The Blog at CTA

CTA Members Go to Capitol to Battle for Students and Educators

(At right) Dan Reynolds, a classroom teacher and CTA member lobbyist, and other educators – including charter school teachers – take notes during a morning briefing on three key bills they will be talking to lawmakers about during Tuesday and Wednesday meetings.

About a dozen teachers from around the state are in the Capitol on these two days to discuss a crucial ballot measure and three CTA-position bills. They include members of four CTA State Council of Education committees: Professional Rights and Responsibilities, Civil Rights in Education, Teacher Evaluation and Academic Freedom, and Negotiations.

The educators are briefing lawmakers about the importance of the CTA- and coalition-backed Children's Education and Health Care Protection Act of 2016. The measure will maintain the current tax rates on the wealthiest Californians to prevent billions of dollars in funding cuts for public education and children’s health care. CTA and coalition members have turned in hundreds of thousands of signatures to put the initiative on the November 7 ballot. On Wednesday, joint committees of the legislature will hold a hearing to discuss the measure.

During Tuesday and Wednesday meetings and testimony, the educators are also working to defeat CTA-opposed AB 934 (Bonilla) and AB 2548 (Weber) in the Senate Education Committee. Both bills, scheduled for a hearing on Wednesday, would harm students.

(From l.) Sen. Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) discusses key bills with a team of classroom educators from around the state. These CTA members include higher education faculty and elementary, secondary, and charter school teachers.

AB 934 (Bonilla) would significantly erode the certificated employee rights that are critical to attracting and retaining high quality educators.

AB 2548 (Weber) would prematurely designate key indicators that would trigger intervention and technical support for districts and county offices of education as part of the Local Control Funding Formula legislation and Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) evaluation rubrics being adopted by the State Board of Education. CTA supports the inclusion, instead, of the key indicators that are required under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and that align with the state rubrics that are under development.

At the same time, the educators are urging lawmakers to support AB 1084 (Bonilla), which would ensure that on-line charter schools that serve California’s children are non-profit entities that put the highest value on students’ academic achievement, and not their own financial gain.

Learn more about contacting your lawmakers in support of CTA's positions at the Contact Your Lawmaker tab on cta.org.
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