California Educator

September 2011

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ACTION SUMMER CTA AND NEA CONFERENCES CALIFORNIA DREAM ACT TEACHER CREDENTIALING COMMISSION 30 33 34 VISIT WWW.CTA.ORG/PROFESSIONAL-DEVELOPMENT TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT CTA CONFERENCES, WORKSHOPS AND TRAININGS. At CTA summer conferences State leaders vow to stabilize school funding for coming year MOBILIZING FOR FIGHTS that lie ahead, an estimated 1,700 educators attending CTA's two summer training conferences reacted enthusiastically to vows by Gov. Jerry Brown and state Senate Democratic leader Darrell Steinberg to protect public schools and the newly signed CTA-backed law that stabilizes education funding for the coming year. Both leaders joined CTA President Dean E. Vogel in underscoring the importance of Assembly Bill 114, the vital education budget trailer bill Brown signed June 30 to offer a reprieve to schools from endless state budget cuts. Among other things, the bill prohibits any last-minute teacher layoffs in August and guarantees that school districts will get the same funding as last fiscal year, allowing them to rehire many laid-off educators. Speaking July 22 at the 57th annual CTA Presidents Conference in Pacific Grove, Brown delivered a firm message to school district officials who have criticized the new law and publicly doubted AB 114 funding. "When we say the money is coming, you [can] assume it's coming." He said school districts should not ignore the mandates of the legislation, and more dis- Candids from Summer Institute In early August, more than 1,000 CTA members attended this year's Summer Institute on the UCLA campus. State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (pictured in first photo with President Vogel) addressed participants at the closing assembly. PHOTOGRAPHY Bill Guy and Mike Myslinski 30 California Educator / September 2011 tricts should read his AB 114 signing letter to understand that they do have some flexibil- ity. (The signing letter says school boards can make reductions due to "cost increases, loss of federal funds, enrollment declines or other factors." It also warns that districts must "adhere to the level of state funding provided in the budget and not assume a different, or lower, state funding level.") Brown criticized Republican legislators for not agreeing to extend some temporary taxes before they expired July 1, costing the state billions in revenue and hurting critical public services. Protecting schools must be a top pri- ority, he said. "I think we need a reawakened understanding that a good society, with kids well educated, is in our interest." He praised the life skills that schools teach to kids, including how to play together. "A lot of people never did learn to play together. And a lot of them are in the Legislature." Brown said he supports testing, but wants to invest more in schools to develop more critical minds. "I also would like students, 20 years later, to still be reading, to still be thinking, to still be evaluating, because they had a great education." Senate President Pro Tem Steinberg closed the weeklong Summer Institute on Aug. 5, telling the audience of 1,100 educa- tors that CTA members should "take a little credit where credit is due" for fighting so hard all year to protect education funding. Steinberg, who defended his support for AB 114 in the media this summer, said he was baffled by the "unfathomable" snip- ing about the law, especially when school administrators rose up to criticize it. Call- ing the law "the right thing to do," he said the legislation to keep education funding at last year's levels is needed, especially after some 30,000 educators have been laid off in recent years. Keeping education funding flat and avoiding more classroom cuts in a year when the state budget deficit soared to $26.5 bil-

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