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Victory! SCOTUS ruling favors CTA in Friedrichs case
On March 29, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision to leave in place a 40 year old common sense law that set a good precedent for working families. It’s a victory not just for unions and students here in California, but for workers and kids all across the nation. The decision – tied at 4-4 – affirms the lower court decision in favor or CTA. As the news rolls in, check out CTA President Eric C. Heins’ statement and video interview, and check the Friedrichs page on the CTA website for links to the CTA/NEA joint press release and the America Works Together statement.
Can parents opt out of state testing for their child? The answer is YES
As standardized testing is beginning in schools across California, many parents are reaching out to teachers with questions about these tests and asking if they can opt out of the testing for their child. California is one of handful of states that has a law allowing all parents to opt out of state-mandated standardized testing. At the same time there are also California regulations governing what educators can say to parents and families. CTA has put together a number of resources to help educators have these conversations. Check the Testing and Legal sections of the CTA website for additional information.
Signature gathering full speed ahead for CEHCP
It’s urgent that we qualify the Children’s Education and Health Care Protection Act (CEHCP), which extends Proposition 30 for the wealthiest Californians and protects our students, schools and community members from more cuts. Prop. 30’s personal income tax rate increases on high-income earners, approved by voters in 2012, are set to expire at the end of calendar year 2018. This would leave a permanent gap in state General Fund revenues – an estimated $4.4 billion in 2018-19 and $7.7 billion in 2019-20, with annual revenue losses continuing indefinitely. To get this critical measure on the ballot, we need to collect thousands of signatures by mid-April. We need your help! Learn more here, talk to your local chapter president and please join in the crucial effort to qualify the CEHCP Act!
Your feedback wanted on HSEE and requirements for future graduates
Senate Bill (SB) 172 postpones the administration of the high school exit exam and removes it as a condition of receiving a diploma or condition of graduation from high school for each student completing grade twelve for the 2015–16, 2016–17, and 2017–18 school years. The California Department of Education (CDE) is gathering feedback from the community, as well as students, about the continuation of the high school exit exam and other alternatives to satisfy high school graduation requirements after 2017–18. A survey is posted on the CDE California High School Exit Examination Website. Be sure to complete the survey by April 15.
Social justice activists – We [heart] YOU!
Know a CTA member who engages educators, parents, and the community to advocate on social justice issues that impact the lives of students, fellow educators and the community? Nominate that person for a prestigious award courtesy of NEA! Application deadline is April 15. Neat tidbit about this award: Voting for the winner is OPEN TO US ALL!
Bolster your school project with an IFT Grant 
Have a project that will improve student achievement? Does your project address the needs of diverse or at-risk students? The CTA Institute for Teaching has established a competitive grant program for CTA members and chapters to support strength-based, teacher-driven reform for students and public schools. Competitive educator grants will be awarded in amounts up to $5,000. Competitive impact grants will be awarded in amounts up to $20,000. The grant application process is open to individual CTA members, small teams of educators and affiliated local chapters. Applications can be submitted online now through April 30.
May 4: National Day of Action to Reclaim Our Schools
Get involved! Ever heard of a “walk in”event? Well we’re having one on May 4 and YOU are encouraged to attend! This is a great opportunity for educators to unite with parents, students and community members to celebrate public education and support the quality public schools that all our students deserve. Shoulder to shoulder, nationwide, we’ll be participating in this day of action and “walking in” to school together. The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools (AROS), CTA, NEA and others are committed to making this a day to remember!
CTA’s goal: Leaders & staff representative of general population
CTA has a long-standing commitment to increasing ethnic minority leadership and staff. Check out CTA’s Ethnic Minority Early Identification & Development program. The Ethnic Minority Early ID and Development Program is a yearlong program of training and mentorship for ethnic minoritiesApplicationis due by May 6 and participants will be notified by May 27 if they have been selected.
Exploring Teacher Leadership: An Opportunity for Action
As California’s education landscape changes, the need for teacher leadership is more important than ever.   Exploring Teacher Leadership invites teachers and other educators to explore the WHAT around major education initiatives and WHY and HOW your ideas, creativity, and leadership can be applied to meet the challenges before us. Learn, network, explore leadership opportunities and advocate for the profession on May 7 at Stanford University. Keynote speakers are CTA President Eric Heins and noted education researcher and president of the Learning Policy Institute Linda Darling-Hammond. A $15 entrance fee includes lunch.
Congratulations to CTA’s Human Rights Award recipients 
Seven educators and two local associations have been granted CTA Human Rights Awards for 2016. The goal of the Awards Program is to promote the development of programs for the advancement and protection of human and civil rights within the Association. The Awards Program was adopted by the CTA State Council of Education in October 1984, and was subsequently augmented to include eight new categories of awards.
CTA’s Voter Guide helps with June Primary election
As June approaches, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and learn about the people who are running for local office. For our kids’ sake, it’s critical to elect local school board members who are friendly to California’s public schools, educators and students. Need help deciphering who to vote for in the upcoming Primary? Look no further: CTA’s voter guide can help you to elect the best candidates for our kids!
April is National Poetry Month
” Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both; and be one traveler, long I stood; and looked down one as far as I could….” Robert Frost isn’t the only poet we’ll be celebrating this month. April is National Poetry Month and you’re encouraged to share and enjoy poetry this month and year ’round.
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