California Educator

March 2017

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Page 45 of 55

In other news, State Council… • Voted to support and promote World Hijab Day on Feb. 1. • Voted to support the Scientists' March on Washington with a letter of support from Eric Heins and promotion by CTA media platforms. • Voted for CTA to lead a Statewide Day of Action to support safe schools for all students and stand against attacks on public education and immigrant rights. • Elected Karen Ridley as NEA Director, District 9. • Elected Ruth Luevand as NEA Alter- nate Director, Seat 2. • Heard an American Indian/Alaska Native Caucus presentation on water protectors' fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock. • Approved the Treasurer 's Report. Secretary-Treasurer David Goldberg said CTA had a "clean" audit and was in a "healthy " position. • Approved updating CTA policy on cul- tural diversity in educational settings and curriculum, including accurate portrayals of roles/contributions of all races, ethnic groups and cultures; and strategies to eliminate institutional racism and linguistic bias. Executive Director's Report CTA Executive Director Joe Nuñez honored Deputy Executive Director Karen Kyhn for her years of service, noting that Kyhn, who was retiring at the end of January, had been "an articulate and passionate advocate for public education, educators and unions for 20 years." He said that changes at the federal level could mean California will lose federal funding, $20 billion in health care and $8 billion in education, which would affect the state budget and schools; and with Sen. Jeff Sessions confirmed as U.S. attor- ney general, we can expect the office to scale back enforcement of human rights laws in schools and communities. Nuñez spoke about the U.S. Supreme Court and the cases that could directly impact public education. They include the potential evisceration of IDEA's educational guarantees to students with disabilities; a challenge to the federal government's right to require school districts to permit transgender students to use bathroom facilities that align with their gender identity; and a breach in the separation of church and state by opening the doors to direct public funding of religious institutions. First up could be Fair Share fees. Our victory in Friedrichs v. CTA last year was only a temporary reprieve. The fastest-moving case right now is Janus v. AFSCME, which the National Right to Work Foundation filed in Illinois. It could come to the Supreme Court as early as this fall. (Since Council met, the same group that brought forth Friedrichs filed a copycat lawsuit, Yohn v. CTA.) The CTA/NEA legal team is ready to fight back and demonstrate that the claims made by the corpo- rate billionaires seeking to take away public employee rights are false. The simple truth is that no one is forced to join a union or pay fees that are used for political purposes or go to political candidates. Stay tuned for more. Other attacks we can expect are hostile regulatory changes. The new administration could issue regulations about employee participation in public pension plans. Examples of how CTA is doing that: • The first-ever New Member Week- end in March offers training and preparation for educators with five years or less in the profession. • CTA was instrumental in shep- herding a new accountability system, approved by the State Board of Education, that starts to get beyond test scores to measure student and school success, and uses a dashboard of indicators including graduation rates, read- iness for college and careers, progress of English learners and suspension rates. • Work by local chapters and dis- tricts developing Local Control and Accountability Plans — a way for us to engage our communities in setting priorities for local fund- ing and the education programs that we know are right for our students. (See related story on page 29.) • Work by CTA's Instructional Leadership Corps, where we are partnering with the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and the National Board Resource Center at Stanford University to deliver teacher-led professional development. • Work by CTA's Institute for Teach- ing, which has awarded more than $2 million in the past six years to educators throughout the state for their innovative ideas. • CTA's "Kids Not Profits" campaign, calling for more accountability and transparency of California's corporate charter schools and exposing the coordinated agenda by a group of billionaires to divert money from neighborhood public schools to privately managed, for- profit charters. Marty Meeden, Kristy Orona-Ramirez, Robert Levi, Lisa Buckner, Christopher Pope and Mary Levi of the American Indian/Alaska Native Caucus spoke of the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock. 44 CTA & You

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