Topic: Education Funding

Article Proposition 30

Prop. 30 delivers salary relief in recent contracts

After years of stagnant wages, classified employees are finally seeing long-overdue salary relief in recent months.

The raises largely result from the CFT campaign two years ago to pass Proposition 30. This year, the governor’s budget included $5.6 billion in additional funding for K-14 education. Prop. 30 will generate an average of about $6 billion per year for seven years.

California Teacher LCFF LCAP

California districts roll out LCAPs to mixed reviews
Degree of teacher and classified input to local plans varies widely

Ray Gaer sees the Local Control Accountability Plan, or LCAP, as “a different forum for unions to talk about things that matter and an opportunity to build more cooperative relationships. The president of the ABC Federation of Teachers says, “We can talk about how programs are selected and developed and how money is spent before getting to the bargaining table.”

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.

Article Student Nutrition Local Action

Berkeley cooking and gardening program seeks funding

Community support saved an innovative cooking and gardening program that faced closure last spring, but only leftovers remain after the Berkeley Unified School District cut two-thirds of the budget. 

“Even the chickens in the garden were given away because no one was left to tend them,” said Daria Wrubel of the Berkeley Council of Classified Employees. Wrubel taught gardening to 450 students at Thousand Oaks Elementary before she and more than half the classified staff were cut.

California Teacher LCFF LCAP

Dawn of new era for K-12 education funding
Local decisions drive plan; difficult bargaining looms

For the first time in six long years, the state budget includes more funding for education in 2013-14. In the on-time budget, Gov. Brown fended off legislative demand to reinstate programs cut during the recession and stayed true to his commitment to prioritize education funding. Though the sectors of education fared differently, all saw at least some increase in state funding.

Article Local Action

Berkeley local unions fight for fair contract, cooking and gardening program

The faculty and classified AFT local unions in the Berkeley Unified School District rallied on May 8 before a district board meeting. With state funding to the district on the rise, educators say the district can provide more for its employees, especially since it is holding $7.9 million in its ending fund balance.

The workers are also trying to save the successful cooking and gardening program threatened by cuts to the federal program, Network for Healthy Californians. 

California Teacher

Federal cuts threaten cooking and gardening classes
Berkeley community rallies to save famous kids’ grow-it-yourself program

Facing a massive loss of federal funds, Berkeley Unified officials may yank an innovative gardening and cooking program up by the roots. The slash and burn tactics are drawing widespread community fire.

For about 15 years, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture has taught low-income families about nutrition through school programs like the Network for a Healthy California. Congress, however, has revised its funding formula and California, which used to receive nearly a third of all USDA money, will lose about 40 percent of its grant. The funding for direct-to-kids programs like the NHC will be shifted to local health agencies to run publicity campaigns.

Article Proposition 30

Classified rise to the challenge of passing Prop. 30
Threat of more furlough days spurs community outreach and response

Classified employees had a lot to lose if voters rejected Prop. 30 on November 6. Staff swung into action across California, racking up victories in state and local campaigns that will go a long way toward saving public education.

Gilroy paraprofessionals in AFT Local 1921, for example, resisted pressure to take 10 furlough days until the need was clear, even though district teachers represented by CTA and classified employees represented by CSEA had agreed beforehand to give up the days.

Article Proposition 30

The Fight for California’s Future
Our campaign for better education funding and fair taxation

With the passage of Proposition 30 in the November 2012 election, California is finally looking at improved prospects. Prop 30 begins the process of reversing the massive redistribution of wealth upwards that has taken place over the past thirty years. By imposing a 1–3% increase on the wealthiest Californians’ income taxes, and a modest sales tax increase of one-quarter of 1%, the state budget will gain some relief and programs in education and social services will not face further savage cuts.

Article Part-time faculty

Tips for surviving cutbacks in the community colleges
How to get grant funding

Lisa Chaddock, a part-time geography instructor in San Diego, offered part-timers survival tips in a workshop titled “Finding Funds to Survive Community College Cutbacks,” at the annual CFT Convention. The following are some highlights from Chaddock’s presentation about applying for grants to protect programs and supplement part-timer income.

Article Part-time faculty

Teachers as organizers: Part-timers embrace political organizing this election year

This year, part-timers have been active from the classroom to the state level in advocating for higher education funding and the rights of students. Lisa Chaddock, part-time instructor in geography at San Diego City College and Cuyamaca College, traveled to Sacramento in March to testify in the Assembly Higher Education Committee on behalf of AB 1826, which would limit full-time faculty overload to 50 percent of a full-time load.

Article Local Action

CFT budget analysis saves classified jobs in Aromas

At the bargaining table June 8, administrators of the Aromas-San Juan Unified School District proposed layoffs, demotions, and reduced hours for a third of the 68 members of the Federation of Classified Employees. Most of the member negotiators would feel the cuts personally.

Two visitors saved the day: A sympathetic member of the school board joined the district team, and the CFT budget analyst joined the classified team.