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Fighting for All Students, No Matter the Challenge

Amid some of the most difficult challenges we have ever faced, CTA continues to lead the fight for the resources all students need, the schools they deserve, and the safe and healthy teaching and learning conditions our school communities require.

This Annual Report, which begins in September of 2019 and carries us through August of 2020, showcases CTA’s extensive work to teach, support and protect students, further public education and build a just society.

Our combined efforts during the most extraordinary of circumstances are nothing less than inspiring. From winning accountability and transparency for charter schools to continuing the fight for racial and social justice, to protecting the health and safety of schools and communities during a raging pandemic, CTA is leading the way. Keep scrolling to discover all we accomplished. And pat yourself on the back while you’re at it. We couldn’t have done it without you!

– E. Toby Boyd – CTA President


Increased Accountability & Transparency for Charter Schools

Starting the year off with great news and years in the making, Governor Gavin Newsom historically signed AB 1505 (O’Donnell) into law, bringing much-needed accountability and transparency to privately managed charter schools. Along with AB 1507 (Smith), the two new laws are the first changes to charter school regulations in 27 years.


Schools and Communities First Kickoff

California educators and leaders join with other labor and community coalition partners to officially kickoff statewide signature gathering for the Schools and Communities First campaign.


Calm During Crisis

Kaitlin Holt, Saugus High School choir director experienced every educators’ nightmare – a school shooting. Holt barricaded the classroom door, bravely dressed a bullet wound of a student, reassured panicked students and remained calm during the frightening experience.

“If you worry that you’ll be afraid, I don’t think that’s what will happen. You’ll know what you need to do and you’ll do it. That’s what educators do.”

– Kaitlin Holt


CTA and NEA Continue Strong Support of DACA

CTA and NEA filed an amicus brief stating the action the Trump administration took to end DACA was unlawful, arbitrary and capricious, and should be set aside.

“Stripping away DACA from our nation’s most hardworking contributors to education is a disgrace to our democracy. It will rob our school districts of qualified educators, who have taught and trained every generation of trailblazers. DACA is essential to keep our classrooms afloat. This program gives our students a reason to thrive, and robbing them of this crucial program will deter them from succeeding in life.”

– E. Toby Boyd, CTA President


West Sonoma County Teachers Association Reach Agreement

Through the power and strength of organizing, parent support and unity, the West Sonoma County Teachers Association reached a tentative agreement with the district that will benefit students by helping to halt teacher turnover.



Teaching Through Trauma

Shortly before the pandemic, CTA published “Teaching Through Trauma” series in the Educator magazine. Many of the strategies and tips would become especially relevant in the coming months. The series highlights education approaches that focus on relationship building and empathy.


Celebrating Educators Making Change

CTA honors and celebrates the 2019 Human Rights Award Winners at the Equity & Humans Rights Conference.

Did you know?

638 members applied for Human Rights scholarships and 222 members were awarded scholarships totaling $403,100


Fighting for Better Teaching and Learning Conditions

CTA chapters Healdsburg Area Teachers Association and Chula Vista Educators fight for better teaching and learning conditions, including a fair contract and fair class sizes.


Black Lives Matter at School

CTA participates in #BlackLivesMatterAtSchool to support organizing for racial justice in education.

Did you know?

54 IFT grants were awarded to CTA members, totaling $633,222 for creative classroom ideas


CTA Celebrates California Reads

Shortly before the country shuts down due to COVID-19 safety precautions, CTA celebrates the 23rd Annual Read Across America and California Reads in classrooms throughout the state.


CDC Warns of Contagious Coronavirus

In February 2020, CDC issues warning about the coronavirus. CTA begins to gather and provide resources for members.


CTA Creates a Powerful Resource for Members

To address potential educator isolation, CTA creates the “CTA Teaching, Learning & Life During COVID-19” Facebook Group as a resource for members to share distance learning tips, COVID-19 safety information, provide support and reflect on this unprecedented time. Over 19,000 CTA members joined the group and participated actively.


Prioritizing Health and Safety of Students, Educators and Families

On March 13, 2020, CTA recommends closing all public schools and community colleges and urges state leaders to support students and families with challenges of the growing COVID-19 pandemic.


Did you know?

22,000 CTA members joined in on a CTA tele-town hall about COVID-19 and reopening schools


CTA Members Show Students They Care

As it becomes clearer that the sheltering at home order may last longer than expected, CTA members get creative to show their students they care.  

Educators Help Students and Families During Difficult Time

As the COVID-19 outbreak rages, educators reach out to help their students and families who are struggling to put food on the table and get other basic needs met. 

That Feeling When You Zoom with the Governor and First Partner!

To better understand the challenges for teachers and students engaging in online learning, Governor Gavin Newsom and first partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom held a Zoom meeting with four CTA members, Reagan Duncan, Roberta Kreitz, Kyna Collins and Olivia Udovic.

“This is a tough situation for all of us – students, educators and families. Many schools closed so quickly that teachers didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to their students and really help them prepare for this new reality. I have heard from so many educators who have talked about how their students cried on their first distance learning calls, simply because they were happy to see each other.”

– E. Toby Boyd


CTA President E. Toby Boyd Appointed to Recovery Task Force

In April 2020, CTA President E. Toby Boyd was appointed to Governor Newsom’s Recovery Task Force to prioritize safety of students, educators and communities.

“While everyone wants a return to traditional classroom settings as soon as possible, safety must remain a top priority and will be foremost in my thoughts and actions as this task force moves forward.”

– E. Toby Boyd, CTA President


CTA Conferences Go Virtual

While we missed the buzz of in-person conferences, we saw a surge of CTA members who were now able to attend with a virtual option!


CTA President Sends Message of Support to Educators

CTA President E. Toby Boyd’s reminds educators to take care of themselves during this difficult and challenging time.


State Council Goes Virtual

For the first time in CTA’s 157-year history, the meeting was held by videoconference, with more than 800 participants in total. CTA president E. Toby Boyd delivers a powerful speech to State Council delegates.

CTA Shows Our Union Strength

The powerful video montage played at State Council reminds us of the challenging events 2020 has brought thus far.


So Thankful for Educators

During Teacher Appreciation Week and leading up to California Day of the Teacher and Education Support Professionals (ESP) Day, CTA launches a statewide ad campaign highlighting the tireless commitment of all educators to their students during the COVID-19 pandemic. CTA recognizes educators for their incredible dedication and strength during the crisis. View video in Spanish

Day of the Teacher artwork by Richard Morales


IPD Launches Distance Learning Support Webinar Series

CTA’s Instruction & Professional Development Department launches distance learning webinars and support for educators. The webinar focus areas include:

  • Rich Content and Effective Pedagogy
  • Culture, Engagement and SEL
  • Equity, Access and Agency
  • Systems, Support and Improvement

Did you know?

27,985 CTA members joined on our IPD, ILC and IFT webinars


Teachers Go the Extra Mile (Again!)

While we know that educators have always gone above and beyond, we see a large increase of stories in the media from parents to celebrities thanking teachers for their work during the pandemic.



A New Launches on May Day

After months of hard work, dedication and member input, CTA proudly launched the new and improved on May 1, 2020. The new website provides a great user experience with a faster, easier-to-navigate, mobile-friendly, visually appealing and interactive space that reflects the power and beauty of the union.


CTA President Does Story Time!

CTA President E. Toby Boyd (who also happens to be a Kindergarten teacher) launches “Story Time with Toby,” a series on CTA’s YouTube channel, for educators and parents to play for their kids.


CTA Urges Support for the HEROES Act

As the COVID-19 pandemic creates a budget crisis, CTA advocates for funding and urges members to call Congress to support for $1 trillion for state & local governments in the HEROES Act and at least $175B for the Education Stabilization Fund.

Yes to Unionizing!

PERB gives green light to educators unionizing at L.A.’s largest charter school chain, Alliance College-Ready Public Schools. The favorable ruling culminates a five-year-long effort aimed at improving learning and teaching conditions at charter schools.

South Bay Educators Make Union Organizing History

South Bay Educators United made national news for becoming the first union who historically organized online during the pandemic.


Black Lives Matter

As a union of 310,000 educators across California, we have an obligation to act. This is not a time for us to look away. We must grapple with the fact that our schools, our practices, policies and even our own union, are shaped by inequities, bias and institutional racism.

Our black students & educators experience schools, the police and this pandemic very differently than our white students & educators. Saying Black Lives Matter isn’t enough: we need to actively show it in our work toward anti-racism on a personal, structural and institutional level.

We are grieving and we are outraged. Together, we must continue the call for justice and to hold powerful people, and each other, accountable. What are you doing to work toward anti-racism every day?

– CTA’s response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Tony McDade by law enforcement

Educator’s Viral Photo Pleads for More Education Funding

Caroline, first grader teacher at Moreland School District’s photo goes viral as she urges for more funding for education.

It’s Official: Schools And Communities First is on the 2020 ballot!

Did you know?

59,720 Schools & Communities First postcards were sent to California voters


The Fight Doesn’t Stop – Even in a Pandemic!

Selma Unified Teachers Association held a socially distanced protest at the school board meeting earlier this week against the District’s efforts to slash 40 educator positions and cut educator pay by 10%.

Historic Supreme Court Ruling for LGBTQ+ Rights and Employment Equity

CTA members celebrate historic Supreme Court ruling for LGBTQ+ rights and employment equity: It is now illegal to fire an employee simply for being an LGBTQ+ person! To our LGBTQ+ educators and students: you make schools better — not in spite of, but because of who you are.


Did you know?

141 CTA members received Disaster Relief Fund assistance from Member Benefits


“California cannot reopen schools unless they are safe.”

An excerpt from the letter sent by CTA officers to Governor Gavin Newsom, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond about reopening of schools


2020 NEA Representative Assembly Goes Virtual

More than 7,000 educators total took part in the first-ever Virtual NEA Representative Assembly.


CTA Launches New Racial Justice Programming 

CTA’s Human Rights Department launches “Takeover Tuesdays for Racial and Social Justice” online series hosted and organized by the Racial Equity Affairs Committee (REAC) and Service Center Council (SCC) Equity Team At-Large members to engage with CTA members, highlight ongoing racial justice work, and dialogue around how to promote racial and social justice in our classrooms, schools, associations, communities and beyond.


“I’ve never been happier to change the calendar in my life. 2020 was a trying year, especially for educators. Forced suddenly from our classrooms by an invisible enemy that threatened all our lives, we adjusted on the fly to a new learning environment (as educators and parents), organizing remotely to defend the health of our school communities and fighting to ensure classrooms physically reopen #OnlyWhenItsSafe.”

— E. Toby Boyd, CTA President

As Crises Mount, Educators Never Stop Believing

When schools shuttered statewide in March in due to the COVID-19 pandemic, educators worked tirelessly to meet the challenges of distance learning while simultaneously helping their own children do the same. We organized to force school districts to make health and safety the top priority while also working to protect our own loved ones from the deadly virus.

We continued the fight for equity as the pandemic disproportionately impacted our students of color, and mourned the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless other victims of systemic racism, rising together to declare that Black Lives Matter. We supported each other as wildfires raged across our state. Though classrooms closed in Spring, we worked together to ensure the learning never stopped, finding ways to reach and support our students when they needed it most.

Through all of this, educators never stopped believing—in each other, our students, communities and the promise of public education—just like always, because #WeAreCTA.