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CTA Organizes for ‘Fight of Our Generation’

Schools and Communities First front and center at State Council

Reclaiming $12 billion a year for the schools and local services that our communities deserve took center-stage at the CTA State Council of Education this weekend as educators continued work to make Schools & Communities First (SCF) a beautiful reality in California.

CTA Vice President David Goldberg

Vice President David Goldberg called the movement to close corporate tax loopholes for the resources that our schools need and our students deserve “the fight of our generation.” As signature gathering continues to qualify the initiative for the November ballot, Goldberg asked all educators to spread the word about SCF in their schools and communities to build the movement we need to win.

“Make sure that your school is organized and educated on SCF so that we can get parents and even students involved. This is how we build the energy and momentum we need,” Goldberg said. “Let’s make this the fight of our generation and build OUR future!”

State Council members took part in a Tweetstorm for Schools & Communities First.

In addition to a packed speakers’ training that saw 150 members practice speaking in their communites about SCF, State Council unleashed a Tweetstorm on Sunday morning, propelling #SchoolsAndCommunitiesFirst to the No. 1 Trending Topic on Twitter for more than two hours during a very busy news day. In his speech to State Council, CTA Executive Director Joe Boyd said that while the campaign will be tough and our opponents will spend endlessly to win, our spirit, planning and structure will carry us to victory.

“We need to win this campaign in small ways every day, on school sites, and with our members and our communities,” Boyd said.

CTA Executive Director Joe Boyd

Thanking and Honoring Our ‘Friends of Education’

State Council presented the California Friends of Education Award to two elected leaders who authored two of the landmark charter school bills that Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law, bringing accountability and transparency to the charter industry. Assembly members Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach, and Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita, authored AB 1505 and 1507, respectively, shepherding the bills through the Capitol for months to win this historic victory for all students.

“When CTA united with parents, community groups and partners in labor to fix the broken charter school laws that have been long impacting our schools and communities, these two leaders were right beside us, leading the charge in the state Legislature,” Goldberg said. “How lucky we are to have friends like Assembly Members O’Donnell and Smith.”

CTA Secretary-Treasurer Leslie Littman, Vice President Goldberg and Assembly Member Christy Smith.

CTA’s Friend of Education Award recognizes exemplary support of public education by any California resident, company or organization that has made extraordinary efforts to advance the cause of public education. CTA has also compiled downloadable resources on the new charter laws to help educators ensure school districts implement the new laws correctly.

CTA Educators, #RedForEd Movement Make Difference for Students

During his speech to State Council, Goldberg highlighted the activism and solidarity that powered educator victories last year in historic strikes in Los Angeles, Oakland, New Haven, Forestville and Sonoma County—with one in seven CTA members on strike in 2019. These struggles not only created change for students and educators locally; their impact was felt in the halls of the State Capitol as legislators considered the charter bills and even in Gov. Newsom’s recent proposed education budget. The record $84-billion proposal includes nearly $1 billion to attract and recruit new educators and $900 million for special education.

2019 was a year of amazing victories for CTA and 2020 is already shaping up to be even better.

“This public ed budget is a reflection of our organizing and the power of the #RedForEd Movement,” Goldberg said.  

Setting the vision for this year’s political advocacy, CTA State Council authorized $3 million to support CTA positions on the 2020 ballot.

Five members were elected to leadership roles:

  • Tara Jeane to the NEA Board of Directors, District 1
  • Roberta “Robbie” Kreitz to the NEA Board of Directors, District 3
  • Shane Parmely to the NEA Board of Directors, District 10
  • Toby Spencer to the NEA Board of Directors, District 12
  • Rebecca Marquez-Cihak to CTA/ABC Committee, District D

Powerful Films Examine Significant Issues

It was an evening of film and deep discussion on Saturday night as two CTA caucuses held screenings of compelling documentaries. The CTA African-American Caucus hosted a packed house for a showing of “Pushout,” a feature-length film by Monique Morris confronting the criminalization and miseducation of African American girls that has led to their alarming high school dropout rate and increase into the juvenile justice system. The panel discussion that followed featured students, educators and health professionals, who shared their perspective and experiences related to the issues examined in the film.

CTA Caucus for Educators of Exceptional Children Secretary Melissa Halsey-Price, Vice Chair
Addy Pacheko, Chair Meghann Hughes, Producer/Director Brian Donovan, and
Treasurer Stacy Williams

In observance of the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and to bring insight into the transition planning for students with special needs, the CTA Caucus for Educators of Exceptional Children showed “Kelly’s Hollywood,” a touching film by Brian Donovan about his relationship with sister Kelly, who was born with Down’s Syndrome. The film tells the story of how Donovan brought his sister to pursue her dream of being a Hollywood diva. Donovan was excited to show “Kelly’s Hollywood” at State Council.

“I’m so happy to share my film with teachers,” Donovan said.

Sending Condolences to CTA President Boyd’s Family

CTA President E. Toby Boyd was absent from this State Council meeting in order to spend time with his family after the recent death of his mother, Jacqueline Marie Boyd McMahon. To honor her legacy, the family has requested contributions to the following organizations: American Lung Association, Generations United, and Sacramento Food Bank. Cards for President Boyd can be sent to CTA Headquarters, 1705 Murchison Drive, Burlingame, CA 94010.

The next State Council of Education meeting is March 27-29.

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