the voices of working women and men by gutting their unions and killing off their union rights.

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"Sequestration" Cuts are Hurting Students: Urge Congress to End Them and Boost School Funding

National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel put it this way: “We continue to experience deep cuts to critical education programs, especially for low-income and students with special needs. We are America, and we are better than this.”

The NEA leader is referring to the political wrangling in Washington D.C. that has stalled efforts to replace school-bludgeoning “sequestration” cuts with what our schools desperately need: more funding for key educational programs, especially programs aimed at our students of greatest need.

Both the NEA president and the leader of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) are urging Congress to act before a Dec. 13 deadline.

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More Good News: Schools Could Receive Another $3.1 Billion in 2013-2014

(Graphic above)  The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) projects that K-14 public education will receive an additional $3 billion in 2013-2014 and another $5 billion above that for 2014-2015, thanks in part to voter approval of Proposition 30, the funding initiative, last November.

In a welcome bit of news, K-14 public education could see another $3.1 billion in 2013-2014 above the allocations in the adopted state budget. The LAO also notes it may take longer than originally projected to fully fund the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).

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No More Tears: AB 484 Paves Way to High tech Assessments and Stops Second grade Testing

During testimony on CTA-backed legislation to stop damaging testing of second graders, lawmakers themselves told stories of their own youngsters’ trauma at facing exams at too young an age.

CTA-backed AB 484, a measure by Assembly Member Susan Bonilla (D-Concord), has given California the space it needs to implement effective and high-tech student assessments that are tied to the ambitious Common Core State Standards. 

AB 484 suspends the use of California’s antiquated and out-of-synch student testing – including the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) exams.

Also of high importance, the bill stops the testing of California second-graders, something not required by federal statute that has proven to do more harm than good to the youngsters.

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Under Guise of Protecting Children, New Initiative Would Attack Basic Fairness

A new initiative threatens to set aside a basic element of American justice – the principle that an accused is innocent until proven guilty.

Proponents of the new measure suppposedly designed to “protect children” are proposing to suspend without pay a certificated educator merely accused of “egregious misconduct.” Proponents are also proposing to allow unfounded accusations to be placed in an educator’s personnel file forever.

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

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