California Educator

April 2015

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feedback Y O U R O P I N I O N S A N D L E T T E R S A R E W E L C O M E ! There is a 250-word limit, and all letters will be edited. If you send photos or other materials, identifications and permissions are required. Letters must include your name along with your address, daytime telephone number or email address. Email Is the Educator digital? The question "Print or digital?" on the cover of the March Educator should be applied to the magazine itself. Why are you still killing trees, wasting energy, and spending dues money un- necessarily to send us hard copies, when many of us would much prefer a Web link to an online version of the magazine? Nearly every other publica- tion in the U.S. has had at least a digital option, if not a digital-only presence, for a decade or more. One would think that the Educator could at least catch up with (if not stay ahead of) the curve when member dues are being spent wastefully. It's high time for CTA to join the 21st century. Jon Stark Fremont Education Association Editor's Note: The Educator has been online since 2008 and is available at Archives can be found at If you would like to receive a notice when a new issue is available, please send an e-mail to Parent grateful for IFT grant I am so thankful for the CTA Insti- tute for Teaching grant to Colfax Elementary School. Your funding has made a wonderful difference to our school and to my children in particular. We live in a very tiny town with a wonderful school. I have three children who each started kindergar- ten here. They are currently in eighth, seventh and third grades. I love that Colfax Elementary is a K-8 model, and have been happy that my children were able to learn in a small environ- ment. The downside to this has been less diversity in the learning options. Now, thanks to our wonderful teachers and your amazing support, Colfax Elementary has been able to offer a variety of wonderful learning options for our children. My children have been able to take art courses, computer animation, math, cycling and bike repair. They have had so many other options, too. My daughter is finishing up a class where she did a study of a book while learning origami. On Thursday, they will take a field trip to a local oncol- ogy department to present an origa- mi crane mobile they made for the patients. I find that amazing. Thank you so very much. Tammy L. Colon Colfax Editor's Note: Members can find more stories like this and apply for CTA's Institute for Teaching grants at Second-career teachers An interesting article in the February magazine. So many skilled men and women adding skills to the classroom! I, too, am a second-career teacher looking toward retirement. I only have 19 years in public education, and while a pension was not the reason I changed professions, I was shocked when I was told about the Windfall Elimination Provision after I started teaching. I was not counting on living on my Social Security, but my retire- ment planning was. The article says: "Switching to a teaching career may become even more common in the future, as the need for new educators rises." Are fu- ture second-career teachers advised of the Social Security reduction? Perhaps if the need is great, legislators will be forced to deal with this unfair act. Shayna Powell Desert Sands Teachers Association Editor's Note: The Windfall Elim- ination Provision (WEP) reduces the earned Social Security benefits of an individual who also receives a public pension from a job not covered by Social Security. Find out more about the WEP and the Government Pension Offset, which reduces a deceased spouse's bene- fits, at 3 V O L U M E 1 9 I S S U E 8

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