California Educator

September 2016

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president's message Off to a Great Start W H A T A T E R R I F I C S T A R T to the school year! I can feel educators' energy everywhere I go. I know that you have great ambitions and plans for your students this year, and your enthusiasm is contagious. e upcoming election adds an extra dash of excitement, and many of you are working hard on local, state and national levels to support positions and candidates who value public education. It's critically important to pass Proposition 55, which prevents our schools and colleges from going back to the days of drastic budget cuts. Prop. 55 simply maintains the income tax rates on California's wealthiest and puts those funds directly into schools and classrooms. Without its passage, we risk going back to the ruinous years — not that long ago — of educator layoffs, school and library closures, and jam-packed classrooms. To u n d e r s c o re e d u c a t i o n's n e e d for stable funding, a new report from the California Budget & Policy Cen- ter shows the tremendously positive impact of Proposition 30, passed in 2012 with your help. Prop. 30's boost to state revenues allowed California to reinvest in preschool, K-12 schools and community colleges. While we are still not where we should be, Prop. 55 will let us continue to make progress to give all our students the public education they deserve. It's our commitment to students that is behind Kids Not Profits, a cam- paign by educators and CTA to raise public awareness about the charter school industry and draw attention to the need for more accountability and transparency at privately managed charter schools. ese schools receive public funding but are not held to the same standards and accountability measures as traditional public schools. e campaign exposes the coordi- nated agenda by a group of billionaires to divert money from neighborhood public schools to privately managed charter schools. Privately managed charter schools often cherry-pick students through restrictive admissions policies and take taxpayer funds from public schools, leaving districts and the broader student population without resources. Kids Not Profits also reveals the billionaires promoting the private charter indus- try and their agenda. ey are spending millions — $11 million in this year's Eric Heins and other CTA officers talk about the need for Prop. 55 in a new video at primary election alone — to influence state legislative and county school board elections across the state. CTA co-sponsored legislation this year to ensure equal access for all students, and to ensure fiscal transparency and accountability at all charter schools. California lawmakers approved Assembly Bill 709, which requires charter schools to disclose how they spend taxpayer mon e y, pro hi bit s char t er scho o l board members and their families from profiting from their schools, and ensures that charter schools comply with California's open meet- ings and open records laws. is bill is now on the governor's desk. Visit for more infor- mation, and urge the governor to sign AB 709. Kids Not Profits is not an indictment of charter school educators, who share our dedication to stu- dents and to teaching. I am proud to count more than 5,000 charter educators as CTA members. And in the past year, hundreds more have organized to join CTA and start their own local unions as they stand up for students and accountability. The power of our collective, growing voice gives us hope and optimism in the coming year — and in the coming election. Our future depends on the work we do together. Eric C. Heins C T A P R E S I D E N T @ericheins "While we are still not where we should be, Prop. 55 will let us continue to make progress to give all our students the public education they deserve." 5 September 2016

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