California Teacher


California Teacher

California Teacher is the CFT’s flagship digital magazine that is emailed to all union members. The award-winning magazine contains union news and positions of import to all members, and covers major issues in each educational division of the CFT: PreK-12, Classified, Community College, University, and Retired. California Teacher has won numerous awards from labor communications groups for its excellence in storytelling. Browse by date below or by index here.

California Teacher is published four times during the academic year. Please send letters, submissions, or other inquiries to Jane Hundertmark, Publications Director and Editor.

Article CFT Convention

Classified staff: We wear many hats

Lab techs. Secretaries. Bus drivers. Groundskeepers. Food service workers. The varied hats classified staff members wear cover a multitude of job roles, said Carl Williams, a senior custodian and president of the Lawndale Federation of Classified Employees. He had members pick up a hat and come on stage when they heard their job title called out.

Article Rank & Files

Rank & Files, Apr-May 2015

Mediha Din, a part-time sociology instructor and member of the El Camino College Federation of Teachers, Local 1388, received a Gerald C. Hayward Award for Excellence in Education from the California Community Colleges, which comes with $1250. The award recognizes Din’s creative teaching strategies and outstanding work with at-risk students from diverse academic and cultural backgrounds, service as faculty advisor for the Muslim Student Association, and initiatives to engage students in community service.

CFT supports families of missing Mexican students

Survivor tells horrific tale of persecution and murder

Angel Neri described the unique education given students at the Raul Isidro Burgos School in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, in his speech at CFT Convention. The school takes students from rural farming communities, trains them as teachers, and then encourages them to return to work in schools in the poorest, most remote communities in Mexico. This has earned the school the enmity of corrupt and violent elements of Mexican society.

“Make it Fair” creates real change for California

By Josh Pechthalt, CFT President

California’s largest, oldest corporations have not been paying their fair share for more than 35 years. As a result, the state has lost billions of dollars in uncollected property tax revenues — a major factor pushing our public schools to the national bottom in per pupil spending and class size average. The state’s most at-risk families and individuals have also seen essential services repeatedly cut for more than a generation.

Article Local Action

Local Wire, Feb-March 2015

Local 1021

LA turns out for education.… Thousands of people jammed Grand Park on February 26 in a rally for “Schools LA Students Deserve.” They wore red to send the message to Los Angeles Unified: Teachers will not stop fighting for high-quality education including culturally relevant classes; smaller class sizes in fully-staffed clean and safe schools with social and emotional support for students; and fair compensation for teachers, counselors, nurses and librarians. Students, parents, and community groups joined United Teachers Los Angeles at the rally.

Article Members elected

Sandra Nichols Profile: Teachers elected to public office can effect social change

Four-time board member Sandra Nichols has advice for educator candidates

Nichols served three terms on the board of the Pajaro Valley Unified School District while she was a teacher in neighboring Santa Cruz. She moved out of the Pajaro district in 2012 and into Santa Cruz County, where she ran for the County Board of Education in her fourth winning election bid.


The union analyzes the governor’s budget proposals for 2015-16

Gov. Brown proposes increasing funding for all divisions of public education in his 2015-16 budget and continues to restore cuts made to education during the Great Recession. 

As compared to the current year budget, the governor boosts K-14 education funding by $7.8 billion and foresees $65.7 billion coming in from Proposition 98. He also pays down remaining deferrals for both K-12 and community college districts. The proposed budget includes:


Change the narrative: Choose books and movies that matter

Educators write from the heart and an English movie that will inspire

The Educator And The Oligarch: A Teacher Challenges The Gates Foundation | By Anthony Cody

Point by point, in The Educator and the Oligarch, Anthony Cody takes on the wealthiest man in the world, and his foundation, to defend the teaching profession and public education from corporate education reform.

Article Private Sector Religious Schools

Catholic school teachers concerned with morality clauses

Archbishop’s controversial proposals provoke national reaction

Faculty at four Bay Area Catholic high schools have expressed objections to non-inclusive statements about marriage, sexuality, and reproduction made by Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, and concern over his controversial proposals to designate teachers in the diocesan high schools as “ministers” in the faculty handbook and the collective bargaining agreement.

Article Rank & Files

Rank & Files, Feb-March 2015

Kevin Glynn, a social studies and Shakespeare teacher at Los Angeles Senior High School, and member of United Teachers Los Angeles, Local 1021, penned a novel Tyrannosaurus Sex, a comic, coming of age novel set in Los Angeles during the heady days of the sexual revolution, from its genesis in the psychedelic sixties to its apogee in the seventies. The novel, published by Cedar Forge Press, is available online from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the Seattle Book Company.

Berkeley teachers commit art for justice

Two union campaigns strengthen the bonds of community

In February, Berkeley teachers posted 1,000 “Black Lives Matter” signs in classrooms, hallways, administrative offices and on school grounds to highlight recent court decisions on the police shootings of young black men. They are also distributing “Black Lives Matter” lesson plans and resources to teachers in every grade level at the nearly 20 district sites.