California Educator

November / December 2016

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Staying Strong in Uncertain Times 2 0 1 6 H A S B E E N a roller coaster of a year, with CTA members delivering tremendous legal and political victories, but ending with new challenges not just for educators, but for many of our students. e year began with CTA arguing before the Supreme Court of the United States, as we stood against the meritless Friedrichs v. CTA lawsuit challenging Fair Share fees and threatening not only our union, but all public- sector unions in the countr y. After the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia, the court deadlocked on the issue, leaving Fair Share intact, at least for now, in the states where it is the law. Our other major legal victory was the re v ers al of th e d e e p ly f l aw e d Verga ra v. C alifornia r uling, w hich w ould have stripped educators of due process rights and thrown school district hiring and lay- off procedures into chaos. e 2nd District Court of Appeal unanimously reversed that ruling, and the state Supreme Court refused to hear further appeal by the case's well-funded plaintiffs. at reversal showed that millionaires and billionaires can't just count on buying their way to bad public education policy. CTA members also delivered tremen- dous victories for public education in the fall election. Your hard work helped pass Proposition 55 by an overwhelming mar- gin, ensuring that our schools won't face deep cuts in the coming years. Voters got it right and showed they strongly support public education. They also passed CTA- backed Proposition 58. In what can only be described as a landslide, they reversed nearly two decades of harmful language acquisition and learning policy that had come with the anti-immigrant sentiment behind Proposition 227. Thank you for making this happen. While California led the way on these important issues, the national election has left many educators and students with a deep sense of uncertainty and unease. Single-party rule and potential Supreme Court appointments make it more likely that court cases and legislation could again place educator rights on the chopping block and give new momentum to issues like school vouchers and the privatization of public education. Our students also followed the election closely. Many of them are worried , and some of them, either immigrants them- selves or from immigrant families, are legitimately frightened. While I'm hopeful that some of the things said during the campaign were just campaign rhetoric, the reality is that the future for many of our students and their families remains up in the air. Fortunately, CTA members continue to work to make schools a safe space for all students. Some of our chapters have already scheduled workshops dealing with educator and student rights on immigra- tion issues and are turning to CTA, NEA and other resources to help members com- bat bullying and hate speech on campuses. I know we stand together in doing all we can to make sure every student feels safe and secure when they come to school. O n e th i n g I 'v e l e a r n e d i n my m a ny years as an advocate for public education is that ever y victor y is followed by new challenges, and CTA members are never content just to rest and bask in the glow of the latest win. The future does indeed hold challenges I know you will face with the same strength you have always shown on behalf of your students. I hope you' ll give yourself some well- d e s e r v e d d o w n t i m e w i t h f a m i l y a n d friends during this holiday season. You've earned it, and we have a new and uncer- tain year to look forward to. ank you for all you've done this year. CTA members are truly the best. Eric C. Heins C T A P R E S I D E N T @ericheins president's message 5 November / December 2016 Eric Heins speaks in support of Prop. 55 at a GOTV event in the Bay Area.

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