The U.S. Capitol may be thousands of miles away, but the voices of California educators and education support professionals are heard there, thanks to your elected representatives on the National Education Association Board of Directors.
Last month, educators met with the California congressional delegation on critical issues about to be considered by federal lawmakers.
On the financial side, CTA members pressed Republicans and Democrats to find a compromise that will head off automatic cuts in federal programs, including services that will hurt children, public schools, and public workers. The directors asked Congress to take positive steps to head off the “sequestration” or automatic funding cuts that threaten to throw the economy back into recession and reduce revenues that underwrite public services.
Teachers made sure federal legislators understood that cuts of that magnitude forces districts to reduce staff, increase class size, shorten school days or weeks, reduce activities and enrichment programs, and delay the purchases of instructional materials and technology.
Making schools safer and preventing gun violence was another topic. Educators advocated a three-element approach:
• Expand background checks to weed out would-be purchasers who should not be in possession of firearms.
• Provide more services for persons with mental illnesses.
• Provide schools with the flexibility and authority to make decisions about implementing further school safety measures and hiring school safety personnel.
The member lobbyists also sought the passage of the Dream Act, a comprehensive immigration reform package. Among other things, the Dream Act allows longtime residents who have graduated high school to the ability to apply for financial aid for college education.
For more information on the Dream Act, see the NEA Legislative Action Center.
NEA Directors from California
Who’s Who? Your NEA directors from California represent you nationally, too. Contact them if you have questions about national issues.