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The October 21-22 CTA State Council of Education kicked off with a treat: A group of local musicians, including two members from the Grammy Award-winning band Ozomatli, welcomed delegates from the stage with lively music and smiles. 

The good feelings were infectious as the Council settled down to business. CTA President David B. Goldberg (above), in a rousing first report to Council as president, noted that one-third of the delegates were new – and part of a legacy of union solidarity and action that has played an important role in public education. 

“Within these walls, we’ve all made decisions and commitments that have shaped our future and strengthened public education,” he said. “Our presence together today is another example of our commitment to our collective fight for the schools our students deserve.”  

CTA’s power, Goldberg said, stems from its locals and the “lived experiences of our members” at sites across the state. He added that CTA is committed to ensuring that locals have the necessary resources to engage every member and build power in every school site across California. (The CTA Board is dedicating $60 million over the next two years to provide release time to every local president across the state to help chapters achieve their goals through strategic campaigns and member engagement.)  

This power means that the Council’s work, such as recommending candidates and causes and supporting legislation at the State Capitol in Sacramento, has a big impact in communities statewide.  

State Council delegates vote.

State Council delegates vote.

Goldberg mentioned sponsored legislation that CTA is currently working on: 

  • Elimination of Teaching Performance Assessments (TPAs), which are harmful in preparing our educators; 
  • Fixing the outdated and dysfunctional family leave system by mandating 14 weeks of fully paid maternity leave.  

He also spoke about how CTA and locals can use their power to fight back against extremist school boards that are harming students and educators. “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,” he said. 

Later that morning, the Council delegates considered, debated and approved recommendations on multiple state assembly, senate and congressional district candidates up for election in the March 2024 Primary Election. The Council took a neutral position on candidates running to represent California in the United States Senate. The Council also took a stand on three critical initiatives headed for the March ballot:

  • Proposition 1: Mental Health Services Act (CTA supports);
  • Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act (CTA opposes);
  • ACA 13/ Protect and Retain the Majority Vote Act (CTA supports).

For information and updates on these and other legislative issues, visit

CTA’s Racial Equity Affairs Committee members spoke eloquently about the American Indian/Alaska Native community and urged delegates to attend its observance later that evening. CTA Board members and leaders gave a moving presentation for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

On Sunday morning, Goldberg announced that Executive Director Joe Boyd would be leaving CTA in March 2024. Boyd’s speech to Council touched on his gratitude for the privilege of working at CTA, but mostly focused on the need to push back on those who seek to undermine public education and society’s democratic institutions. 

“If we don’t all stand up now, the attacks will all come to each and every one of us sooner or later,” he said. “Let’s fight back against hate and intolerance with love and empathy that is laced with organized people and righteous power.” 

The Council elected the following NEA Directors: 

  • District 7 – Lorraine Richards
  • District 11 – Yulil Alonso-Garza 
Alum Rock Educators Association member Veronica Talton joined musicians including Ozomatli bassist Wil-Dog Abers (at right) onstage.

Alum Rock Educators Association member Veronica Talton joined musicians including Ozomatli bassist Wil-Dog Abers (at right) onstage.


The General Session on Saturday ended with a song that the band wrote specifically for the occasion, “Stand With Me.” Goldberg led into the song by exhorting the crowd to “stand with me” to fight to reimagine our public schools; for the contracts to keep educators in our profession; to fight racism, sexism and homophobia; to take on corporate greed. “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for!” 

For more on President Goldberg’s report to State Council, visit The next State Council of Education meeting will be held Jan. 26-28 in Los Angeles. 


Panel on Extremism in Education

From left: Brenda Walker, Megan Harwell, Edgar Díaz

From left: Brenda Walker, Megan Harwell, Edgar Díaz

With local associations across the state working to defend their students and schools from extremists, a special panel convened Saturday afternoon featuring three educators who are leading the fights in their communities. Brenda Walker from Associated Chino Teachers, Megan Harwell from Kern County Education Association and Edgar Díaz from Temecula Valley Education Association spoke about the impact of attacks from extremist school board members on their students and community, and shared tips for what to do when extremists attack honest, inclusive education and the rights of LGBTQ+ students in school communities. 

“These policies are meant to make people uncomfortable and divide,” Díaz said. “Don’t argue on their terms – you have to continue to push for what’s important to you.” 

Discussion included the legal aspects of the attacks, the messages that have been helpful in building unity in local communities, and important steps for chapters to take now to have successful outcomes in school board races. 



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