California Educator

February/March 2021

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measure stops the spread, but it's the layer upon layer that greatly decreases the risk to our students, ourselves and others." During his speech to State Council, CTA Executive Director Joe Boyd reiterated that these layered prevention measures within schools that are effectively maintained and enforced, along with an effi- cient vaccine roll-out for school employees, are the path forward for returning to in-per- son learning. He said the health and safety of all students, educators and communities must be the guiding priority for any physical reopening plan, not arbitrary dates. "The virus is in charge right now, and it does not own a calendar," Joe Boyd said. "We cannot just pick an artifi- cial calendar date and expect to flip a switch on opening every school. What we can do is move forward in a deliberate way when it is safe, because we have done the hard work to get there." state history — almost $86 billion in Prop. 98 school funding — as well as further resources through Gov. Gavin Newsom's Safe Schools for All plan. e governor's proposal includes $2 billion in incen- tive funding to encourage local school districts to physically return to classrooms as early as mid-February, an idea that has garnered harsh criticism from across the education community and elected officials. "At a l e g i s l a t iv e h e a r i n g t h i s w e e k , l aw m a ke r s expressed concerns about the quick timeline in the middle of a surge, the use of incentive money when all schools need additional support, and the lack of focus on equity and supporting those students and communities that have been hit the hardest," Boyd said. "It was pretty clear that the Legislature will have some changes." Boyd said CTA has not wavered in our repeated calls to reopen schools only when it is safe to do so and has remained consistent about what it will take to safely reopen. "Safely reopening our schools means there are multiple safety layers in place: smaller class sizes for social distancing, good ventilation systems, testing and tracing programs for staff and students, transparent school safety plans, statewide accountability and enforcement, mask wear- ing, hand washing, and access to the vaccine. No single Taking Care of Business W H I L E T H E P A N D E M I C forced the meeting to take place virtually for the third time ever, State Council members completed business over the week leading up to the Jan. 23 general session. The CTA Political Involvement Committee reported that while we came up just short on Prop. 15 in the November election, there was widespread success on Election Day — with 91 percent of CTA-recommended Assembly candi- dates, 82 percent of state Senate candidates, 77 percent of congressional candidates, and two-thirds of local school board candidates winning election. Several CTA educators took on new leadership positions, winning election to the following offices: • Maritza Avila, NEA Director, District 5 • Robert Becker, NEA Director, District 7 • Grant Schuster, NEA Director, District 9 • Nichole DeVore, NEA Director, District 12 • Kelly Villalobos, NEA Director, District 14 • Barbara Jackson, NEA Director, District 15 • Erika Zamora, NEA Director, District 16 • Wade Kyle, CTA/ABC Committee, District J • Juli Stowers, CTA/ABC Committee, District N All CTA conferences will be virtual this year — and free to all members. CTA State Council of Education will next meet April 9-11. "No single measure stops the spread [of COVID-19], but it's the layer upon layer that greatly decreases the risk to our students, ourselves and others." —CTA President E. Toby Boyd CTA President E. Toby Boyd, Vice President David B. Goldberg and Secretary-Treasurer Leslie Littman were unanimously reelected. 57 F E B R U A R Y / M A R C H 2 0 21

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