California Educator

December/January 2021

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M U C H O F O C T O B E R ' S CTA State Council meeting was focused on the November election and the need for candi- dates and legislation that would best serve our schools and communities. You can see our election coverage on page 43. Delegates and CTA leadership also discussed reopening schools during the pandemic. President E. Toby Boyd thanked educators for their extraordinary efforts during this time, reaffirming that CTA continues to be a voice for health, safety and sanity in discussions about COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, and other precautions needed to physically return to classrooms statewide. CTA continues to build upon resources available for local leaders and members, and advocate at all levels to protect educators, students and communities. Since the pandemic closed schools in March, CTA has acted swiftly to protect lives, and recent polling shows parents not only agree with these robust health and safety standards in our schools, they trust educators to guide deci- sions on how and when to physically reopen schools. "e only source more trusted than teachers to guide decisions on reopening is Dr. Anthony Fauci ," said B oyd . "Most parents say th ey would not feel comfortable sending their kids to school right now. ey say this despite the hardship some express regarding having their kids at home." In the poll, Hart Research Associates inter- viewed 1,296 registered voters in California, including 527 public school parents, about their views on whether, when, and how the state's public schools should be reopened for in-school instruction. Among the findings: Eight out of 10 respondents say the spread of COVID-19 is still a serious problem in the state and believe schools should only be allowed to reopen if they have made major changes to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, including daily sani- tizing, proper ventilation systems, reduced class sizes, testing programs, and required face masks. is is in line with CTA's stance all during this pandemic, stated in multiple letters to Gov. Gavin Newsom and other elected leaders. Approval: Ethnic studies curriculum policy While the most recent effort to make ethnic studies a perma- nent part of the California high school experience ended in a Newsom veto, CTA educators are stepping up the fight to ensure that all students have the chance to see themselves and their ancestral legacies as part of a well-developed cur- riculum. State Council approved an expanded ethnic studies policy that outlines guiding principles for the foundation for any adopted ethnic studies curriculum. is policy will give CTA legislative advocates guidance as they continue the effort for ethnic studies legislation with elected leaders. "We have an opportunity, I believe a responsibility, to stand up together and also say: An injury to one of our students is an injury to all of us," Boyd said. "We must show our Black and Indigenous students and stu- dents of color that we see them, we see the systemic roadblocks in their path, and we will help them navigate this road until we can build a new one paved with opportunity for all." Remembering those lost State Council commemorated Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a touching presentation and reminder to stay vigilant against the illness. Boyd also asked the assembled CTA leaders to remember all those who have been affected by COVID-19. "I know some of you have lost colleagues, friends or family to this awful virus. Many of our students have faced similar losses in their families," he said. "Our heart goes out to every- one who's experienced loss over the past seven months." State Council will next meet (virtually) in January 2021. "The only source more trusted than teachers to guide decisions on reopening is Dr. Anthony Fauci." —CTA President E. Toby Boyd In Educators We Trust CTA State Council talks safe schools amid public support By Julian Peeples CTA President E. Toby Boyd at October's virtual State Council, socially distanced from CTA Secretary-Treasurer Leslie Littman. 53 D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 0 / J A N U A R Y 2 0 21 C

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