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As I reflect on my four years as CTA president, I’m filled with a sense of gratitude and pride in our collective accomplishments as a union. I’ve seen with my own eyes the transformation among our ranks that is breaking through barriers so our students can be proud and comfortable with who they are — as they are; and so all our students have the same right to a quality education and a bright future.

I’ve realized that the way to bring about real, sustainable, meaningful change was to be part of something larger and far stronger than I could ever be on my own — our union. That collective strength propelled me forward and let me know that all the things we needed to fight for were possible to accomplish.

Even when a worldwide pandemic presented new and unprecedented challenges to educators, to students and to the work of our union, we met that challenge together, and have come out stronger on the other side.

Despite predictions of financial catastrophe for schools when the pandemic began, and in the face of a more recent $31.5 billion state revenue shortfall, the California state budget going into 2023-24 continues to protect and fully fund public education at record levels. We’re not where we need to be — California is the fifth largest economy in the world and our schools should be funded accordingly — but over the past four years we’ve seen a steady climb upward. The revised budget includes a historic 8.22 percent cost-of-living increase to K-14 funding. In total, per-student funding is at $23,706. That means per-pupil funding has gone up about $1,000 a year since I became president.

During these same years, CTA members and chapters in huge numbers have embraced racial and social justice issues, continuing a mission that goes back to the origins of our union. Members fought for immigrant students and colleagues, marched for the Black Lives Matter movement, stood against Asian hate and antisemitism, and protected students and each other against anti-LGBTQ+ attacks and rhetoric. CTA members have stood up for truth in our curriculum and fought back against insidious attempts to rewrite our nation’s history when it comes to race. Social justice issues, including support for community schools, have been at the forefront of the “common good” issues that have driven the most recent educator strikes in California.

I do believe one of our greatest collective accomplishments on the social justice front has been California’s historic $4 billion investment in community schools. These schools have the potential to transform public education in traditionally underserved communities, and embrace shared leadership that includes educators, parents, students and community members deciding what is best for their schools and communities.

All that CTA has been able to accomplish has only been possible because of you. The simple fact that you’re reading this issue of the Educator is a form of member engagement. Many of you have taken the next steps to do even more to keep us strong. Whether it’s serving on a local chapter committee, attending a union rally or school board meeting, being a site union representative, or participating in any other CTA or local chapter event, you are the heart and soul that keeps our union strong.

The world is better today for California students because of you. While there are challenges ahead and opportunities to make things even better for public education, with your continued involvement I know CTA and our profession will remain strong.

It has been a true honor and a privilege to serve as CTA president. Thank you.

E. Toby Boyd

The Discussion 1 comment Post a Comment

  1. Cathe Petuya says...

    I am just one of many colleagues that are truly grateful for your decades in CTA leadership – from local union member to CTA president. Your commitment to serving ALL members, their students and families with integrity and kindness is inspiring. Congratulations on a stellar career!

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