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ed that CTA helped slow down the rushed process by the governor and lawmakers to make sweeping changes to California education laws just so the state can qualify for one-t ime grants from the federal Race to the Top program. He said the Race to the Top above: CTA Board member Don Bridge addresses delegates at the first State Council of Education session of the 2009-10 school year in October. ful of legislators can “shut down the budget process every year because it takes a two-thirds vote to pass the s t at e budge t and r a i s e revenues.” Sanchez updated Council on key federal fights. He not- process has revealed how the Obama administration might want to handle the looming reauthorization of No Child Left Behind — with more of the one-size-fits-all approach that would hurt students and schools. On NCLB, Sanchez said, “We are continuing to provide input and testimony. After all, we want to erase, rewrite and reauthorize — not re-test, re- label, re-test, repeat, re-test and regurgitate.” mike myslinski Organizing plan seeks to strengthen CTA organizing culture, State Council delegates spent time in small “rela- tional meetings” similar to meet- ings that are going on in CTA chapters across the state to build solidarity within the union’s ranks. In their committee meetings, A delegates brainstormed about ways CTA should be fighting to increase public education funding, and what all members of the union can do to help. The goal of the long-term or- ganizing plan is to reach all teachers and education support professionals and to hear their voices, CTA President David A. Sanchez told delegates. “We must reach out to the In other action, State Council: • • • • • • Made “friendly incumbent” recommendations in key state races: Debra Bowen, for secretary of state; John Chiang, state controller; Bill Lockyer, state treasurer; Betty Yee, State Board of Equalization, First District seat. Elected teacher E. Toby Boyd of Sacramento to the CTA Board of Directors for District E, representing educators in the Sacramento County area. Boyd fills the seat of Michael Bustos, and his term of office runs to June 25, 2011. Elected three new NEA Board members: Sonia Martin-Solis of Alhambra for District 6/14; Kendall Vaught of Huntington Beach, District 9; and Sergio Martinez of Norwalk, District 13. Their terms expire on Aug. 31, 2010; Vaught’s term expires on Aug. 31, 2012. Directed CTA President David A. Sanchez to send a letter to the federal Centers for Disease Control and the state Public Health Agency “urging them to make teachers and other school employees who have direct contact with students be made a priority group for receiving the H1N1 vaccine.” Reaffirmed CTA’s belief in majority rule as a fundamental feature of our democracy by adding policy language stating that “any initiative, local measure or state policy should be passed by 50 percent plus one. CTA supports efforts to lower current supermajorities at the state and local level.” Approved sending to the executive officers for consideration by the appropriate CTA committee the exploration of the application of a sales tax on the sale of California real estate as an ongoing source of revenue for public schools. normally silent majority who work in our schools every day. We must engage them to join our s part of a new grassroots plan launched this sum- mer to re-energize CTA’s efforts to stand up for our stu- dents and defend our public schools. We must help them re- alize that they are CTA, and that this fight is our fight, together.” The goals of the plan are to pro- mote and protect quality public education and all CTA members; expand the organizational capac- ity of CTA; and re-establish and strengthen a culture of organizing at all levels of the union. To guide State Council on future issues, the responses from small meetings go- ing on in the field will be assessed by the four CTA regions and then by the Board of Directors. “CTA’s organizing campaign is all about you and connecting with our members,” said Sanchez. “We are growing a new organizing cul- ture that will allow us to build an even stronger union, reach out to more members, and rebuild our base of support.” mike myslinski CTA support yields great gains on Election Day taxes and school bonds at the polls Nov. 3 — and CTA campaign sup- port made a huge difference in electing school board members backed by local teachers. Where CTA provided cam- D paign funding and other sup- port to chapters, the success rate was 75 percent. Ninety of the 120 local school board candidates supported by CTA won their races; voters passed four of six parcel taxes that CTA backed. espite hard economic times, California voters approved many parcel In the Bay Area, CTA rec- ommended Lt. Gov. John Ga- ramendi to fill the seat of Ellen Tauscher in Congressional District 10, and he won with nearly 55 percent of the over- all vote. Tauscher resigned in June to take a State Depart- ment job. “Teachers made their voices heard in this election by secur- ing more funding to save edu- cation programs and to build and renovate schools,” says CTA President David A. San- chez. “The overwhelming suc- Continued on page 37 september 2009 | 31 octo CTA photo by Mike Myslinski

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