Topic: Education Funding

Fixing commercial tax system will help communities prepare for wildfires
Prop 15 will fund local fire protection districts

As a result of our rapidly changing climate, California has experienced the deadliest, largest, and most destructive wildfires in its history. 

In the past five years, we’ve had nine of the 20 most destructive fires the state has ever had, including the Camp Fire in Butte in 2018, the Tubbs Fire in Napa and Sonoma in 2017, the Carr Fire in Shasta & Trinity in 2018, and the Thomas Fire in Santa Barbara and Ventura in 2017.2

Our annual fire season has become a year-round concern. Our fires are now hotter, larger, and burn longer. 

Article Elections 2020 Schools & Communities First

Governor Newsom endorses Prop 15!
Joe Biden endorsed Schools & Communities First last fall

On September 11, Governor Newsom endorsed Prop 15, the CFT-supported ballot measure that will reclaim $12 billion annually for California schools and communities by closing corporate property tax loopholes.

“The governor’s support of Prop 15 is critical to ensure that this essential initiative passes and our schools have the resources they need so that our students receive the education they deserve,” said CFT President Jeff Freitas.

Schools & Communities First placed on ballot as Prop 15
Yes on Proposition 15 this November!

On July 1,  California Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced the 12 measures that have qualified for the November election, along with their ballot numbers. Schools and Communities First, the CFT’s top statewide priority in November, will appear as Proposition 15. 

Article Coronavirus State Budget

CFT says “Tax Billionaires”
We can’t cut our way to the economic recovery our students deserve!

As we navigate the global COVID-19 pandemic, Californians are experiencing crises that reach far beyond the immediate public and personal health emergencies. The poorest Californians, disproportionately people of color in the service, hospitality, and healthcare sectors, have either lost their jobs, resulting in a spike to unemployment unlike anything we have seen in our lifetimes, or are risking their health performing essential frontline services.

Article Coronavirus State Budget

How to avoid catastrophic cuts to education and vital social services
OPINION: Tax the super rich

By Jim Miller, AFT Guild, Local 1931

The COVID-19 crisis and subsequent economic collapse along with the national uprising against police brutality and systemic racism have cast a glaring light on the nature of American inequality on the healthcare, criminal justice, and economic fronts. It has never been clearer that as most Americans struggle, the elite thrive.

Members collect 20,000 signatures in support of Schools & Communities First
Hitting statewide goal helped land measure on November 3 ballot

Update: On June 4, Schools and Communities First officially qualified for the November 3 General Election ballot.

Last fall, when CFT began circulating petitions to qualify the Schools and Communities First initiative, seems like a world away. Yet on April 1, the early days of the coronavirus outbreak, the coalition submitted 1.7 million signatures, nearly twice the number needed to put the measure on the November ballot and the most ever gathered in California history.

Article Elections 2020 Proposition 13

Vote YES on Prop. 13, the California school safety bond
$15 billion for new facilities and modernization

Proposition 13, the School Safety Bond, will appear on the March 2020 California ballot. The initiative, which bears no relation to Prop. 13 from 1978, is the largest school facilities bond in state history, promoting adequate and equitable school facilities that will provide healthy, safe, and educationally appropriate school infrastructure for our children.

Our bold step forward to fully fund public education
Schools and Communities First

By Jeffery M. Freitas, CFT President

When CFT received the first batch of petitions to put Schools and Communities First initiative on the ballot in late October, I immediately ripped a box open and took out a form. I eagerly signed the fresh new document to add my name in support of this historic initiative.

Article Schools & Communities First Elections 2020

Put Schools and Communities First on the ballot
Join CFT members in gathering signatures

The California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act will restore over $12 billion per year to California’s schools, community colleges, health clinics, and other vital local services.

For nearly four decades, big corporations have not been paying their fair share of commercial property taxes, leaving California with the most overcrowded classrooms in the United States and with some of the worst ratios of counselors, librarians, and nurses per student.

Article Part-time faculty Student debt

Student loan forgiveness: Bill aims to help part-time faculty in California
AFT wants to hear from those denied application

Update: AB 463 has passed both the California Senate and Assembly and is currently on the Governor’s desk. He has until October 13 to sign or veto the legislation.

Presently working its way through the Assembly, AB 463, Cervantes, D-Riverside, seeks to make it easier for California part-time community college instructors to gain eligibility for the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

California Teacher Up Front

Creating a movement for charter reform and education funding
Up Front

WATCH THE VIDEO: State of the Union 2019

By Joshua Pechthalt, CFT President

As the school year begins to wind down, our work ramps up. CFT is joining other education unions to push hard to enact bills calling for more charter school transparency and accountability, bringing the decision-making on charter authorization exclusively to the district level, and more ambitiously, enacting a moratorium on all new charters. As Los Angeles state Sen. Maria Elena Durazo, the author of the moratorium bill explains, it’s time we put a “pause” on new charters.The effort to bring reform to charters importantly parallels the AFT Fund Our Future campaign that is investing in education.

California Teacher CFT Convention Proposition 13

Convention speakers inspire through historic perspective
Reverse the damage of Prop 13 and build union strength

WATCH THE VIDEO: Jackie Goldberg

WATCH THE VIDEO: Bill Fletcher, Jr.

Former teacher and Assemblymember Jackie Goldberg welcomed Convention delegates to Los Angeles on March 22 and recounted an important history in the CFT’s 100th Anniversary year. She talked about the need to reverse the damage of Proposition 13.

California Teacher

Students need more mental health support on campus, faculty too

By Mia L. McIver, President UC-AFT

In a recent survey of UC-AFT faculty, members highlighted mental health as an issue that deserves our union’s attention and energy. UC students experiencing psychological challenges often seek support from lecturers and other contract faculty, who are sometimes the only faculty with whom they can develop a one-to-one relationship.

Article

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose…
Online college and student performance-based funding

By Jim Mahler, President, Community College Council

After a very long, hard fought battle beginning in January and ending in June, we lost our struggle against the governor regarding both the Online College and the Performance-Based Funding initiatives.

In case you weren’t already aware, the governor wields a lot of power, and, believe it or not, these two initiatives were at the top of his agenda with respect to the budget for the entire state of California!

Article

Republicans win – Democrats lose in community college funding proposal

By Jim Mahler, President, Community College Council

It’s taken for granted these days that as far as state budget decisions go, Republican legislators are bystanders, while the Democratic supermajority makes the major fiscal decisions.

However, Republican lawmakers and their constituents have new reason to celebrate, as far as California Community Colleges go, if Gov. Brown gets his way and the proposed new community college funding formula becomes law.

California Teacher Affordability Crisis

When educators can’t afford to live where they work
Housing crisis hits teachers and staff in urban and rural areas

Last year, Veronica Juarez, a peer education coach and middle-school teacher in San Francisco for more than 20 years, was living in the city with her mom and two kids. Now, after an owner move-in eviction, she and her 10-year-old son, Rio, are living in a couple rooms and limited kitchen access. Her mom moved back to Mexico, and her daughter, in college at Long Beach, will stay there.