California Educator

March 2017

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Page 44 of 55

President's Report: California Leads the Way President Eric Heins noted that the November election in California was affirming and historic in many ways. In Cali- fornia, we support public education and believe in diversity. CTA and its members led the charge to pass Proposition 55 and secured stable funding for our schools and community colleges for the next 14 years. Educators' influence helped Prop. 55 pass with 63 percent of the vote — an unprecedented majority on a tax measure. Prop. 58 won with 73 percent of the vote, sending a clear message to all students that we value their languages, too. CTA is now working to help schools implement Prop. 58. And thanks to the funding and work of the CTA/ABC Committee, we won 34 local school measures and elected more than 230 pro-public education candidates, including the first Indian-American to serve in the U.S. Senate, Kamala Harris. But the national election, Heins said, showed that racism, sexism, homophobia and other "isms" are alive and thriving. In a recent survey, more than 50 percent of CTA members said their students needed help coping with the results of the presidential election. One member composed a letter telling students they are safe inside their school, and teachers are there to support them and their families. " Your teachers love you, and that's why we come to work every day. We could choose jobs that pay more money, or are easier, but we don't. We teach because we want to support you. Together we will keep working and fighting to make the world better." Heins said he has faith in CTA members and in California for the future. "I believe in the power of public education," he said. "It is the cornerstone of our democracy and our economy. It is the great equalizer. Free public education is a basic civil right in this country — no matter where you were born." Heins spoke about Betsy DeVos, the nominee for secretary of education. More than 1 million people used NEA's online form to email their senators to vote no on DeVos; more than 80,000 called their senators. CTA members and Californians accounted for about 10 percent of those totals, which is an amazing effort. He said that the Resolution of Unity, Resolve and Resilience is grounded in CTA's strategic plan, which includes providing a well-rounded education to the whole child, ensuring smaller class sizes and access to quality preschools, fully funding schools and colleges, promoting equity and quality, and demanding that edu- cators lead the profession. Heins said the turmoil unleashed by the extreme change of course in our federal government gives us an unprecedented opportunity to organize and lead. With the anticipation of new attacks on union rights, we must continue to engage new CTA members in the work of the union. Continued on page 44 After the news conference, educators called their congressional representatives urging rejection of Betsy DeVos as secretary of education, and several spoke with the media. " I believe in the power of public education. It is the cornerstone of our democracy and our economy. It is the great equalizer." Election of Officers Eric C. Heins, Theresa Montaño and David B. Gold- berg were re-elected as CTA president, vice president and secretary-treasurer, respectively. All ran unopposed. Their two-year terms begin June 26. LCFF/LCAP Forum An LCFF/LCAP forum was held during the general ses- sion. Four educators spoke about how their chapters and districts are involved in the local control process. See page 29 for highlights of the discussion. One of 24 posters available at CTA's Social Justice Toolkit ( 43 March 2017 HATE FREE ZONE #WeAreCTA

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