Union moves priorities in 2017 legislative session

CFT seeks paid maternity leave, technology audit, labor education

Each year our members recommend legislation that will address important issues to educators and the students we serve. Based upon these recommendations and Executive Council approval, the CFT is sponsoring four new bills, an audit and two budget proposals aimed at improving our working conditions, and strengthening the labor movement and public education.

SPONSORED LEGISLATION

Prohibit new teachers from paying for state-mandated support program
The Commission on Teacher Credentialing estimates that at least 
12 percent of beginning teachers pay up to $3,500 to participate in the state-mandated Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment Program. AB 410 (Cervantes, D-Corona) would prohibit districts from charging teachers for the cost of BTSA, thereby helping to retain new teachers and removing a disincentive for people to enter the profession.

Rein in for-profit management of charter schools
Current law allows for-profit charter management companies to establish non-profit entities to open charter schools and then require those schools to contract with the company for services. This allows for-profit corporations to siphon millions of state dollars from public education for profit. AB 406 (McCarty, D-Sacramento) would prohibit this practice.

Provide paid leave for pregnancy and maternity
Many education employees not covered by State Disability Insurance do not receive paid leave through that program. This forces female employees to deplete their sick or vacation leave for pregnancy and childbirth, “schedule” pregnancies around the academic calendar or try to get by without pay, and frequently return to work before fully recuperated. AB 568 (Gonzalez Fletcher, D-San Diego) would end this discrimination by requiring K-14 districts to provide female certificated and classified employees with paid leave when absent from work due to pregnancy, miscarriage, childbirth, and recovery.

Include more professionals on school safety plan committees
Schools are required to develop an annual safety plan, but they are often written by an administrator and focus on reaction to campus violence, as opposed to proactive strategies that can prevent violence and disruptive behavior. AB 1029 (Weber, D-San Diego) would require more professionals to serve on school safety planning committees, including a community schools coordinator, restorative justice practitioner or mental health professional, or both.

BUDGET PROPOSALS & AUDIT REQUEST

Increase funds to pay part-time faculty for office hours 
The appropriation to fund office hours for part-time faculty remains at pre-recession levels and, as a result, many community colleges do not fund them. The CFT wants more funding for paid office hours to ensure students have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with their instructors and receive the assistance and support critical to academic success.

Launch pilot project to teach labor in the schools 
Few students in California understand the importance of labor unions and the role that immigrants have played in their development and evolution. This proposal seeks one-time funding to be used over three years to release one teacher in each of six school districts chosen as pilots. The teacher would develop curriculum and provide professional development so more educators can deepen their understanding of labor history.

Request audit of classroom technology 
Access to and implementation of classroom technology varies widely across the state, with teachers and classified employees often not receiving adequate professional development about how to integrate technology effectively. The CFT is requesting the Joint Legislative Audit Committee approve an audit to analyze implementation and use of 
technology in schools

 

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