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By Julian Peeples

CTA President David B. Goldberg delivered an energetic and inspiring first report as president to CTA State Council of Education. Here are a dozen takeaways:

  1. Purveyors of Hope: “I’ve always felt that, as educators, we have a unique role in moments of collective trauma and despair. We are charged with guiding our students and communities through these hard times –and to provide hope and understanding. And if we’re to provide that hope, we have to find it for ourselves.”
  2. A Legacy of Advocacy: “Over the years, thousands of educators have entered this room together. Within these walls, we’ve all made decisions and commitments that have shaped our future and strengthened public education. Our presence together today is another example of our commitment to our collective fight for the schools our students deserve.”
  3. Supporting Our Students and Families: “Special education educators are at the center of a system that has failed to keep up with the needs of students. Understaffed and under resourced are understatements! And yet, our special education colleagues go to work every day and provide care and compassion to every student AND their parents.”
  4. Unity in Mission: “While our workdays may look very different, we’re united by common threads. All of us, every last one of us are driven by our incredible connections to the students we serve and the colleagues we work with. There’s nothing we won’t do to fight for the schools our students deserve.”
  5. Rooted in Reality: “While CTA has amazing political power in Sacramento, the only way we win what we deserve there is when our work is connected to our lived experiences of our members.”
  6. Extremists Rear Their Ugly Heads: “When you think about all that we can accomplish together, it’s not so surprising to see our opponents challenging our unity and strength. It’s not surprising to see pockets of extremism popping up around the state. This extremism is often resourced by those seeking to dismantle public education, who have zeroed in on our schools and our unions.”
  7. Fighting Divisiveness: “Our communities do not need policies that pit parents against the educators they know and trust to teach their children. We need school board members who will focus on improving learning conditions and bringing resources every student deserves to our schools.”
  8. Decades of Disinvestment: “Prop 13, passed in 1978, was heralded as ‘a tax break for grandmas.’ Now more than ever before, it’s clear that this was never about our grandmas. This was about giant corporations refusing to pay their fair share. This was the single biggest redistribution of wealth from working people to corporations in the history of our country.”
  9. We Will Not Relent: “Corporate billionaires assume that they can fund think tanks to pump out boilerplate hateful resolutions and candidates to bring chaos and fear and hate to our communities. These are fierce fights for the heart and soul of public education and unions. They want us to be scared. They want us to be exhausted. They want us to quit. Clearly: they DO NOT KNOW US!”
  10. United, We Are Strong: “I know that there’s nothing you won’t do for your students. And in our union, we’ll do whatever it takes for each other. We just need to march in the same direction to make it happen.”
  11. Winning on Election Day: “With more than 2,000 school board races next year, we have an opportunity to hold the line for each other and our communities and engage in a massive collective act of resistance to those attacking our students and public schools.”
  12. The Joy of our Movement: “Even in the hard times and worst hours, educators can find joy in our work, in our students, in their potential and future. We laugh together and work together, no matter what.”

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