Bargaining Update The VEA Bargaining Team met with the District on Thursday, April 17, 2014. We have signed a tentative agreement for a partial restoration of wages, as well as changes to our evaluation article that are consistent with the forms currently being used. A final draft will be approved Thursday, April 24. We …View full post
The 2014-15 and 2015-16 calendars were ratified with a 94% approval rating.
Congratulations to the following VEA members who will be representing Vallejo at the NEA Representative Assembly in Denver, Colorado this summer:
Local Control Funding Formula
CTA believes the state and federal government should provide adequate funding for education in order for schools districts to fulfill the goals of providing a quality education and necessary resources to meet the individual needs of all students.
We agree with the Governor that we must make education in our state more equitable, “Equal treatment for children in unequal situations is not justice.” CTA also agrees that students with the greatest needs (English language learners, foster youth and low-income students) require additional resources to achieve the state’s academic standards. That is why the CTA State Council of Education adopted its Budget Principles that define support for the Governor’s proposed Local Control Funding Formula as one that provides equal funding for students most in need, restoration of the deficit factor, an annual cost-of-living adjustment while the formula is being implemented over a period of several years, and full funding for K-3 Class Size Reduction Program. Additionally, CTA believes funding must be based on enrollment and that quantifiable data is consistently applied and publicly available. Funding for the implementation of the Common Core State Standards is of paramount importance to CTA, therefore, we commend the Governor for allocating $1 billion to do so.
It’s a good thing Ainsley Harris’ principal waited until the end of the day to tell her the good news.
“I was a wreck,” said Harris, of the smiles and tears of joy she shed when she learned she was the Vallejo City Unified School District Teacher of the Year.
Harris formally accepted her plaque at Wednesday’s school board meeting.
A fourth-grade teacher, Harris has been at Cooper Elementary School for the last four years.
Harris didn’t always know whether she wanted to go into education. As a student at San Diego State University, a friend encouraged her to look into teaching.
“I just did it. I got my credentials and I never looked back,” said Harris, who grew up in Marin County and still lives there today.
Because at the time she was in her early 20s and herself not too far removed from high school, Harris decided to teach at the elementary level rather than the secondary schools.
Her first job after getting her credentials from Dominican University a decade ago was at Patterson Elementary School, where she was encouraged to apply by another friend and former teacher at that campus.
As an educator, she’s encouraged group work with her students and said her poster-festooned classroom — with little desks set up in fours — usually has a buzz of noise as students work together.
“Kids are talking, which to me is a good thing,” Harris said, adding that she makes sure the students stay on task and are talking about their assignments.
Harris holds both herself and her students to high standards.
“If you believe in your students and you give them high expectations and you put new opportunities for them, and they succeed at them, it makes them grow,” Harris said.
Achieving Teacher of the Year had always been something at the back of Harris’ mind, but nothing that really dominated her everyday life for the last 10 years in the classroom. But when Cooper Principal Susan Walls pulled Harris into her office, she was unable to hide her excitement.
“She just told me I was nominated, and I started crying,” Harris said.
Harris, a single mother, said most of her free time is spent raising her 3-year-old son. She loves to cook, but hates the precision of baking. Harris said she wasn’t sure whether she’d want to try working at a high school level — or even try her hand as an administrator.
Perhaps she’ll follow in the footsteps of Solano Middle School teacher Angelo Bracco, who last year was not only the Vallejo Teacher of the Year, but also Solano County’s and California’s top educator.
But Harris is sure of at least one thing.
“I love my classroom, and we’re in Room 24,” said a smiling Harris, whose students made sure to ask her for a shout-out in the newspaper.
Contact Lanz Christian Bañes at (707) 553-6833 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @LanzCBanes.
For immediate bargaining updates, please send your personal email to your bargaining contact below:
Janny Latno- firstname.lastname@example.org : Loma Vista, Highland, Wardlaw, and Solano Middle
Marneé McKenzie- email@example.com : Cave, Cooper, Steffan, Pennycook and Hogan Middle.
Carol Bishop- firstname.lastname@example.org : Jesse Bethel, Vallejo High, Franklin Middle and Hogan Middle
Leanne Duden- email@example.com : Mare Island, Patterson, Federal Terrace, and Vallejo Charter
Diane Klinge- firstname.lastname@example.org : Glen Cove, Peoples, Beverly Hills, and Vallejo Charter
Kathy Hellfeier- email@example.com : Widenmann, Dan Mini, and Lincoln
Congratulations to Marneé McKenzie (Vice President) and Katie Vevoda (CTA State Council Representative).
Governor’s Budget Would Give Schools $10B in Additional Funding
Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday unveiled his $106.8 billion general fund budget proposal for the 2014-2015 year, saying it is “very good news.” [Read the governor's news release and full budget summary.]
The governor told reporters that the budget would provide an additional “$10 billion for the schools of California after years of drought, cuts, and pink slips for teachers.”
CTA President Dean E. Vogel praised the governor for the new spending plan, saying: “The governor’s proposed budget will help our public schools and colleges continue to heal after years of devastating cuts.”
The governor said his administration is convening meetings of stakeholders to address the issue of maintaining the financial stability of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System. Read more about CalSTRS’s unfunded liability.
The release of the budget proposal is the first step in a long process that ends in the adoption and signing of a state spending plan before the July 1 start of the 2014-15 budget year.
California Falls to 50th in School Funding in Education Week Survey
The newest Education Week survey of education funding finds that California has hit 50th among the states in per-pupil funding, a key measure of financial commitment to public schools. According to the report, California fell from 49th to 50th in per-student funding in the 2010-11 school year. According to the report, California spends $3,500 less per student than the national average and $11,000 less per child than the top-ranked state of Wyoming.
CTA Supports Proposed Regulations for Local Control Funding Formula: Educators to Testify Next Week
CTA members will be testifying on Thurs., Jan. 16, in Sacramento before the State Board of Education about the proposed regulations for implementing the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). The LCFF is boosting appropriations for all schools, with additional allocations to schools with large segments of English learners, children from low-income families, and foster children.
CTA has worked hard to encourage the SBE to adopt regulations that will provide schools, parents, and educators with the flexibility needed to implement the program effectively. These quick points explain how the proposed regulations improve education, help students who need it most, involve parents and the community, strike the right balance between accountability and flexibility, and support continuous transparency.
Read CTA’s letter urging the SBE’s support.
Meanwhile, the Senate Education Committee is expected to vote on CTA-opposed SB 559 by Senator Bob Huff, Chair of the Republican Caucus. It would move the preliminary certificated layoff notification date from the current date of March 15 to May 15, and the final layoff notice deadline from May 15 to June 15. The changes create more uncertainty for students and would make it much harder for a laid-off teacher to apply for work in other districts in a timely manner.
Contact Your Lawmaker in Support of This One!
Assembly Member Pushes Bill to Protect Student Safety
The Assembly Committee on Education will also vote on AB 135, a CTA-supported bill by Assembly Education Chair Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo), which would require all school districts to have a board policy about their child abuse and reporting responsibilities and to review it annually with their employees. It aims to help strengthen student safety. CTA believes local school districts and state agencies must take all necessary steps to prevent any type of child abuse and neglect.
Click through to CTA’s Legislative Action Page to get in touch with your lawmakers!