California Educator

October 2013

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CTA &You CTA History Timeline In 1995, CTA kicked off a class size reduction TV campaign that changed the debate in Sacramento. Prodded by the hard-hitting campaign and the association's hard-nosed, passionate lobbying efforts, the Legislature approved $1 billion in funding in 1996 to reduce class sizes in grades K-3. Within another year, CTA went on to defeat an initiative that would have restricted political participation by unions. That was followed by CTA's successful efforts to defeat another voucher initiative, Proposition 38, in 2000 and win the passage of $25 billion in state school bonds by 2004. CTA's growing power at the ballot box and within the Legislature prompted then-Gov. Pete Wilson to refer to the organization as a "relentless political machine." CTA members reacted to the governor's comment by sporting lapel buttons that read "RPM." Add this to your timeline. 1991-2004 T H E 1 9 9 0 S U S H E R E D in a period of increased political activity. Having flexed political muscle to pass Proposition 98, the minimum funding guarantee for grades K-14, CTA now faced protecting it from state officials who wanted to use the money to balance the state budget. Meanwhile, conservative forces began to circulate petitions for a school voucher initiative that would siphon off funds from public schools. By 1991, CTA was alerting members to the possibility of this "hostile takeover" of public education and launched a campaign urging voters not to sign petitions to place the initiative on the ballot. The campaign was successful, but a similar initiative drive was back on the streets again the next year, this time qualifying Proposition 174 for the ballot in the November 1993 special election. Again, CTA mustered its members to get the word out that Prop. 174 was bad news for public schools. CTA's well-organized campaign paid off. Prop. 174 was defeated with a 70 percent no vote. As Del Weber, then CTA president, said, "We won in every single one of California's 58 counties, a real rarity in this fractious state." 1993 1995 1997 1998 CTA leads the successful campaign to defeat Prop. 174, the school voucher initiative. CTA begins its effort to win class size reduction, which leads to passage of legislation the following year. CTA launches its own weekly TV show, "Quest," which focuses on the positive things happening in California schools. CTA defeats Proposition 226, a "paycheck deception" initiative, and wins passage of a statewide school bond. Educator 10 Oct 2013 v2.1 int.indd 64 10/7/13 9:39 PM

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