Bills to watch this summer!

At a time when there is a critical teacher shortage in California, CTA supports a number of bills designed to attract individuals to the profession and address the shortage.
CTA-supported AB 2122 by Assembly Member Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) creates a teacher recruitment and training program that establishes a career ladder for paraprofessionals and provides funds for them to become certificated teachers. The bill gained the Assembly Education Committee’s approval on a 7-0 vote and is now in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
CTA-supported AB 2401 by Assembly Member Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) calls for a 2016-17 budget appropriation to fund the California Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment System (BTSA). The bill also states legislative intent to fund the program annually. The Assembly Education Committee passed the bill on a 7-0 vote and is now also in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
CTA-supported SB 915 by Senator Carol Liu (D-La Cañada-Flintridge) would re-establish the California Center on Teaching Careers (CalTeach), requiring the superintendent of public instruction to contract with a local educational agency to establish the center. The bill cleared the Senate Education Committee on an 8-0 vote. It is now in the Appropriations Committee. 
CTA-supported SB 933 by Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) would provide grants to high-need LEAs or LEA consortia working with teacher preparation institutions to establish teacher residency programs. The Senate Education Committee approved the measure on a 9-0 vote. The bill is now also in the Senate Appropriations Committee. 


CTA-supported AB 2200 by Assembly Member Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond) would provide a housing assistance grant for school employees including teachers. The skyrocketing housing costs are making it cost prohibitive for educators to live in the communities in which they teach. This measure would make housing in and near many districts more affordable. It cleared the Assembly Education Committee on a 5-0 vote and is headed to the Appropriations Committee.
CTA-supported SB 1413 by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) would also help educators secure affordable housing in the communities they serve. The Senate Transportation and Housing Committee approved the bill on a 9-0 vote. It is now in the Senate Rules Committee.
CTA-supported AB 1984 by Assembly Member Eric Linder (R-Corona) requires the creation of a program that allows foster youth to participate in enrichment activities. CTA believes every student is entitled to equal access to all educational and enrichment opportunities, and that communities and schools should provide all students coordinated services with the appropriate funding to meet the needs of high-risk students. The bill was approved by the Assembly Human Services Committee on a 7-0 vote and is now pending in the Appropriations Committee.


CTA-opposed SB 1224 by Assembly Member Bob Huff (R-San Dimas) requires an LEA to report assignments or reassignments based on seniority to the State Department of Education. CTA believes this information is not helpful as it is just one of a number of variables considered as school administrators determine balance and an effective learning environment at their school. The seniority system has demonstrated its equity and validity in protecting the rights of all employees which is ultimately best for students. The bill was defeated on a 2-7 vote in the Senate Education Committee.
CTA-supported SB 1063 by Assembly Member Isadore Hall (D-South Bay) prohibits employers from paying employees a wage rate less than the rate paid to employees of a different race or ethnicity for substantially similar work. CTA believes in an inclusive society and advocates for the elimination, by statute and practice, of barriers of race, color, national origin, language and genetic characteristics that prevent some individuals from exercising rights enjoyed by others. The measure is now in the Senate Appropriations Committee.


CTA opposes AB 934 by Assembly Member Susan Bonilla (D-Concord) which significantly erodes certificated employee rights that are critical to attracting and retaining high quality educators. AB 934 would make changes to the Stull Act relating to evaluations, dismissals and seniority rights. CTA believes current law works in protecting teachers from arbitrary firings, providing transparency in layoff decisions and supporting due process rights, all of which contribute to student success.

CTA opposes AB 2826 by Assembly Member Shirley Weber (D-San Diego). The bill was originally pulled by the author from the April 20th agenda after CTA local associations opposed it. Since then, the author has amended her bill and CTA will be recommending a watch position when the bill is heard on May 4th. Thank you to everyone who made calls to Assembly Education Committee members.


CTA-opposed SB 1249 by Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) seeks to repeal the school district reserve cap. School districts should spend taxpayers’ dollars in the classroom and on our students, not keep funding stashed away in bank accounts. During the economic downturn, large district reserves did not help us weather the economic storm. In fact, rather than spend down their large reserves, school districts increased them. This is unacceptable considering the significant amount of program cuts that impacted students, educator layoffs, salary cuts and significant reductions to heath care benefits. The Senate Education Committee defeated the measure on a 2-4 vote.


CTA co-sponsored AB 1690 by Assembly Member Jose Medina (D-Riverside) creates minimum standards for part-time faculty members within the community college system. In particular, AB 1690 will provide evaluation procedures, workload distribution, and seniority rights all through collective bargaining agreements. It’s important all faculty working with students have these standards which ensure quality instruction and student success. The measure cleared the Assembly Higher Education Committee on a 10-2 vote. The bill is pending in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.


CTA-opposed SB 1434 by Senator Steve Glazer (D-Orinda) creates an appeal process to the State Board of Education regarding the obligation of a charter school authorizer, which could result in revocation of the authorizer’s authority to approve or conduct oversight of charter schools. CTA believes charter schools should adhere to the same accountability standards as traditional charter schools. In light of many recent reports, especially this two-part series here and here which appeared in the San Jose Mercury News, now more than ever is it important for there to be complete transparency and accountability at charter schools. This measure was defeated.


CTA supports AB 1783 by Assembly Member Bill Dodd (D-Napa) which requires school districts to inspect schools and ensure they are best equipped and prepared to deal with an earthquake. CTA believes this protects students and educators as well as ensures tax dollars are spent on necessary equipment, school supplies and other contents that will keep everyone safe should a disaster occur. The measure cleared the Assembly Education Committee on a 7-0 vote. It is now in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.


Gov. Jerry Brown has offered a helping hand to thousands of low-income Californians struggling to make ends meet by signing into law a bill to increase the minimum wage in California to $15 an hour — the highest in the country — by 2022. CTA supports SB 3 by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and issued this media statement.
CTA and other labor unions had pushed hard for passage and signing of the bill, which will phase in the higher minimum wage in steps by 2022.
For California families with children, the measure will be especially important. It will help parents afford food, shelter, and health care, major needs of growing families.


CAVA teachers want improvements for their school and you can help!
Teachers who work in California Virtual Academies are concerned that issues at the school — including insufficient resources and poor working conditions — are contributing to high teacher turnover and harming the quality of education that students receive.
Send a message to CAVA, K12 Inc., and the virtual education industry that teachers, students, and taxpayers demand accountability.
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