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By Julian Peeples

Nearly 700 educators from across the state set course for the busy year ahead this weekend at the first CTA State Council of Education meeting of the school year.

Meeting virtually for the sixth consecutive time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, State Council voted Saturday to recommend incumbents and candidates running for statewide, constitutional offices in the November 2022 election.

CTA Secretary-Treasurer Leslie Littman and President E. Toby Boyd.

“We are proud to announce educators’ support for these proven public education partners who share our values in the work we do every day for the six million students in California,” CTA President E. Toby Boyd said. “It’s important to elect leaders who understand the value of public education and who will stand with educators and parents against the forces that want to privatize our schools or push risky voucher schemes that will take taxpayer dollars away from our public schools.”

CTA recommends the following for next year’s election: Gavin Newsom for Governor; Eleni Kounalakis for Lieutenant Governor, Shirley Weber for Secretary of State; Rob Bonta for Attorney General; Fiona Ma for Treasurer; Ricardo Lara for Insurance Commissioner; Tony Thurmond for State Superintendent of Public Instruction; and Alex Padilla for U.S. Senator.

In his address to State Council, Boyd thanked educators statewide for their herculean efforts despite numerous challenges.

“Safety concerns, quarantining issues and staffing shortages,” Boyd listed. “We have a growing educator shortage, with a record number of resignations and retirements related to the stress of teaching and learning during the pandemic.”

Many educators have reported this school year to be even more difficult than last, from the health measures needed to safely resume in-person instruction to dealing with the politicization of those safety standards.

“Sometimes our local chapters have been in the line of political fire from community members, or even other educators,” Boyd said. “That’s why solidarity and basing our decisions on science and what’s safe for students, staff, and communities needs to steer clear of politics and misinformation.”

CTA State Council held a touching observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Boyd warned of a number of initiatives that could come before California voters next year, including another school voucher proposal that would use public funds to pay for private and religious schools. Much like educators have weathered the pandemic together, Boyd said our unity will power CTA through these challenges as well.

“It’s so important that we continue to stand together and stand strong,” Boyd said. “Educators speaking with one voice are a force to be reckoned with. We must stand strong together to beat back any effort to privatize one of California’s oldest and most valuable resources: our public schools.”

In preparation for next year’s battles at the ballot box, State Council approved the use of up to $5 million to support CTA’s positions on statewide initiatives. State Council members also elected the following members to the CTA ABC Committee: Roger McCoy, District D; Ed De La Vega, District H; and Anthony Garcia, District O.

The CTA State Council of Education next assembles Jan. 14-16 2022, currently scheduled for an in-person meeting in Los Angeles. President Boyd said next year is already shaping up to be a big one.

“We are in for some fights, folks,” Boyd said. “And we have to be ready.”

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