California Educator

March 2017

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Page 29 of 55

W H Y I S I T I M P O R TA N T that educators are involved in the polit- ical process? Because it's where most decisions are made about education policy, learning conditions of our students, and working conditions of all education employees. T h e C TA s t u d e n t - c e n t e r e d a d v o c a c y a g e n d a , " T h e P u b l i c E d u c a t i o n A l l C a l i f o r n i a S t u d e n t s D e s e r v e" (s e e, outlines strategies that improve and enhance student learning, are essential to providing a quality public education to all of California's 9 million students, build stronger local communities, and h elp maintain public edu- cation as the cornerstone of our democratic society. On Feb. 22, the CTA Board of Directors held a meet and greet with lawmakers while representing their fellow 325,000 educators. Led by CTA President Eric Heins, Vice President Theresa Montaño and Secretary-Treasurer David Gold- berg, CTA Board members spoke with lawmakers about key priori- ties for educators this session, all based on the advocacy agenda. They talked about CTA's Res- o l u t i o n o f Un i t y, R e s o l v e a n d Resilience: A Call to Action for the Public Education All California's Students Deserve, which calls for a strong, inclusive, safe and innova- tive public education system that ensures all students can succeed; and they invited lawmakers to sign the resolution. (You can view the resolution and sign it at ey also presented lawmakers with CTA's Social Justice Toolkit (on the same webpage), which has resources to help educators ensure schools are safe havens for all students; encourage local school boards to adopt the resolution; report incidents; and speak up and share on social media. "We are social justice advocates because we care deeply about all students. We support safe-haven schools, sanctuary cities, and immigration rights that keep families together and allow DREAMers to go to college," said CTA President Eric Heins. "We are proud to co-sponsor AB 699 by Assembly Member Patrick O'Donnell, which prohibits discrimination based on a student's immigration status and provides protections." Kids, Not Profits Backed by a group of billionaires with their own agenda for public education, a new industry around charter schools is growing in California. Charter schools are taxpayer-funded public schools that are frequently operated by for-profit corpo- rations. While these privately managed corporate charter schools receive billions in California taxpayer dollars every year, they are not required to follow the same laws and regulations that regular neigh- borhood public schools must follow. CTA is once again co-sponsoring legisla- tion calling for higher standards and more accountability for these privately managed charter schools. AB 1360 by Assembly Member Rob Bonta (D-Alameda), AB 1478 by Assembly Mem- ber Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles), and SB 808 by Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) are three bills CTA will be working to enact this legislative session. ey are aimed at ensuring all stu- dents attending our public schools have the quality education they need and deserve. CTA Board members Roberto Rodriguez and Barbara Dawson flank Assembly Member Todd Gloria (D-San Diego). Legislative Update Did You Know? • Charter schools are not subject to open meet- ings and open records laws, so parents and taxpayers don't have full transparency and can't see how the money is being spent. They ignore requirements to enroll all students from the community — turning down students with special needs. • Evidence shows this lack of accountability has led to financial gains for for-profit charter operators, but has too often been disastrous for thousands of California students and has cost taxpayers millions of dollars in waste, fraud and abuse. • Public education should be about kids, not profits. Instead of subsidizing corporate charter schools run by for-profit companies with taxpayer dollars, we should be using the money to strengthen local neighborhood pub- lic schools for all California children. Now Hear This Radio ads for CTA's Kids Not Profits campaign against California's corporate charter schools are being broadcast on multiple stations. The cam- paign developed out of concern from educators, parents, civil rights and community groups for greater accountability and transparency for pri- vately managed charter schools. Hear the ads at 28 advocacy

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