Be sure to join our Facebook group CTA Teaching, Learning and Life During COVID-19, a space to support each other and our students, and to share resources, ideas, feelings, stories, laughs and memes.
We are trying to answer questions that come through social media, email and other means. But please note that your best resource for assistance with local issues regarding district directives, leave questions, etc. is your local CTA chapter and CTA primary contact staff.
Here are answers to some of the more frequent questions we’ve been receiving.
Frequently Asked Questions from CTA Members
On March 13, CTA called for a complete closure of all California schools. While most districts began closing immediately, the decision remained a local one until Governor Newsom issued an executive order on March 19 asking all Californians to stay home. At this time, virtually all California schools are closed, and Gov. Newsom has warned they may remain that way the rest of the school year. If you are in a district that is still holding classes, please ensure that your local CTA staff person is aware, so that we can work with your chapter to ensure that you and your students remain safe.
YES! While we are temporarily closing our physical office locations, CTA leadership and staff are continuing to work to support members and local chapters.
Governor Newsom’s complete order can be viewed here. Districts are required to
- Continue delivering high-quality educational opportunities to students through other options, distance learning, and independent study
- Safely provide school meals
- To the extent practicable, arrange for supervision of students during ordinary school hours
- Continue to pay employees
No. They must make a good faith effort, but districts are struggling and meeting these challenges with varying degree of success. Nothing in the Governor’s order blocks funding for districts struggling to meet these new challenges.
In general, any STRS or PERS member in paid status continues to receive service credit. STRS has posted information on this topic, and PERS has distributed information to employers confirming that fact.
Gov. Newsom has issued an executive order, pending federal approval, suspending standardized tests for this year.
CTA has issued a bargaining advisory to our primary contact staff who work with our locals. In general, if a district is continuing to offer services to the general student population, they must continue to offer similar education opportunities to special education students, and, conversely, if services to the general student population are suspended due to closure, then the Local Education Agency (LEA) is not required to provide services to students with disabilities during the same period. The U.S. Department of Education has additional information and the California Department of Education has issued state guidelines.
Districts and local CTA chapters are handling this differently. CTA has offered bargaining and pedagogical guidance to our local chapters that would require districts to supply any necessary equipment (unless otherwise bargained) and provide training for approved and properly licensed software and communication platforms. Consideration should be given to both student and educator privacy. Educators are coming together to share ideas and resources in our CTA closed Facebook group CTA Teaching Learning and Life During COVID-19, and across social media platforms using the hashtag #remotelearning. CTA has also hosted a virtual training presented by a CTA member who teaches at a virtual school.