Lobby Day focuses on community schools, charter schools, accreditation

On April 21, educators fanned out in the Capitol to talk directly to their legislators about what really happens at school and the need to pass priority bills.

Jude Rose, an early childhood educator from Watsonville High, described the day this way: “It’s about educating the policymakers and giving a real-life description of what’s happening in the field. We’re here working for teachers, but ultimately we’re working for the kids.”

The union’s two workplace safety bills were crafted to benefit entire campus communities. AB677 requires doors to have locks that can be locked from the inside on new school construction or renovation. AB1126 requires heating, ventilation and air conditioning inspections to be posted on each school’s website.

PreK-12 members lobbied to amend two high-profile teacher evaluation bills calling for local adoption of best practices.

Educators supported community schools and their wraparound services for kids by backing the provisions contained in SB403.

Union members also asked for support of the CFT-sponsored charter school bill, SB322, that addresses the issues of equity in student admission and high teacher turnover occurring from the lack of due process rights and poor working conditions.

Support staff lobbied to end the abuse of temporary classified workers by closing a loophole in the Education Code. They also argued to bring the long overdue benefit of unemployment insurance to staff found in AB399.

Community college members continued the fight for fair accreditation, calling for support of a CFT-sponsored bill carried by Assemblyman Phil Ting. AB1397 creates a standard for accreditation with an appeal process and ensures visiting teams have no conflict of interest.

Another CFT bill, AB 1010, would create minimum job security standards for part-timers. SB373, would limit new hires to full-time faculty until a district reaches a 75 percent threshold of full-timers.

Since Lobby Day, all CFT-sponsored bills have cleared their policy committees and will be heard in the full Legislature, proving the success of members’ efforts.

— By CFT Staff