California Teachers Association

April 2017

Issue link: http://educator.cta.org/i/812811

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W e're coming toward th e e n d o f t h e y e a r. M a n y o f y o u a re i n t h e m i d - d l e o f t e s t i n g , w h i c h always takes a toll on students, teachers a n d e du c ati on supp or t profe ssi on al s . As May approaches and many students anxiously wait for college acceptance let- ters, graduation day is within reach. It's a milestone students and parents have b e e n w a i t i n g f o r a n d e d u c a t o r s h av e been preparing their students for since they entered kindergarten. is time of year reminds me why I love being an educator and why I'm proud to belong to a profession and a union of cham- pions for all students. As an education community, we've all had a role in shaping our students' futures. We are not only educators, but al so strong and vocal advocates for our stu- dents. It's always been a natural role for educators and a driving factor of why CTA was founded over 150 years ago. Since the beginning, our advocacy has been student- cent ered . In 1866, our f irst l egi sl ative victory resulted in free public education for all students, including schools educat- ing African American students. In 1967, 101 years later, our efforts led to establishing schools for children of migrant workers and offering bilingual instruction classes for English learners. Add another 50 years, and CTA and our members are still stand- ing up for the rights of all children. is May 1, educators, students, parents and community members take a stand to reclaim their neighborhood public schools as safe zones for all students — regardless of their ethnicity, immigration status, iden- tity or orientation. CTA declared May 1 as a Statewide Day of Action so that parents don't fear sending their kids to school and students can feel the support of th eir c ommunity. L eadin g thi s d ay at public schools across California , educators send a clear message that all students matter and all students deserve a quality public education. The advocacy work we are doing right now to make sure all students can learn in a safe environment, to engage parents and local communities, and to keep funding for public education from being handed over to for-profit charter management companies is very much part of CTA's mission. Educators' work and determination through the years have helped take Cal- ifornia from those early pioneering days to its place in the world today, ranking as the sixth-largest economy. at spirit and determination are still alive and helping educators lead the way in communities across the state in a new era of local con- trol. Through the Local Control Funding Formula, additional funds are delivered to districts serving students who need more help, and local stakeholders have a say in designing the best educational opportuni- ties for their students. Thi s i s a n e w c on c e pt in edu cation funding that recognizes what we've always known: A one-size-fits-all, top-down, rigid education policy will not bend to meet the students who need more of our care, attention and resources to reach their full potential. While there are stumbling blocks, and in some cases roadblocks, CTA members are using the opportunity to engage their communities and have real conversations about what local students deserve (such as smaller class sizes, college and career pathways, and well-rounded programs that include music, art and PE). In many lo cations around th e stat e, CTA's advocacy agenda, titled " The Pub- li c E d u c a t i o n Al l C a li f o r n i a S tu d e n t s D eser ve," i s b ein g used to b egin tho se c o n v e r s a t i o n s . T h i s y e a r t h e a g e n d a inspires our theme for California Day of the Teacher. You've accomplished so much this year and left lifelong impressions on students. In addition to CTA's Statewide Day of Action, May brings us Day of the Teacher on May 10 and Education Support Professionals Day on May 23. ese awareness holidays give us a chance to pat ourselves and our col- leagues on the back for the good work over the past year, and remind us that together we shape the future of this state, just as we have been doing for the past 154 years. Thank you so much for all you do to make sure all students get the public edu- cation they deserve. Eric C. Heins C T A P R E S I D E N T @ericheins president's message We've Always Been Advocates 5 April 2017 WE BELIEVE: BLACK LIVES MATTER WOMEN'S RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS NO HUMAN IS ILLEGAL SCIENCE IS REAL LOVE IS LOVE KINDNESS IS EVERYTHING #WeAreCTA This poster designed in part by artwork from The House Project https://www.facebook.com/inthishouseproject/ Poster from CTA's Social Justice Toolkit at cta.org/forallstudents

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