California Educator

April / May 2019

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Santa Rosa Students, Union Advocate for Counselor S A N T A R O S A T E A C H E R S A S S O C I A T I O N (SRTA) members, students and parents are rallying behind a respected high school counselor, Kris Bertsch-Rydell, by wearing orange ribbons, testifying on her behalf at school board meetings, and filing an unfair labor prac- tice charge. Bertsch, who is on the SRTA executive board, is being charged with "unprofessional conduct." Santa Rosa City Schools' examples of "unprofessional conduct" include Bertsch sending polite, professional emails to the superintendent, school board members and SRTA leaders asking for clarification on board policies. Meanwhile, students have been showering her with support. In the Santa Rosa High School newspaper, staff writer Emilie Davis noted that Bertsch "works tire- lessly every day to make sure all of her kids are doing well, both in their classes and in their personal lives." SRTA/CTA filed an unfair labor practice charge that district management discriminated against Bertsch and interfered with her rights under California labor law. "I didn't realize this before, that when I spoke up for my students, my union has my back," Bertsch said. At press time, SRCS managers have not taken fur- ther disciplinary action. —Cynthia Menzel Richmond Teachers Win Support for Charter Moratorium A F T E R D E B A T E A N D a public show of support by parents, community and educators, the West Contra Costa Unified School District Board of Education in February passed a resolution supporting a statewide moratorium on charter school expansion. Citing the need for transparency and to ensure "equitable access to all," United Teachers of Richmond members led the charge, organizing rallies and lobby- ing board members. "We needed to change the laws so that our district does not continue to be decimated by charter schools and corporations," says UTR President Demetrio Gon- zalez. WCCUSD currently has 14 charter schools. The school board in Los Angeles recently passed a resolution calling for a moratorium on new charter schools in LAUSD. The Oakland school board has made a priority of suspending approvals of new charters or renewals of existing charters that entail enrollment growth during fiscal distress. The WCCUSD board resolution directs WCCUSD to conduct a thorough, open analysis of the potential impact of expansion and addition of charters. Gonzalez credits board members Consuelo Lara and Valerie Cuevas for their advocacy and understanding of the needs and rights of the community and students. —Cynthia Menzel 45 A P R I L / M AY 2 019 Let CVT show CVT show CVT you show you show and your chapter your chapter your members the right path. More Choices and Value-Added Benefits Healthcare can be confusing with all the plans, options and variables. CTA members have different family healthcare situations and need to have choices, as well as plans, that meet their needs. That's what California's Valued Trust is all about. More choices, more options and people to help your Association and its members through the complex journey of healthcare benefits. For more information, visit or call 800-288-9870

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