The Blog at CTA

Educators Meet with Lawmakers to Urge Them to Kill Bad Bills

Educators Meet with Lawmakers to Urge Them to Kill Bad Bills

Educator Fola Odebundmi discusses key CTA position bills with Assembly Member Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) during this week’s meeting at the state Capitol. (Photo by Seth Bramble.)

Dozens of CTA members from around the state converged on the state Capitol on Tuesday and Wednesday to let lawmakers know why hundreds of thousands of educators are opposing three pending pieces of legislation. 

Educators from the Alcosta Service Center Council joined members of key State Council of Education subject matter committees to talk with their legislators about the critical problems in three bills.  

The State Council representatives are some of the more than 800 State Council members that CTA’s 325,000 members have elected to serve on the association’s policy-making body.  These elected members sit on subject matter committees because of their expertise in a wide range of areas.  

This week, representatives of committees including Financing Public Education, Teacher Evaluation and Academic Freedom, Professional Rights and Responsibilities, and Negotiations were on hand to share their insights with their legislators.  

The CTA members met with their lawmakers on three opposed bills:  AB 2548, by Assembly Member Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), AB 2662, by Assembly Member Jim Patterson (R-Fresno), and SB 1249, by Sen. Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Nigel).  

The CTA members did excellent work.  For starters, lawmakers killed SB 1249 in committee and refused to move others of the bills.  

CTA urged lawmakers to defeat Assembly Member Weber’s AB 2548 because it would impose new accountability restrictions on local schools before the State Board of Education and local districts have had a chance to implement fully the accountability provisions of the new Local Control Funding Formula. 

The educators also asked lawmakers to vote against Assembly Member Patterson’s AB 2662 because it would create new uncertainty and instability in school district negotiations.  Without benefitting students or union members, it would substitute a cookie-cutter formula timeline in decertification elections for the current provisions of law, which allow the experienced experts at the state agency that oversees public sector bargaining – the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) – to regulate the process and set priorities.  

Educators opposed SB 1249, by Sen. Bates, which would overturn the voters’ express decision on district finances in Proposition 2. That statewide ballot measure created a state reserve to support local school districts in difficult economic times. SB 1249 would repeal the current caps on the amount of reserves local districts could keep.  In eliminating the caps, SB 1249 would allow districts to increase their reserves – as they did in during the recent Great Recession – at the expense of their students. CTA believes taxpayer funds should be used in the classroom, as Californians have time and again made clear is their purpose in setting aside money for public education.  

As a reminder, CTA members who don’t come to the Capitol to lobby can also get in touch with their lawmakers on these and other bills through the Legislative Action Center.

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