Topic: Education Funding

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 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.

California Teacher CFT 100

The passage of Proposition 25 will help make California a working state

The members and leaders of CFT see that California’s education system, and our jobs, are placed at grave risk by a faltering economy, chronic late state budgets, and a paralyzed political process. On November 2, the rest of California agreed with us.

Voters passed Proposition 25, changing state budget approval to a majority, ending the tyranny of a two-thirds vote and the partisan groups that benefit from a revenue-starved government.

California Teacher CFT 100

The March for California’s Future: We walked the valley with a message of hope and justice
A capsule summary: 365 miles, 48 days, rallying from town to town

In the CFT-organized March for California’s Future, six “core marchers” walked 365 miles from Bakersfield to Sacramento over the course of 48 days. Putting their lives on hold, they braved the elements, sleeping in churches, schools, and RV parks.

Throughout California’s great Central Valley — home to people who work the fields as well as legislators elected in small towns who demand budget cuts and oppose tax increases — the marchers talked to people and listened to personal stories of economic hardship.