Back to School: Forward Together – CFT President Jeff Freitas and fellow statewide union leaders begin tour of schools across California as new school year gets underway
Statewide tour to spotlight school communities coming together for safe, in-person learning

News Release Media Contact

SACRAMENTO  — Starting this week, CFT President Jeff Freitas, Secretary Treasurer Luukia Smith and Senior Vice President Lacy Barnes will join educators, classified professionals, students, and parents across California as schools start the new school year for full in-person learning. 

On the ‘Back to School: Forward Together’ tour, Freitas will spotlight parents, students, educators, and classified staff coming together to support the safest return to classrooms, and outline CFT’s vision for utilizing a record state budget investment to strengthen students’ academic achievement and social emotional well being.

With the growing threat of the Delta variant, CFT is committed to working with local school and community leaders to ensure that all eligible educators, classified professionals, and students can get vaccinated in addition to ensuring adequate PPE and social distancing in classrooms.

“As students, educators and classified staff return to classrooms there is no return to a pre-pandemic normal; but we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to renew public education and set a nationwide standard for world-class learning and whole student support,” said Freitas. “This tour spotlights CFT’s commitment to moving forward together – to create community schools that are true, safe, learning spaces for our students and to ensure that every student’s educational and social emotional needs are met.” 

Freitas, Smith, and Barnes and local CFT leaders and members will be available for comment at the following locations on the dates indicated below:

  • August 9 – San Jose Federation of Teachers (San Jose, CA)
  • August 10– Salinas Valley Federation of Teachers (Salinas, CA)
  • August 10 – Gilroy Federation of Paraeducators (Gilroy, CA)
  • August 11 – Paso Robles Public Educators (Paso Robles, CA)
  • August 12 – Poway Federation of Teachers (Poway, CA)
  • August 13 – Lawndale Federation of Classified Employees (Lawndale, CA)
  • August 13 –Berkeley Federation of Teachers (Berkeley, CA)
  • August 16 – ABC Federation of Teachers (Cerritos, CA)
  • August 16 – United Educators of San Francisco (San Francisco, CA)
  • August 17 – Culver City Federation of Teachers (Culver City, CA)
  • August 19 – AFT College Staff Guild (Los Angeles, CA)
  • August 20 – Newport-Mesa Federation of Teachers (Costa Mesa, CA)
  • August 23 – Novato Federation of Teachers (Novato, CA)
  • August 24 – Petaluma Federation of Teachers (Petaluma, CA)
  • Sept. 13 – Pajaro Valley Federation of Teachers (Watsonville, CA)

Note: Dates and locations subject to change. Additional tour stops to be added.


CFT — A Union of Educators and Classified Professionals represents 120,000 teachers, faculty, and school employees in public and private schools and colleges, from early childhood through higher education. It is the statewide affiliate of the AFT, AFL-CIO.