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CFT sponsors California Tax on Extreme Wealth
Why tax extreme wealth?

Since the beginning of the pandemic last March, while our families and our communities have suffered gut-wrenching pain and loss, billionaires in our state alone have increased their wealth by over half a trillion dollars.

And their numbers and their extreme wealth just keep on growing. In March 2020, just as COVID began, there were 154 billionaires in California – with a total wealth of $688.3 billion. In January 2021, there were 169 billionaires in California – with a total wealth of more than $1.2 trillion.

Article

CFT joins campaign to forge a New Deal for Higher Education

With the new Biden administration and Congress come new opportunities to ensure significant, sustainable public investment in higher education.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the long-standing crisis in public higher education. Declining state support, the erosion of tenure and shared governance, the increased use of contingent appointments, and the loss of the faculty voice on campus are threatening the core mission of higher education in our society. Now is the time to stand up for a just, inclusive system of higher education — one that can help transform our society.

We need a New Deal for Higher Education.

Article Coronavirus

California education unions release school reopening plan
CLASSES — A Pathway to Bringing Students Back to Schools 

California teachers and classified employees want nothing more than to be back in our physical classrooms and school sites and know first-hand there is no equal substitute to regular, in-person learning.

California’s schools are the heart of their communities. For many of our most vulnerable and underserved populations, they are lifelines. The educational, social and emotional needs of California’s students, particularly those who often lack the technological and additional education support to sustain distance learning, are of paramount concern. 

Article Racial Justice Black Lives Matter

Ways to honor Black History Month at school and home
February is Black History Month

On February 1, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln approved a joint resolution to submit the proposed 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery, to the state legislatures. While the history of Black Americans involves so much more than slavery, it is imperative that students fully understand the institution of slavery, its dissolution and the aftermath in order to understand today’s racial inequity.

We have compiled some meaningful collections of resources for Black History Month. These resources may be of interest to educators in the classroom, unions, and families and communities.

Article Coronavirus

Governor releases new “Safe Schools for All Plan”
Consolidated website for K-12 schools, proposed guidance for in-person instruction

On January 14, the California Department of Public Health released several important resources related to the state’s K-12 schools and COVID-19. Our summary below is meant to guide members and local unions through the new materials, especially the changes and most critical elements. The governor and the CDPH are still developing additional resources, so watch for updates about the plan in the coming weeks.

Read the CFT press release here.

The key changes announced on January 14 include:

Article State Budget

Governor proposes record education funding in state budget

To cap a tumultuous week, today Governor Newsom announced his state budget proposal for the coming year. Despite a struggling economy, and high unemployment, the top line budget numbers are hopeful for public education: a record $85.8 billion for K-14 schools, along with additional funding for teacher recruitment and training, and special education, among other programs. Additionally, the governor estimates that there will be an additional $6.7 billion from the federal government for K-12 as part of the most recent stimulus package.

Article Coronavirus AFT

Another round of federal stimulus signed into law
$900 billion COVID relief package extends unemployment benefits

On December 21, Congress passed a long-anticipated additional round of COVID relief legislation as part of the Bipartisan-Bicameral Omnibus COVID Relief Deal. The legislative package — the result of last-minute frantic negotiations — provides more much-needed relief to individuals, education, hospitals and businesses in response to the economic distress caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Article Union Communications

CFT website, UTLA strike series capture first place honors
Union wins nine first place awards for communications

The CFT has won nine First Place awards in the International Labor Media Communications contest for 2019, in a competition delayed by a few months because of the pandemic. 

2019 was a busy year for the CFT and for union communications. In the first three months alone, the union experienced the UTLA strike, the launch of the new CFT website, and CFT’s 100th Anniversary Convention.

Article Coronavirus

The pandemic — reopening, regrouping, testing and protecting
K-12 locals put safety first, find communities on their side

The week after Thanksgiving, Mariah Fisher, president of the Novato Federation of Teachers and a middle school drama teacher, said she was ready to go back to in-person teaching, starting that week. She had marked off six feet of space between all the desks and she was preparing to teach acting to students wearing masks.

Article Elections 2020 Members elected

Paul da Silva became the candidate he wanted to see
First teacher elected to College of Marin Board of Trustees

For years, Paul da Silva, a biology teacher at the College of Marin and a member of United Professors of Marin, Local 1610, wondered about the lack of teachers on the college’s Board of Trustees and tried to talk retiring professors into running. No one took him up on it.

So when he decided in the summer of 2019 that he would retire, he concluded, to paraphrase Mahatma Gandhi, he’d have to be the candidate he wished to see in the world.