Status update

Grand Jury Report

May 06

Contract Ratification – Election Results

VEA has ratified the 2013-2014 VCUSD-VEA Contract with an 87% approval.

Apr 17

Tentative Agreement



Tentative Agreement

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 will be scheduling informational meetings in the weeks ahead before we bring the tentative agreement for ratification by members.  School sites will receive copies of the tentative agreement, before the meetings, for review.  Both parties have agreed to continue bargaining on any sunshined proposals that will not be ready for ratification by the end of this school year.

Mar 25

VEA 2014-15 Calendar

VEA Calendar Drafts

July 2014 to June 2015 (click to see calendar)

July 2015 to June 2016 (click to see calendar)




Mar 18

Calendar Election Results

The 2014-15 and 2015-16 calendars were ratified with a 94% approval rating.

Mar 11

NEA/RA Election Results

Congratulations to the following VEA members who will be representing Vallejo at the NEA Representative Assembly in Denver, Colorado this summer:

-Tiffany Jackson
-Scott Heinecke
-Lynette Henley
-Katherine Catanzarite
-Rajendra Shrivastava

Mar 09

Local Control Funding Formula

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.

Key Points
  • CTA believes the LCFF addresses education funding on the basis of fairness and equity among all of California’s students. At a time when more than 50 percent of the state’s population is comprised of ELL students and others who require additional resources to educate, it’s our responsibility to stand behind a proposal that seeks to provide a fair and equal opportunity for all students to succeed.
  • After years of drastic cuts, it is necessary for the future of our children and the future of California that money owed to students and public education begin to be restored. Funding for California schools and colleges has been cut by more than $20 billion over the last four years. It’s time our students had a chance to focus on learning instead of facing threats of larger class sizes, fewer classes to choose from, higher tuition and fewer teachers in the classroom.
  • At the same time, CTA supports the re-distribution of these dollars so that equity and fairness can finally be established after all the years of major inequities with the current funding system. We applaud the Governor for taking on such a bold and historic proposal.
  • Funding for the implementation of the CCSS is extremely important in order to give educators the proper training and professional development to make the transition as seamless and efficient for all, as well to provide students with textbooks and resources reflective of the new standards. While it will take a lot more than $1 billion the Governor has proposed, it will certainly help move in the right direction.
  • CTA supports the Class Size Reduction program for grades K-3 within the LCFF, but maintain it should return to the 20 to 1 ratio as it was prior to 2007-08. Studies consistently demonstrate greater student achievement among students in smaller classes where educators can reach each student and provide individualized attention based on needs and strengths.
  • The LCFF allocates resources to school districts, county offices and charter schools based on student needs by providing supplemental and concentration grants. The LCFF also provides schools with greater flexibility and greater authority over these resources and it requires each district to adopt a local accountability plan. CTA believes the accountability plan must assure that supplemental dollars are sent to local school districts and spent on disadvantaged students.
  • California has dropped to 49th in the nation in per-pupil spending in the last year and has consistently hovered in that range during the last 20 years. While the LCFF does not provide sufficient funding to get California to at least the national average, it’s a proposal that will significantly increase overall state spending for all schools while providing additional resources to disadvantaged students.
  • CTA welcomes the upturn in the economy as we move into better financial times as a state and funding is fully restored to our schools.

Mar 09

High standards pay off for Teacher of the Year

High standards pay off for Teacher of the Year Ainsley Harris

Posted:   03/08/2014 01:07:04 AM PST

Cooper Elementary School teacher Ainsley Harris, center, poses with a few of her fourth-grade students Friday in front of a school mural. Harris was named

Cooper Elementary School teacher Ainsley Harris, center, poses with a few of her fourth-grade students Friday in front of a school mural. Harris was named this week the Vallejo City Unified School District Teacher of the Year. (Lanz Christian Bañes/Times-Herald)


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 Follow him on Twitter @LanzCBanes.

Feb 27

Bargaining Update – February 27, 2014

February 2014

  • The VEA Bargaining Team met with the District on Thursday, February 27, 2014.
  • We continued to bargain on the following articles: WAGES, HOURS, SAFETY, CLASS SIZE, EVALUATIONS, Clean-up Language, Outstanding MOUs, and MEMBERS’ RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS.
  • We received a disappointing response to our wage proposal from the district.
  • We have let the district know that we will only accept an increase in wages that honors your hard work and acknowledges your sacrifices.
  • We will continue to keep our members up-dated. However, in order to comply with the tenants of bargaining, we cannot be specific with information.
  • We have scheduled additional dates in order to move the process forward more quickly.
  • Our goal is to present a proposed contract for ratification by the beginning of May.
  • At this point it is critical that members get involved!
  • VEA’s Action Team will be putting together a plan… please look for it at Rep Council.


For immediate bargaining updates, please send your personal email to your bargaining contact below:  

Janny Latno- : Loma Vista, Highland, Wardlaw, and Solano Middle

Marneé : Cave, Cooper, Steffan, Pennycook  and Hogan Middle.

Carol Bishop- :  Jesse Bethel, Vallejo High, Franklin Middle and Hogan Middle

Leanne Duden- : Mare Island, Patterson, Federal Terrace, and Vallejo Charter

Diane Klinge- :  Glen Cove, Peoples, Beverly Hills, and Vallejo Charter

Kathy Hellfeier- :  Widenmann, Dan Mini, and Lincoln

Jan 11

Election Results

Congratulations to Marneé McKenzie (Vice President) and Katie Vevoda (CTA State Council Representative).

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