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Sanchez discusses challenges ahead for public ed ACTION lEft: Keynote speaker and television personality Tavis Smiley (center) along with (from left to right) CTA Executive Director Carolyn Doggett; CTA President David A. Sanchez; CTA Vice President Dean Vogel; and CTA Secretary-Treasurer Gail Mendes at the October State Council. BElOw: Delegates involved at Sunday’s session. educators to use the 88th annual American Education Week, Nov. 15-21, to “do something in your community to highlight how the budget cuts are hurting your stu- dents and schools.” He also warned of new I election cycle threats ahead — new ballot initiatives de- signed to silence the political that site to share ideas, post upcoming events, and en- gage in conversations about how cuts have affected our schools and what we can do about it.” CTA chapters must help n a call to action to State Council delegates, CTA Presi- dent David A. Sanchez urged voices of public employees and restrict how union dues are spent to fight for them. “I know many challenges lie ahead for us, but united, we will overcome,” Sanchez vowed. He asked all educators to tell the public during the vital American Education Week — set aside by the National Edu- cation Association decades ago to honor U.S. publ ic schools — how state educa- tion funding cuts of more than $17 billion over the past two years are hurting Califor- nia students. Class sizes are soaring and programs like music, art, sports and voca- tional education are being eliminated. As CTA members did with “Pink Friday” layoff protests earlier this year, teachers must sound the alarm during this national event, Sanchez said. “Whether it’s a town hall meeting, a protest, distribut- ing fliers to parents, writing to the local newspaper or posting on your favorite blog — any activity that will raise awareness is welcome and badly needed.” He noted that resources for these events can be found at “And I encourage you to use 30 California Educator | september 2009 october 2009 tell the story of the ongoing education cuts crisis at the lo- cal level. “Some chapters have done a great job getting the word out — some of you have held events — some of you have done it through your Service Center Councils,” Sanchez said. “But we must keep up the pressure and look for all opportunities to tell this story.” He said part of the story should be that it’s “obscene for the state Legislature to be handing out tax breaks to large corporations,” as law- makers did this year for a windfall of $2 billion to big businesses, when our schools are experiencing the largest funding cut since the Great Depression. Also, it’s time for CTA to “change the debate in Califor- nia” to focus on how a hand- CTA photo by Mike Myslinski CTA photo by Dave Earl Carpenter

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