California Educator

October 09

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sympathetic to the cause of stopping teacher layoffs. Union work for them also meant attending Summer Institute this year and learning about how to improve diverse school cultures from speakers in a track on the CTA-sponsored Quality Education Investment Act (QEIA), the 2006 law that provides nearly $3 billion in ex- tra resources to 499 targeted lower-perform- ing schools. Their schools are not QEIA sites, but they feel the team-building and other methods used in the training will be helpful for organizing at their schools. “It was a learning experience for me,” says Michael, a 12-year teacher who wants to in- spire Los Angeles area students who migrated to his Mesa Linda Middle School in Victorville to look beyond their troubled urban roots and see the value of going to college. “We just felt this was something we could take back to our school sites,” says Kim, in her 13th year of teaching at Victoria Magathan El- ementary in Adelanto. Kim hopes other colleagues see that doing this work means improving public schools and protecting teacher salaries, benefits and the profession. “If they don’t do it, no one else is going to.” In San Jose, math teacher Vince Iwasaki took a different path to union work. He dis- agreed a few years ago with his union, the Al- um Rock Educators Association (AREA), when it opposed the idea of a longer school day without extra pay at his smal l col laborative school, the Renaissance Academy of Science, Art and Social Justice. When it became clear that the change could be used districtwide as a precedent affecting all teach- ers, Iwasaki saw the light and sought to get in- volved. Today, he is chair of the AREA organizing team and strongly believes that union work ulti- mately helps students by using the bargaining table to increase student learning and win improvements that help recruit and retain more educators. TOP LEFT: Perris Secondary Education Association member Brett Bourbeau and San Jacinto Teachers Association member Nicole Bourbeau, spouses, talk about getting involved with the union. TOP RIGHT: Myndi Hardgrave, vice president of the Hanford Secondary Educators Association and the Tulare/Kings Service Center Council chair. After pressure from unions, CTA wins state Supreme Court ruling on “fair dismissal” law. Congress declares fi rst Monday in September to be Labor Day and a federal holiday. After fi ling for incorporation in 1907, the California Teachers Association is consolidated with a statewide governance structure. Four regional entities, now called sections, retain autonomy in electing offi cers and representative councils. Later, two more sections (Central Coast and North Coast) are added. Control of the association begins to shift from administrators to classroom teachers. Ella Flagg Young, the fi rst woman president of NEA, presides at annual NEA convention in San Francisco. CTA leads state funding fi ght to establish community colleges. At CTA’s urging, free textbooks are printed and distributed at state expense. California State Teachers’ Retirement System is created by legislation after CTA State Council calls for a statewide teacher pension system in 1910. CTA leads efforts to outlaw child labor and enact other legal protections for children. CTA membership reaches 7,224. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 18 90 18 94 19 10 19 11 19 13 SEP 1 915OT TO 19 15CEMBER 2009 | 9 19 18 Page 11 CTA photo by Mike Myslinski

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