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“paycheck deception” measures called the Public Employee Pay- check Protection Act and the Public Employee Payroll Deduc- tion Act, which would silence the political voices of union mem- bers. California voters have al- ready rejected such measures twice, in 1996 and 2005. Council also opposed the New Public Em- ployees Benefits Reform Act for its blatant attacks on pensions. Council members also debated whether to support the California Democracy Act, an initiative that would eliminate the two-thirds vote by the Legislature needed to pass the state bud- get. Council dele- gates decided to ensure that the initiative went through the Politi- cal Involvement Committee like other proposals, and they will take a vote at the next Council meeting in March. Health care bill In spite of the recent change in political wind in Washington, NEA President Dennis Van Roekel remained hopeful that a national ABOVE: Rachel Jarvis (second from left), Student CTA member and recipient of a 2009 Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Scholarship, with CTA Board members (from left) Marty Meeden, Dián Hasson and Curtis Washington. working families.” Although there are things he health care bill will emerge, and he thanked State Council for CTA’s help in a nationwide calling blitz to Congress to oppose an excise tax on health care benefits. Van Roekel said it showed the strength of organized labor “to change the impact on doesn’t like about the position of the Obama administration, Van Roekel said he’s already had more meetings with the White House than former NEA President Reg Weaver had with the Bush administration in Weaver’s six years in office. DINA MARTIN Participation in census count will help California C alifornia can win its fair share of more than $400 billion in federal funding by simply counting. Every year, the federal govern- ment awards that amount — $400 billion — proportionately to Cali- fornia and other states on the basis of population, as determined by the results of the census. The cen- sus is the legally required populace count undertaken by the federal government each decade. A sig- nificant portion of the funding goes directly to public education, in forms including Title I educa- tion appropriations. The funds re- flect the population count of every resident, regardless of citizenship or immigration status. The count also determines how many mem- bers of the House of Representa- tives each state will have. Census Bureau representatives note that census information can- not be shared with any other agen- cy, including the Internal Revenue Service or federal law enforcement or immigration officials. In fact, they point out, anyone sharing that information with another agency could be found guilty of a federal crime and sentenced to five years in a federal penitentiary. “Given California’s desperate financial situation, it’s vital that the state secure every possible dollar by ensuring that every child, woman, or man who re- sides in the state — regardless of their immigration status — com- pletes census forms,” emphasizes CTA President David A. Sanchez, who serves on the California Complete Count Committee. Last year alone, 58 counties in California received $1.4 billion in federal education dollars. And that figure doesn’t include other funds that have gone to a wide range of other California programs, includ- ing children’s health care, accord- ing to census officials. The Census Bureau reports that, on average, every single indi- vidual who completes the census helps their state secure about • • • •• • Top ways you can get involved Ask school districts and local schools to post census slogans and messages on their websites. Work with history and social science curriculum coordinators to provide standards-based lesson plans in California history, U.S. history, and U.S. government for grades 4, 5, 8, 11, and 12. Provide sample classroom writing exercises for students that involve writing letters home on the importance of the census. Work with local education agencies and Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) to plan Census-in-Schools events. Make calls to homes relaying standard census outreach messages. The Census Bureau notes that school-age children are often forgotten when parents and guardians complete the form. Work with your local school board to secure passage of resolutions in support of census 2010 outreach efforts. Work with your county, cities, and communities to plan an event for the statewide “Be Californian, Be Counted” Day on Saturday, March 20. ☛ April 15 is the deadline for completing U.S. census forms! $1,400 in federal tax revenues each and every year. The 2010 count will establish the population count for this funding. The funding re- sulting from the census count is not one-time money; it will con- tinue for the next 10 years, com- pounding to more than $14,000 per person counted. If California is able to count every resident, the state will also likely gain additional seats in Congress. And that means more elected federal advocates for schools in California. Census officials have a slogan that sums up the ease of complet- ing the forms and the impact the results will have: “10-10-10.” The form contains just 10 questions and should take only 10 minutes to complete — and its impact will be felt for another 10 years. Census forms will be mailed to all house- holds in March and must be re- turned by April 15. LEN FELDMAN To find easy-to-use, content rich, standards-based lesson plans and teaching kits, visit schools. SEPTEMBER 2009 | 31

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