California Educator

October 09

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Page 14 of 39

We win! nership with the Sacramento-based Parent/ Teacher Home Visit Project, which uses home visits to build parent engagement in schools. Programs are the result of fundrais- ing and grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the James Irvine Foun- dation and others. “Instead of looking at our schools as something broken to be fixed, IFT encour- ages teachers, administrators, school board members and community leaders to take a close look at their schools and classrooms to find out what’s working well and to use that information to make changes in our schools,” says CTA Vice President Dean Vogel. “We think this is one approach that will make a difference.” In an effort to reduce the dropout rate, IFT recently conducted student and par- ent interviews at seven of the state’s low- est-performing high schools to find out what strategies are successful. Based on 800 interviews, IFT found that the follow- ing factors drive a culture of success: fo- cusing on the future; strengthening the work ethic; expanding family-school rela- tions; and moving to a learning-centered environment. The Education Coalition CTA has long played a leading role in put- ting together the Education Coalition, which represents more than 2.5 million parents, teachers, school board members, school em- ployees and administrators. Coalition mem- bers have worked together to protect schools from devastating cuts and to protect Prop. 98 — the minimum funding guarantee for Cali- fornia schools. Along with CTA, the coalition represents the California State PTA; the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA); the California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO); the California County Superintendents Educational Services Asso- ciation (CCSESA); the California Federation of Teachers (CFT); the California School Boards Association (CSBA); the California School Employees Association (CSEA); and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The Education Coalition has for many years been a crucial force in shedding light on the dire situation of school funding in our state. Despite being the seventh largest econ- omy in the world, California still ranks 47th in the nation for per-pupil spending. And as Continued on page 37 Two decades of CTA ballot victories Election Proposition Description 1988 98 1993 1998 1998 2000 2000 2004 2005 2005 2005 2006 174 226 1A 38 39 55 74 75 76 1D Passed Minimum School Funding Law Defeated School Vouchers Defeated Attack on Union Involvement Passed $9.2 Billion School Construction Bond Defeated School Vouchers Reduced 2/3 Vote Requirement to 55% on School Bonds Passed $12.3 Billion School Construction Bond Defeated Attack on Teacher Due Process Defeated Attack on Union Involvement Defeated State Spending and School Funding Limits Passed $10.4 Billion School Facilities Bond CTA drafts and wins passage of Proposition 98, which guarantees a minimum portion of state money to fund K-14 education. The passage of Prop. 98 fi rmly establishes CTA as a political force to be reckoned with. Thousands of NEA becomes the nation’s largest union. Nine-day strike by UTLA wins important reforms and professional respect. teachers and citizens mobilize to defeat Proposition 174, a school voucher initiative. CTA wins Class Size Reduction law for K-3 classrooms after massive media and lobby campaign. CTA fi les lawsuit (CTA v. Gould ) against the state to protect Proposition 98 and wins largest settlement in the country against a state government, providing $540 million to schools in 1996-97 and more than $1 billion in succeeding years. CTA membership reaches 270,000. CTA leads defeat of an initiative that would have restricted how unions participate in political campaigns and silenced member voices. CTA wins passage of a $9.3 billion statewide school bond. 1985 1988 1989 1993 1995 >>>> 1996 1998 october 2009 | 13 Page 15

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