California Educator

October / November 2018

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Page 49 of 61

skills, and group work in English Lan- guage Arts and Mathematics. Supp or t from t ea ch ers ha s h elp ed C a l i f o r n i a a v o i d t h e d i s t r a c t i n g d i v i s i o n s , c o n f l i c t s , a n d b i c k e r i n g occurring in other states over Common Core. Our extraordinary collaboration for positive change in education is now an example for our nation , known as the California Way. Our collaboration is a key reason why polls show that Californians generally support the direction public education is heading in California. e Public Policy Institute of California showed that 70 percent of adults favored our new fund- ing system, the Local Control Funding Formula, which provides more local con- trol over funding and extra resources for students from low-income backgrounds, English learners and foster youth. Positive views about California's educa- tion system contrast with the opposition many Californians feel toward the divisive immigration policies of President Trump. To calm those fears, teachers are work- ing with me to promote the "Safe Haven" designation for our schools, which reas- sures students, parents and educators that ever yone is welcome on campus, regardless of immigration status. So far 118 districts that serve 2.7 million stu- dents have declared themselves as Safe Havens. Polls show that the designation is supported by 72 percent of parents. Teachers also worked very closely with me to oppose Trump's call for arming teachers after the tragic school shoot- ing at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida on February 14, 2018, which took the lives of 14 students and three teachers. More than 61 California Teachers of the Year signed our letter advocating for tighter gun control and more mental health services, while reject- ing arming teachers. P r o g r e s s h a s h a p p e n e d i n m a n y a r e a s . C a r e e r Te c h n i c a l E d u c a t i o n p r o g r a m s h a v e b e e n e x p a n d e d a n d u p d a t e d a n d s o h a v e a f t e r s - s c h o o l p r o g ra m s , w h i c h h e l p stu d e n t s st ay engaged in school. As a state legislator, I was proud to author bills that created th e nation's largest aft er -school pro- gram, an effort we have expanded. I also fondly remember my work with CTA in passing the Quality Education Investment Act (QEIA) of 2006, which helped schools serving a higher percent- age of low income, minority and English learners receive $3 billion to help close the achievement gap. Our efforts are paying off. High school graduation rates have reached an all- time high, going from 74 percent for the class of 2010 to 83 percent for the class of 2017. Suspensions and expulsions have declined; and eligibility for University of California and California State University enrollment has increased, particularly for Latino and African-American students. CTA leadership and members strongly support my Global California 2030 ini- tiative to vastly expand the teaching and learning of world languages. We aim to certify more bilingual teachers, produce more students proficient in a second language so they can earn the State Seal of Biliteracy, and quadruple the number of dual language immersion programs. We are al so spreading th e w ord that proficiency in another language helps a student excel in all subjects. I want to thank CTA leaders for par- ticipating in our L abor Managem ent Initiative, an effort to bring together labor and management to learn best practices and strengthen bonds between school administrators and teachers and classi- fied employees' unions. W h e n I w a s Ac t i n g G o v e r n o r tw o summers ago, I helped spread the word about the teacher shortage by declar- ing a "Change Lives, Be a Teacher" Day. As teachers, you have already changed lives for the better, while creating bright futures for our students. I thank CTA and all teachers for your partnership. We have much more to do, including increasing school funding and further reducing the achievement gap. But we will continue to make progress, and you will continue to inspire me with your ideali sm , creativity, en erg y and dedication. Every day you come to work helping our students aim high and dream big, you strengthen our communities, and ensure California remains an economic and cultural powerhouse that celebrates the diversity of its residents. "The strongest, most dependable, most inspiring members of our team are educators, especially the members and leaders of CTA." torlakson Continued from page 43 48 ELECTION ELECTION

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