CFT United

Overview

CFT United

CFT United, previously named California Teacher, is the union’s flagship magazine that is emailed to all union members. The award-winning digital magazine contains union news important to members, and covers major issues in each division of the CFT: PreK-12, Classified, Community College, University, and Retired. Browse stories by date here or by index.

CFT United is published regularly during the academic year. We welcome unsolicited articles, letters, and story ideas. Please send letters, submissions, or other inquiries to Publications Director Jane Hundertmark.

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California Teacher Rank & Files

Rank & Files, April-May 2014

Sharon Hendricks, a speech instructor, member of the Los Angeles College Faculty Guild, Local 1521, and a member of the CalSTRS Board, was elected by her colleagues as vice chair of the 12-member board for the 2014-15 term. The chair and vice chair provide board leadership, direction and policy development for the largest educator-only pension fund in the world.

California Teacher LCFF-LCAP

Local Control Funding Formula: New regulations specify use of funds for targeted students

On January 16, the State Board of Education adopted emergency spending regulations for the supplemental and concentration grant funds that Local Educational Agencies (districts, county offices of education and some charter schools) will receive under the Local Control Funding Formula.

California Teacher charter schools

Morgan Hill educators fight to keep community-based schools
Silicon Valley charter chains eye San Jose suburb

The latest flashpoint in the big-money expansion by charter school chains in Silicon Valley is Morgan Hill, a bedroom community with rural roots just south of San Jose.

Within the last year both Rocketship Education and Navigator Schools petitioned to open charter schools in the Morgan Hill Unified School District. Following swift mobilization and communication by the union and community groups, the school board denied both applications.

California Teacher

UC-AFT: Putting union passion to work…

UC-AFT

Putting union passion to work. . . New UC-AFT Executive Director Amy Hines brings a passion for labor to the University Council. For the past several years she worked as an organizer for the California School Employees Association and coordinated the work of 10 labor relations professionals representing 14,000 classified employees in more than 125 districts. 
Hines has worked in unions since 2003, including UAW Local 2322, SEIU Local 1000, and AFSCME Local 3299. Proudly, she said, “I am honored to have been welcomed in all nine UC-AFT locals within my first three months working here.”

California Teacher retiree chapters

Union establishes Retiree Organizing Committee to build new chapters

The CFT has established the Retiree Organizing Committee to help local unions take advantage of the experience, skills and commitment of retired union members.

The goal of this new standing committee is to organize AFT retiree chapters around the state so that retirees may continue to contribute to their unions — and have opportunities to connect with former colleagues.

California Teacher labor art

Photographer brings the art of class struggle to wide audience
Previously censored works of San Diego professor Fred Lonidier in Whitney Biennial

Fred Lonidier’s artwork depicting the lives and struggles of maquiladora workers was banished from the Autonomous University of Baja California in 2005. This month artwork telling the story of that censorship will go up on the walls of New York’s prestigious Whitney Museum of American Art as part of its renowned Biennial exhibition.

California Teacher

CFT campaigns to bring back nurses, libraries

Union-sponsored legislation inspired by labor-community vision

The CFT has launched an ambitious legislative initiative for K-12 schools called Healthy Kids, Healthy Minds, which is embodied in the new union-sponsored bill, AB 1955, carried by Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, a pediatrician with a track record of improving health in local neighborhoods.

California Teacher labor solidarity

Domestic Worker Bill of Rights corrects historic wrongs

Seven-year journey to bring overtime protections to personal attendants

They work in the shadows of society and have been excluded from the most basic of labor protections. Yet those domestic workers who care for seniors, children and the disabled, have risen above their historic isolation, built an effective coalition and performed the seven years of heavy lifting that saw their struggle succeed. 

California Teacher early childhood education

Early educators fight reckless closure of community Head Start
Congresswoman Maxine Waters questions motives of L.A. County Office of Education

Watts was still smoldering from the riots in 1965 when Kedren Head Start began serving local families. Today, about 350 Kedren employees care for more than 2,100 children at 32 sites from South Los Angeles and Koreatown to the Eastside.

“All of us work in low-income, dangerous areas,” said Margaret Garcia, a family service advocate at one of Kedren’s multiple Watts facilities. An undercurrent of violence runs through the neighborhoods.

California Teacher ACCJC accreditation

Judge rules trial required to determine legality of ACCJC actions
CFT lawsuit advances significant step toward fair accreditation in community colleges

City College of San Francisco started 2014 with some much-needed good news. San Francisco Superior Court Judge Curtis Karnow ruled that the school’s accreditation cannot be revoked until a trial determines whether the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, or ACCJC, acted unlawfully in sanctioning the college. Karnow said in his ruling that closing the college would be “catastrophic.”

California Teacher Affordable Care Act

Affordable Care Act: Providing options to part-time workers
Three part-time educators do the math, find different ways to meet their 
healthcare needs

Lisa Agcaoili nervously waited to speak with a Covered California counselor in a West Los Angeles College cafeteria, where thousands of people had come to a Health and Enrollment Fair for solid information about their options under the Affordable Care Act.

California Teacher free college tuition

Pilot colleges resist implementing two-tier fees in new law
FiFive of six districts not following program mandated in AB 955

In October, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the controversial Assembly Bill 955, which allows six colleges to charge students out-of-state rates for high-demand classes, such as English and algebra, during the winter and summer sessions. This means about $200 a unit, as compared to the current $46.

California Teacher ACCJC accreditation

Fair accreditation: Congresswomen lead forum in support of City College
Fair accreditation, transparency demanded of out-of-control agency

Cañada College alumnus and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo called community colleges lifeboats and springboards for Californians. Congresswoman Jackie Speier said they keep our workforce vibrant. And state Sen. Jim Beall said seven of his nine siblings went to community colleges, the only way they could afford higher education. 

California Teacher Classified Conference Rank & Files

Annual conference salutes four classified heroes
From Pasadena to San Francisco, staff make a difference every day

Nothing better illustrates the theme of this fall’s Classified Conference, “Celebrating Our Role in Quality Education,” than the staff who go above and beyond the call of duty. 
The honorees were nominated by their unions and selected as Members of the Year because they are positive role models for workers and students, contribute to the success of the local, and are committed advocates of high-quality education.

California Teacher adult education

Adult Education: New regional consortia meld state programs
Grassroots action required to meet community needs

By Cynthia Eagleton

Ever Since Wall street crashed into Main Street five years ago, adult education has been in a state of change. Until five years ago, adult education in California was stable: Classes were provided primarily through K-12 districts as a protected categorical, and in a few cities, as non-credit offerings at community colleges.