Leadership Conference inspires attendees

The annual CFT Leadership Conference held February 6-7 was jam-packed with learning opportunities for union leaders and staffers. In one panel discussion, domestic workers and their dedication to winning a Bill of Rights in the California Legislature last year inspired attendees.

See more pictures from the conference in this facebook photo album.

The importance of adult education and including adult educators in the consultation process

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Testimony of CFT Secretary Treasurer Jeff Freitas before the Senate Education and Assembly Higher Education Committees

January 29, 2014

Thank you Senator Liu, Assemblymember Williams and the committee members.

My name is Jeff Freitas and I am the Secretary Treasurer of the California Federation
of Teachers.

CFT represents early childhood educators, K-12 teachers, classified employees,
community college faculty, UC lecturers and librarians, and adult educators in the K-12
and community college worlds.

I want to thank Senator Liu specifically for providing me the opportunity to present on
behalf of the more than 100,000 school employees that we represent, and to thank both
chairs for having a joint hearing specifically on adult education.

Since the time that the adult education categoricals were flexed for K-12 school
districts, adult education programs across the state have been decimated in many
communities. With the re-visioning of community college missions (as can be seen by
the ever heavy hand of the ACCJC in San Francisco) adult education opportunities are
narrowed again but from a different system.

We absolutely disagree with the LAO that we should narrow the mission or goals of
Adult Education. Saying it is too much for the state is just more austerity rhetoric and
does not meet the needs of all community members — all taxpayers.

From this budget tightening in the past, Gov. Brown, from my analysis, has created a
possible solution to provide Adult Education its own system so it is not pitted against
the goals of either K-12 schools or community colleges. Hence, AB86 was passed and
signed into law. AB86 called for a state cabinet with appointments by the State
Superintendent of Public Schools and Chancellor of the Community Colleges, state
working group, and regional consortia.

Interesting enough, the governor also pushed forward an idea of broad stakeholder
engagement in creating plans and goals for the K-12 system through the Local Control
Funding Formula and the Local Control Accountability Plan.

I link these two system changes to funding and functioning because they should spell
out the interest of the governor and intent of AB86 to include all stakeholders.
The LCAP provides a model that should be applied immediately to the planning
process for the future of Adult Education. Regional consortia should consult with all
stakeholders before creation of regional plans not after, and important stakeholders
must be included in the AB86 leadership bodies not just the regional consortia.

The intent, we believe, has not been put into practice. Teachers, faculty, school
employees actually working with the adults being educated have been excluded from
these planning and working groups. This is a serious flaw.

I received an email from a leader that teaches Adult Education at a community college
where the faculty senate appointed her and five others to be part of the consortium,
however the administrators excluded half the group and only kept the department chairs
for the early meetings. Other places teachers and faculty are only brought in after
decisions have been made or at the point when non-district organizations are included.
This is a blatant exclusion of stakeholders. And these are just a few of many examples.

Seeing that I am the first person to speak at this hearing on behalf of the actual adult
educators, I would like to share three concerns that you should seriously consider.

1. The inclusion of actual teachers and bargaining unit representatives at every
level of the consultation process.
2. The prevention of paring down or eliminating broad education opportunities
for all segments of these communities, specifically Older Adult and non-credit
adult education classes. We can and must do more not less for our
3. And finally, that public dollars must be used for public education and
controlled by public agencies.

Voices have been excluded from the process and we fear that further damage will occur
to these communities because of the lack of these voices, our voices. And we hope you
will work to protect the opportunities that are provided by this endangered education

Thank you for this opportunity.

Jeffery M. Freitas
CFT Secretary Treasurer

Additional Resources:

VIDEO: CFT testifies on adult education (go to 02:03:25)

Read about AB86 in California Teacher

The CFT wishes you a restful holiday season

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The officers and the staff of the California Federation of Teachers wish you a restful holiday season that brings joy with loved ones and a new year filled with the possibility of reclaiming the promise of public education.

CFT mourns loss of Nelson Mandela

mandela2The members and staff of the California Federation Teachers share with the world community the profound loss of Nelson Mandela. His lifelong commitment to social, economic and political equality for all South Africans ignited a worldwide movement that continues to inspire all those who seek justice. Mr. Mandela also embodied the best in a revolutionary leader who understood that the ability to transform individuals and a society rests in the power of people to act collectively. We are privileged to have shared in his struggles and victories.

"Mandela’s Death Stirs Sense of Loss Around the World," New York Times, December 5, 2013


Former CFT President Raoul Teilhet dies

Black and white photo of Teilhet on a bullhorn

Teilhet at Diablo Valley rally before collective bargaining.

Read a full obituary, view video, and hear his oral history.

It is with deep sorrow that the California Federation of Teachers announces the passing of former CFT president Raoul Teilhet.

Raoul Teilhet, a Pasadena high school history teacher who believed collective bargaining offered the path to dignity and respect for public school employees before laws existed allowing it, and served as president of the California Federation of Teachers in successful pursuit of that goal, died of complications from Parkinson’s Disease on June 5 in Los Angeles. He was 79.

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. said, “Raoul Teilhet was a creative leader. I had the pleasure of spending many long evenings with him solving education problems and discussing how we could make California and its schools better for everyone. I’ll miss him.”


CFT brings voice to 10th Annual Trinational Coalition in Mexico City

CFT at Trinational Coalition

Peter Brown is representing CFT at the 10th Annual Trinational Coalition to Defend Public Education now underway in Mexico City. Brown, sitting at the end of table with a laptop computer, teaches at Laney College and is a member of the Peralta Federation of Teachers.

The Trinational Coalition passed a resolution to hold a seminar on technology and education to analyze the impact of technology on educational processes from the perspective of workers and communities. As a result, this year's conference theme this year was "New Information and Communication Technologies and Education: Hegemony and Resistance."

The seminar held May 29-31 explores three major topics:“Political Economy of Technology and Education,” “Social Media and Education,” and “Pedagogy of Online Learning from a Teacher and Student Perspective.”

This seminar is co-sponsored by the Initiative for Democratic Education in the Americas network (a hemisphere-wide network) and the Trinational Coalition to bring together educators and students throughout the Americas. CFT has supported and participated in the coalition since 2008.