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By Julian Peeples

Reunited, and it feels so good. After two years of virtual meetings, CTA State Council of Education is meeting in-person this weekend in Los Angeles. CTA President E. Toby Boyd delivered a powerful and emotional speech this morning. Here are 11 takeaways from that speech.


  1. Safety First: “CTA has led on safety issues from the start of the pandemic, and I think we can be extremely proud of our track record. Our advocacy at the state and local level led to reopening schools safely. We successfully pushed for prioritizing vaccines, testing, and adequate personal protective equipment for educators.”


  1. Fighting for Justice on Many Fronts: “After the murder of George Floyd, many CTA members ventured out of lockdown to protest and to say that Black Lives Matter, CTA members stood up against the Asian hate unjustly tied to the pandemic, and members supported LGBTQ+ students whose support networks had shrunk or been eliminated by the lockdown.”
  1. Crucial Campaigns: “We need to re-elect Tony Thurmond as Superintendent of Public Instruction. There are 100 state assembly and senate races up for election and more than 2,700 county and local school board races. And those local and county races are going to be more important than ever.”


  1. Lies Hurt: “There is a coordinated effort going on to spread disinformation and sow discontent around a variety of issues, including public education. Some of it is created just to get clicks, but some of it is more insidious, and some is outright dangerous.”


  1. #SacCitySolidarity: “Right now, 10,000 students a day are without a permanent teacher in Sac City. 3,000 students a day don’t even have a substitute teacher. And nearly 600 students have been waiting for independent study all year. This is simply unacceptable.”

CTA President Toby Boyd at the Sacramento City educators strike last week.

  1. Value Educators: “School districts argue that they can’t afford to pay their teachers and classified employees more. But I would argue that school districts can’t afford NOT to pay their employees more and give them the respect and working conditions they and their students deserve.”


  1. Help Wanted: “We are facing a massive teacher shortage. It’s only been exacerbated by the pandemic, which spurred many earlier-than-planned retirements and resignations. Two-thirds of districts this year reported more teacher vacancies than usual and a much harder time finding teachers to hire.”


  1. Students Are Our Special Interest: “I salute all of you who are organizing and pushing your districts to do the right thing. And not just on compensation issues, but on all the things that make our schools better places for students to learn and for educators to educate.”


  1. A Transformative Opportunity: “California’s historic $3 billion dollar investment in community schools promises to be a real game-changer. We’re talking about schools being so much more than what happens inside a classroom.”

  1. Si Se Puede: “As we celebrate Cesar Chavez Day this coming Thursday, let’s not forget that he used his organizing skills not just for better wages, but to build communities. Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.”


  1. U.N.I.T.Y.: “As CTA members, we can debate and differ, but when push comes to shove, we speak and act with a united voice. It’s that unity that moves us forward. “

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