California Educator

September 2014

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Page 33 of 65

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE Student absenteeism and truancy CTA-backed AB 1866, aimed to track and reduce student absen- teeism and truancy, is headed to the governor's desk. Proposed by Assembly Member Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima), AB 1866 helps school districts and county offices of education identify at-risk youngsters early and intervene to keep them in school. Fighting child abuse The governor signed AB 2560 by Assembly Member Susan Bonilla (D-Concord), which provides to persons renewing their teaching credentials a written statement of their responsibilities under the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act to report known or sus- pected incidents of child abuse. Charter school transparency and accountability The governor is expected to sign CTA co-sponsored AB 913 by Assembly Member Ed Chau, which requires charter schools' gov- erning boards to comply with statutes that promote transparency and accountability to the public in the operation of public schools and expenditure of public funds. AB 913 ensures meetings are open to the public and comply with the Public Records Act. Bond for school maintenance, construction California schools will continue dealing with more than $21 bil- lion in unmet school construction and maintenance needs, despite efforts by CTA and the education community to put a multibil- lion-dollar bond issue before voters this November. AB 2235 failed to get the necessary votes in the Senate. It would have given voters the chance to approve funds needed by public schools and colleges to build new classrooms and repair old ones, bringing them up to par with modern-day technological needs. Online privacy A CTA-opposed bill that would have allowed employers to force peace offi cer job applicants to reveal password-protected areas of their social media accounts was killed. AB 25, by Assembly Member Nora Campos (D-San Jose), would be an outrageous invasion of pri- vacy that could be extended to all employees, including educators and school district applicants. G O V. J E R R Y B R O W N appealed a court ruling on a lawsuit brought on by corporate special interests seeking to privatize public education and strip educators of their professional rights. The notice of appeal was filed one day after Los Angeles Superior Court Rolf M. Treu issued his final ruling in the Vergara v. California case. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson requested the appeal, saying, "The people who dedicate their lives to the teaching profession deserve our admiration and support. Instead, this ruling lays the failings of our ed- ucation system at their feet." Anti-teacher candidates have used the decision to criticize the governor and the superin- tendent in campaign materials. CTA and the California Federation of Teachers (CFT), interveners in the case, also appealed the findings, saying that in rolling back protections that allow teachers to edu- cate their students and advocate for them without fear of arbitrary and capricious retaliation, the judge has set back a century of well-reasoned law. "These statutes provide educators with basic due process rights that allow teachers to speak up on behalf of their students and provide transparency in district employment and layoff decisions," says CTA President Dean E. Vogel, adding that the decision fails to recognize the "benefits to students provided by the challenged statutes, including the ability to recruit and retain educators and promoting teach- ing as a lifelong career." California's Education Code allows teachers facing dis- missal to present their side of a case and to have their case heard by objective third parties. TEACHERS, STATE APPEALING VERGARA V. CALIFORNIA DECISION GUTTING TEACHER DUE PROCESS RIGHTS Anti-public school candidates have been bashing CONTINUED FROM PAGE 30. Advocacy Legislation 32

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