California Educator

December 2014

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N E W LY E L E C T E D A N D re-elected members of the state Senate and Assembly returned to the Capitol on Dec. 1 for a one-day session to organize the houses and get ready for the new session that begins in January. Lawmakers reaffirmed their selection of two new leaders, both of whom recommitted themselves to supporting public education. Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) stressed the importance of enhancing public education for all students and ensuring that higher education is afford- able. Leadership's recommitment paves the way for legislative action that will begin on Jan. 5, 2015. Over the past two-year ses- sion that ended in August, CTA, pro-education public officials, and educator allies made some very important gains. " N ow m o re t h a n e ve r, i t i s important for each and every one of us to know and understand what is going on in Sacramento, and how policy decisions impact the valuable work we do in the classroom and at our work sites," notes CTA Pres- ident Dean E. Vogel, a kindergarten teacher. "Educators know firsthand how important it is for parents and com- munities to be involved in the education of our students. The beauty of it is that we are not alone. We are 325,000 voices strong, and we are ready to advocate powerfully and effectively for our students, our colleagues, and our public schools." With CTA's support, the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown approved the landmark reconfiguration of public school funding that provides additional money for stu- dents whose needs require more funds to educate — those eligible for free and reduced-price lunch, English learners and foster youth. The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) is also based on local decision-making involving the input of educators, leaders, parents and communi- ties. Underwritten by voters' passage of Proposition 30, schools and colleges are getting an additional $10 billion a year.CTA worked with the Legislature and the governor to streamline teacher discipline and dismissal procedures. New legislative year set to start By Len Feldman Backward glance: CTA won key victories during two-year term Michael Martinez (left), Migrant Education program coordinator in the Butte County Office of Education, and Jacob George, president of the Lassen County Special Teachers Association, provide compelling testimony in support of CTA-co- sponsored legislation by Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), at podium. Legislative update Advocacy 30

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