FIRST PERSON | By Laura L. Manriquez,
Carpinteria Association of the United School Employees
I recently became aware of an opportunity to obtain financial
assistance in earning a teaching credential through the
California Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing
Program, which is intended to attract classified staff who are
interested in becoming teachers.
Current law exempts part-time playground employees from
classified status if they don’t also hold a second position in
the same school district. Legislation now on the governor’s desk,
however, would include part-timers who don’t have a second job.
AB 670 by Assemblyman Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond) would help about
1,500 “noon dutys” statewide.
“Part-time playground employees work side by side with classified
employees performing similar duties,” Thurmond said. “They
deserve the same protection and benefits as classified
Classified employees took two giant steps forward in Sacramento
during 2016 after the CFT shepherded four bills through the state
Legislature that address staff priorities. Gov. Jerry Brown
signed two of the bills.
AB 2122 appropriates $20 million over five years to
encourage classified employees to return to school and become
teachers. Grants from the California Classified School
Employee Teacher Credentialing Program to districts and
county offices of education will provide up to $4,000 annually to
staff seeking a bachelor’s degree and credential.
The annual budget passed by the state Legislature and signed by
the governor includes an appropriation of $20 million over five
years to fund a CFT co-sponsored piece of legislation known as
the California Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing
Carlos Howe began working as a security
officer for the Hawthorne School District in 2000, but he wanted
more. After earning his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice
administration, Howe joined the Santa Monica Police Department.
It wasn’t a good fit.
“My hair was on fire everyday. I had recently married and was a
brand new father, but it was dangerous and I was always gone, so
I switched gears.”
Schools can be amazing places. Institutions that focus on the
education and nurturing of young people have a special place in
our society. While the interaction of students with their teacher
is obviously an essential part of the educational process, it
really does take a community of people to make learning possible
and schools successful.