CTA MEDIA CONTACTS: Sacramento: Claudia Briggs, 916-296-4087; Central Valley: Cyndi Menzel, 650-380-8553; Los Angeles: Frank Wells, 562-708-5425; SF Bay Area: Mike Myslinski, 408-921-5769; San Diego/OC/San Bernardino: Ed Sibby, 951-225-2048
Supt. Torlakson, Controller Yee, Treasurer Chiang, pro Tem de León, Assembly Speaker Rendon, State Senator Lara Join Efforts; GOTV News Conferences Sunday in Concord and San Diego
News video available:
Social Media: Twitter hashtags for the weekend are #CTAGOTV and #YesOn55. Follow along on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/ctagotv/
CALIFORNIA – More than 1,000 California educators took to the streets across California today in a groundswell of get-out-the-vote activities for Propositions 55 and 58 to protect students, and their neighborhood schools and colleges. Several statewide elected leaders, parents and community members joined efforts to talk about the importance of voting YES on Props. 55 and 58.
Educators return for a second day of GOTV activities Sunday. CTA President Eric Heins will be joined by Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and State Treasurer John Chiang for a news conference at 10:30 a.m. at the CTA office in Concord. CTA Vice President Theresa Montaño will join educators for news conference and Prop. 55 “Drive to Thrive” bus tour in San Diego. (See complete list for all Sunday details.)
Below are comments from speakers at today’s media events, a video story from the San Jose event, and statewide social media Storify.
“Educators are mobilizing this weekend to stand up for our public schools and a better future for our students. This election can be a turning point. We are reaching out to voters across the state because passing Proposition 55 will prevent billions in funding education cuts that will hurt our classrooms, and Prop. 58 will give our students more advantages by making it easier to learn a second language.”
California Teachers Association President Eric C. Heins
“Investments in our schools are paying off. High school graduation rates are up, test scores are improving, class sizes are down, many classes in art, music, drama, science and civics are returning. Our system has momentum. We cannot take billions of dollars away from our schools and return to the devastating budget cuts we had to endure during the recession. We must maintain the taxes on the wealthiest to keep the momentum going and to give all our students the world class education they deserve."
Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson
“Prop. 58 helps all of those children walking up and speaking a different language today learn English quicker. It also provides more opportunities for all kids to learn a second language. Learning multiple languages matters. It creates a competitive advantage for California’s children, especially here, where we don’t just compete with other states, but are directly competing with other world economies.
State Senator Ricardo Lara
"I am proud to stand with California's classroom teachers in supporting Propositions 55 and 58. These Propositions give our schools the resources necessary to provide all California children the education they deserve. As President of the California State Senate, a native Spanish speaker, and a product of California’s public schools, I know firsthand the difference a good education can make in the lives of our children. Let's invest in our schools and invest in California’s future."
Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León
"It was a dark time for public education before the passage of Prop. 30 in 2012. That’s way Prop. 55 is vital to maintaining our commitment California’s students. The state’s economic growth is expected to slow within the next several years, and thus the state will need the revenue generated by Prop. 55 to pay the state's obligations, absent comprehensive tax reform and spending cuts. Our public schools and community colleges are relying on sustained revenues to retain teachers hired, expand class size reduction, and build on increased graduation rates. With the growing diversity of California and California's prominence as a global economy call for multilingual education programs, Prop. 58 is essential for improved academic achievement and economic success."
State Controller Betty Yee
"Proposition 55, like Proposition 30, puts hard-earned tax dollars in the classroom to educate California's children. That's why we need Californians to vote Prop. 55 to ensure our schools keep moving in the right direction and to prevent another round of hard-hitting cuts."
California State Treasurer John Chiang
“Proposition 30 allowed us everything we’ve been able to do the past few years to turn public education and other services around. We know that without Proposition 55 will we backslide, not just on education, but on other services and the safety net that is so important to Californians. Prop 55 is vital to our students and to our state.”
Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon
“By simply maintaining the current tax rate paid by the wealthy, California schools will be able to keep class sizes small and maintain vital programs. It is critical in this election that we vote yes on Prop. 55 and avoid going back to the dark days of a few years ago when deep education cuts were felt across the state. I voted to put Prop. 58 on the ballot because Californians deserve the opportunity to right a wrong that was made nearly 20 years ago. Prop. 58 recognizes that classroom teachers know how to best educate our students and restores the ability of local schools making the decisions that are best for their students.”
Assembly Speaker Emeritus Toni Atkins
“All our students, from kindergarten through college, deserve the tools and the time to learn. The chances for a child to succeed should not depend on living in the right ZIP code. Prop. 55 will help ensure all students have more one-on-one attention, smaller class sizes and a well-rounded curriculum. Prop. 58 will help all children learn English as quickly as possible and will allow more schools to offer English immersion programs based on what teachers and parents agree are the most effective instructional methods for those students.”
CTA Vice President Theresa Montaño
“We’re out here today because of our love for our students and our love of our profession. Educators are the best advocates for our students. We can’t afford to give a tax break to the wealthiest Californians at the expense of our students’ future. We have to make sure Proposition 55 passes.”
CTA Secretary-Treasurer David Goldberg
"We feel strongly about Prop. 55 in the hospital community. The initiative will provide funds to make sure our students come to school healthy and ready to learn. Our children cannot learn when they are sick. Prop. 55 would provide the funds necessary to make sure that the 7 million children who receive health care through Medi-Cal have access to preventative and primary health care services along with emergency services should they need to be hospitalized. For the health and well-being of all our children, vote yes on Proposition 55."
Jan Emerson Shay, VP Public Affairs California Hospital Association
“Save the creative souls of our children. Vote yes on 55.”
Dr. Thomas Loewenheim, Director Youth Orchestra of Fresno
"Gracias a Rosedale Elementary soy bilingüe! That means thanks to Rosedale Elementary I am bilingual. That's why I want you to vote Yes on Prop. 58. It would be great for students all over California to have the same opportunity I've had to learn a different language. It opens many doors in life now and in the future."
Clara Green, sixth grader at Chico Junior High School
“I have big dreams and high hopes for every child. It is this hope that is the driving force to ensure that all of our students have an opportunity to reach their full potential. I have high hopes that Prop. 55 will pass and help ensure that every child has an opportunity to thrive.”
San Jose teacher Taunya Jaco
“We don’t want to go back to the days of layoffs and cuts to arts and music classes. The cuts to valley students would be catastrophic. If voters don’t pass this initiative, Fresno Unified School District alone will lose 75 to 94 million dollars a year”.
Tish Rice, President of the Fresno Teachers Association
“If we fail to pass Prop. 55, what we experienced during the Great Recession will return: cuts to important student programs, rising class sizes and counselor-to-student ratios, loss of access for college students, teacher and classified staff layoffs and furloughs. We can’t let that happen. The wealthiest Californians must continue to pay their fair share of taxes. They have done very well in this economy, and can easily afford to help our schools continue to improve. California’s students cannot afford a tax cut for the rich.”
California Federation of Teachers President Josh Pechthalt
"Prop. 58 will allow my Spanish-speaking students to learn English much quicker. It's more effective if they are learning first in their mother tongue and then transferring that information into English. I found in my experience that those students that have the support of their parents in their mother tongue learn English more effectively."
Ernestina Gutierrez, President of the Alisal Teachers Association
"Prop. 55 is so critical because we have to maintain the funding for schools so that you have the resources you need to make sure our children are learning in a way that will make them productive members of our society. That's why I'm excited to be helping pass Prop. 55."
Congresswoman Linda Sanchez
"Just over the last few years we've finally gotten enough money to begin to decrease class sizes and to recruit and retain qualified teachers. It's very important we continue that. This is only the beginning. We are still teaching in classrooms where there are more than 35 students. If we don't vote yes on 55, those numbers could go even higher."
George Lopez, educator and member of the Alisal Teachers Association
“Since passing Prop. 30, over a period of three years, we have reduced class sizes, restored all of our counselors and the school library is open with working librarians once again. It is why Prop. 55 is so important. Our students can’t afford to go back to the days of budget cuts.”
East Side Union High School teacher Marisa Hanson
CTA GOTV ACTIVITES SUNDAY: Location activities include volunteer phone banking, precinct walking and other visibility events. Call local contacts first about covering media availabilities.
• 10:30 a.m. news conference with CTA President Eric Heins, State Treasurer John Chiang, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, CTA Board member Terri Jackson, state Assembly District 14 candidate Mae Cendaña Torlakson, and other lawmakers and local teachers. CTA Office, 2177 Diamond Blvd., Concord. Contact: Mike Myslinski, 408-921-5769.
• 12:30 p.m. All aboard the “Prop. 55 Drive to Thrive” bus! CTA Vice President Theresa Montaño, Board members Roberto Rodriguez and Marty Meeden will host a highly visual news event with local teacher leaders on a double-decker bus that will drive throughout downtown San Diego to promote Props. 55 and 58 (Spanish speakers available). The bus tour will start with a new conference at 12:30 p.m. at the CTA office, 5333 Mission Center Road, Suite 200, San Diego, 92108. The bus tour event is from 1:00-3:30 p.m. Media are invited to ride along with local teachers. Contact: Ed Sibby, 951-225-2048.
• CTA Board member Gayle Bilek will host a day of GOTV events from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. at the CTA Regional Resource Center, 4810 Harwood Road, San Jose, 95124. Contact: Mike Myslinski, 408-921-5769.
• 10:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. CTA Board members Curtis Washington and Greg Bonaccorsi will join teachers at the Burlingame farmer’s market, corner of Park Road and Burlingame Avenue, to promote Props. 55 and 58. CTA Office, 1705 Murchison Drive, Burlingame 94010. Contact: Mike Myslinski, 408-921-5769.
• Sunday: Media availability with CTA Board member CTA Board member Jerry Eaton, Windsor Unified Superintendent Steven Jorgensen, and local teachers at 12:00 noon, when educators will also walk with Yes on Prop. 55 signs. 2490 Guerneville Road, Santa Rosa, 95403. Contact: Claudia Briggs, 916-296-4087.
• CTA Board member Terri Jackson media availability, CTA Eden RRC, 14523 Catalina St., Suite A, San Leandro, 94577. Contact: Mike Myslinski, 408-921-5769.
• Noon to 2:00 p.m., sidewalk rallies for Props. 55 and 58 will take place in Salinas at the corner of Highway 68 and Blanco Road, across from Nob Hill supermarket. CTA Salinas RRC, 928 East Blanco Road, Salinas, 93901. Contacts: Jonathan Goldman, 415-509-1654, or Susan Midori-Jones, 831-594-4228.
• Media availability with CTA Board members Susan Green and Mike Patterson during GOTV events. Sacramento City Teachers Association with local educators, 5300 Elvas Ave., Sacramento, 95819. Contact: Claudia Briggs, 916-296-4087.
• Media availability and GOTV activities with CTA Board members Elana Davidson and Toby Boyd at CTA Ceres RRC, 3900 Mitchell Road, Ceres, 95307. Contact: Cyndi Menzel, 650-380-8553.
• Media availability with CTA Board member George Melendez and Fresno Teachers Association President Tish Rice at the CTA Fresno RRC, 5330 North Fresno St., Fresno, 93710. Contact: Cyndi Menzel, 650-380-8553.
• Media availability during GOTV activities with CTA Board member Leslie Littman at the CTA Office, 6095 Bristol Parkway, Suite 100, Culver City, 90230. Contact: Frank Wells, 562-708-5425.
• Media availability with CTA Secretary-Treasurer David Goldberg and educators at the United Teachers Los Angeles offices, 3303 Wilshire Blvd., 10th floor, Los Angeles, 90010. UTLA contact: Anna Bakalis, 213-305-9654. CTA contact: Frank Wells, 562-708-5425.
• NEA Director Colleen Briner-Schmidt and other educators will hold a media availability at the CTA Office, 1930 Outlet Center Drive, Oxnard, 93036. Contact: Arleigh Kidd, 805-485-1706.
• Media availability with CTA Board member José Alcalá Sunday at the CTA Office, 9329 Mariposa Road, Suite 215, Hesperia, 92344. Contact: Frank Wells, 562-708-5425.
Santa Fe Springs
• CTA Board member Margie Granado will hold media availability at the CTA Office, 11745 East Telegraph Road, Santa Fe Springs, 90670. Contact: Frank Wells, 562-708-5425.
• CTA Board member Barbara Dawson will hold a media availability at the CTA Office, 281 North Rampart, Suite A, Orange, 92867. Contact: Ed Sibby, 951-225-2048.
• CTA Board members Kendall Vaught and Robert Rodriguez to host a media availability at San Bernardino RRC, 430 East Vanderbilt Way, San Bernardino, 92408. Contact: Ed Sibby, 951-225-2048.
Proposition 55 will prevent $4 billion in cuts to public education funding each year simply by maintaining the current tax rates on the wealthiest Californians, enacts no new taxes on anyone, and has strict accountability requirements. Proposition 58 is the Language Education, Acquisition and Readiness Now (LEARN) initiative to expand opportunities for California’s students to become proficient in English while having the chance to learn in other languages.
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The 325,000-member California Teachers Association is affiliated with the 3 million-member National Education Association.