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Vote to Support Students & Public Education

In this year’s general election, our lives and our future are at stake. It’s clear we must help pass initiatives and elect lawmakers who support public education, students, educators and our communities. We must elect candidates and vote on propositions that advance equity and increase racial and social justice in our schools and communities. It’s going to take all of us working together to win — your vote makes a difference! On these pages are our 2020 initiative recommendations. CTA makes recommendations on candidates and issues based on a transparent, democratic process (see sidebar). Check for a frequently updated list of recommendations, and find your personalized voter guide.

YES ON PROP. 15: Schools & Communities First

For more than four decades, big corporations have not been paying their fair share in taxes, and funding for California’s schools has fallen shamefully behind. California now has the most overcrowded classrooms in the U.S. and some of the worst ratios of students to counselors, librarians and nurses.

Homeowners, in fact, have borne the brunt of this unfair taxation.

Why did this happen? When Prop. 13 passed in 1978 to protect homeowners from erratic increases in their property tax bills, owners of commercial and industrial properties were able to take advantage of the same protections, and avoided paying their fair share for the public schools and local services that benefit all Californians. The result has been chronic disinvestment and underfunding, while corporations and wealthy investors benefit.

“This inequity as a result of corporate greed has had a catastrophic impact on our schools and communities, felt disproportionately in communities of color,” says CTA President E. Toby Boyd. Proposition 15 on the November ballot would revoke Prop. 13’s protection of business properties. Small business properties would be exempted, along with multiunit housing properties and agricultural land. All other business properties would be reassessed to current market value at least every three years. Voting Yes on Prop. 15 will:

  • Reclaim $12 billion per year to fund world-class K-12 schools, community colleges and local communities.
  • Close commercial property tax loopholes that corporations and wealthy investors use to avoid paying their fair share of property taxes. • Protect all homeowners and renters by maintaining tax protections for all residential property.
  • Level the playing field for all the businesses that already pay their fair share.
  • Ensure strict accountability so that money goes directly to our schools and communities.
  • Provide one of the largest tax incentives in a generation to spur new investment in small businesses.

Prop. 15 ensures that our schools and communities come first — with the resources to educate all students and fund essential public services to support our families.

YES ON PROP. 16: End the Ban on Affirmative Action

There has never been a more critical time to reinstate equal opportunity as we chart a path forward to a stronger economic future for women and communities of color, and a California where Black Lives Matter and our systems are just. Pass Prop. 16 to:

  • Ensure we can provide opportunity for good jobs, good wages, and quality schools for everyone
  • Give everyone — no matter their racial or gender identity, or sexual orientation — an equal shot at success
  • Start to fix wage discrimination (in 2020, women in California still earn only 80 cents for every dollar a man earns; women of color make significantly less)

NO ON PROP. 20: Early Release Rollback

Too many resources are invested in the lucrative prison-industrial complex that should instead be spent on rehabilitative/restorative programs in public schools. Prop. 20 adds crimes to the list of violent felonies banning early parole; recategorizes certain theft and fraud crimes from misdemeanor to felony; and requires DNA collection for certain misdemeanors. Join California educators to ensure social and racial justice permeate our governmental systems and structures. Our students and communities deserve an equal opportunity and fair opportunity.

NO ON PROP. 22: Slam the Brakes

Uber, Lyft and Doordash wrote Prop. 22 and paid to put it on the ballot for one reason: to boost their profits by continuing to unfairly deny their drivers wages, sick leave, workers’ compensation and unemployment. It would allow these and similar companies to circumvent the law requiring them to treat their workers as employees rather than contractors. Proponents say Prop. 22 is about your safety, but it actually weakens safety measures for riders and drivers. If companies truly wanted to help their drivers and the public, they’d be making sure workers have protective gloves, masks and equipment right now. Uber and Lyft also wrote in legal exemptions that eliminate required sexual harassment trainings and take away the right of drivers to file a sexual harassment claim.

YES ON PROP. 25: Make California’s Criminal Justice System Fairer and More Equal for All

Prop. 25 will replace a money bail system that unfairly grants freedom only to those who can afford it, including dangerous offenders, with a system that prioritizes public safety and justice. Supporting Prop. 25 means replacing a system that criminalizes poverty and race with an unbiased assessment of each person’s individual risk to public safety. The money bail system hits taxpayers where it hurts, wasting $5 million dollars every single day just to keep nearly 50,000 people accused of low-level crimes locked up — simply because they can’t afford to post bail.

Due to the high pandemic, Gov. Gavin Newsom in May issued an executive order to mail a vote-by-mail (VBM) ballot to each voter prior to the Nov. 3 general election. (In-person voting locations will still be available.) There is no need to apply for a vote-by-mail ballot; any registered voter can vote by mail.

Ballots can be mailed in or dropped off in a number of ways. For details, go to Important deadlines:

  • Register to vote by Oct. 19; go to
  • If you failed to receive or lost your vote-by-mail ballot, contact your county elections official by Oct. 27 to be sent another VBM ballot. After Oct. 27 you may present a written application in person to a county elections official.
  • The VBM ballot must be postmarked on or before Nov. 3 and received by your county elections office no later than Nov. 6. You can also drop it off at your local polling place on Nov. 3 before polls close (poll hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.).
  1. CTA interview teams, comprising local leaders and members, interview candidates and evaluate them on various criteria, including their positions on education issues, their history of support for public education, and viability.
  2. After the interviews, teams make their recommendations to state leaders. The CTA Board of Directors considers the recommendations and may approve them or make substitute recommendations.
  3. The Board’s recommendations are debated by CTA State Council of Education, CTA’s highest decision-making body. State Council’s 700 delegates vote on the recommendations.
  4. Candidates who receive at least 60 percent of State Council’s votes are recommended and supported by CTA.

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