October Ideas


Breast Cancer Awareness Month 
A comprehensive study – the California Teachers Study – revealed that teachers have a higher-than-expected rate of breast cancer. Outreach during October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month may help dispel some of the fears associated with the disease. From special merchandise to pink lapel pins, the campaign to raise awareness has grown dramatically since it was first established in 1985. While we can’t prevent cancer, we can take steps to lower the risk, including regular self-breast exams, mammograms for women starting at age 40 to 50 (depending on risk, such as family history), avoiding smoking, eating a healthy diet, and exercising.


Filipino-American History Month
Did you know that the earliest documented proof of Filipino presence in the continental United States was on October 18, 1587, when the first “Luzones Indios” set foot in Morro Bay, California? In October – and year ’round – we have the opportunity to celebrate the tremendous contributions of Filipinos as we honor Filipino-American History Month.  Ipagdiwang! (Celebrate!)


National Bullying Prevention Month – Pledge to help the bullied
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. One caring adult can make all the difference. NEA’s Bully Free: It Starts With Me campaign asks you to pledge to be that one caring adult.

Boo to cavities – it’s National Dental Hygiene Month 
As our kids get ready for Halloween, help them keep those cavities in check. While most parents will make sure their kids brush after eating their goodies, National Dental Hygiene Month encourages a fuller approach to oral health. Having kids “do the daily 4” – brush two times a day, floss daily, rinse with mouthwash, and chew sugar-free gum – will benefit not just their oral health, but also contribute to improved overall health. Now the effects of consuming Halloween treats don’t have to be so spooky!

Election 2016


YES on Prop. 55 – in under 40 days!
The countdown has begun! We have just under 40 days before the General Election, when we go to the polls with the opportunity to pass Proposition 55. Saying YES to Prop. 55 will maintain the tax rate on the wealthiest Californians and prevent public schools from enduring billions of dollars in funding cuts. Of the many press items on the virtues of Prop. 55 – and what could await California should it not pass – we’ve selected these five pieces from Capital & Main for your perusal:
It can’t be stressed strongly enough: We must pass Prop. 55 to avoid going back to the days of massive teacher layoffs, overcrowded classrooms, slashed art and music classes, and tuition hikes for our community college students. 
And YES on Propositions 58 and 52!
In addition to Prop. 55, two other measures on the ballot that we must pass for our kids are Proposition 58, which helps students learn English as quickly as possible, expands opportunities for English speakers to learn a second language and returns local control to our schools – and Proposition 52, which helps maintain billions of dollars in federal funding to support health for low-income children and seniors.
Electing the new president of the United States
On election day, we will select our new president of the United States. NEA has endorsed Hillary Clintonfor president. NEA has chimed in on Hillary Clinton’s qualifications and all  evidence points to Hillary as the candidate who is  vastly  superior, especially in her  policies on public education . Take a look at  Donald Trump’s lack thereof. On November 8, let’s get out the vote and elect Hillary Clinton as our next Commander in Chief!
Be sure you – and your loved ones – are registered!
October 24 is the last day to register to vote in the November 8 general election. According to the Secretary of State’s website, only 8 percent of eligible youth aged 18-24 voted in the 2014 general election. Only 52 percent of eligible youth were even registered to vote, more than 20 points below any other age group. Let’s spread the word to assure that everyone who is eligible to vote can do so.

Nearing 55 days to Election Day!


Hey CTA member!

We hope your school year is off to a good start. As you know, there’s an election just around the corner and we can expect one of the most crowded ballots ever. There’s a lot to know about and a lot to vote for. We know you are busy, so we’ll make it quick.

Campaign Updates:

On Wednesday, we’re about to hit another major milestone in our campaign: 55 days to Election Day! In order to spread the word about the immense importance of Prop. 55, we’re planning a collaborative social media push, or Thunderclap, on Wednesday, September 14 at 11:00 AM PST. Please join us!

Not everyone is available at that exact time to post, so by signing up with our Thunderclap today, the app will post automatically for you *one time* on Wednesday!
Here’s how to sign up for Thunderclap:
  1. Visit http://protectingcalifornia.com/thunderclap and click on “Join this Thunderclap.”
  2. You will be given three options: “Support with Facebook,” “Support with Twitter,” and “Support with Tumblr.” Choose one, and click on the button.
  3. A new window will pop up allowing you to create your own custom message, or select the default message. Press the “Add My Support” button.
  4. You may be prompted to sign into Facebook, Twitter and/or Tumblr and to authorize the Thunderclap app. After you sign in, press “OK” and you will be added to the Thunderclap!
  5. On September 14, all of us will collectively post to share our support for Prop. 55.

Want to post on your own? Here’s what to post on September 14 at 11:00 AM PST:

#55toProp55 – 55 days until we vote YES on #Prop55, the initiative to help our kids thrive! http://protectingcalifornia.com/55toprop55
Campaign Updates – continued:
  • A 2016 CTA Campaign Priorities Folder (already mailed). Read it. Keep it. Use it to organize all your election materials.
  • The 2016 California Educator election issue goes more in depth on the issues(mailing in two weeks).
  • The Campaign website is there for you 24/7, complete with resources like our initiative recommendation flyers in 11 different languages. Download and share!
  • The CTA Voter Guide builder. Just type in your address and you’ll get a customized guide.
  • Text CTA ACTION to 69866 for campaign updates to your phone.
CTA is recommending YES on Propositions 55, 58 and 52.
YES on Prop. 55: Now that you are back at school, it’s a great reminder why we can’t go back to the days of budget cuts, educator layoffs, larger class sizes and music and art programs eliminated. Our kids need us to vote YES on Prop. 55! The San Jose Mercury News agrees, urging readers to vote YES on Prop. 55You can help spread the word:

YES on Prop. 58: The LEARN initiative will expand opportunities for California’s students to become proficient in English as quickly as possible. The Los Angeles Times voices support for Prop. 58, citing parent empowerment as the key reason, as does Senator Ricardo Lara, who encourages a Yes on 58 in this video.

YES on Prop 52: This will maintain billions of dollars in federal funding to support health for low-income children and seniors. The Sacramento Bee and Bakersfield Californian recommend a Yes vote on Prop. 52.Interested in Volunteering?

Stay tuned for many opportunities for you to volunteer and take action to support candidates committed to providing our students with the quality education they need and deserve. These will range from online activism to phone banking and walking precincts. Our communities look to you for guidance on how to vote in elections so they need to see you and hear from you directly.

Your Lesson Plan Could Earn You a $500 Visa Reward Card

Your lesson plan could earn you a $500 Visa Reward card
Interested in winning $500 for your classroom? SaveOnEnergy.com® is looking for the best lesson plans for teaching students about energy or sustainability.
Megan Lukehart from Apple Valley was last year’s recipient of a  SaveOnEnergy.com Teacher Grant for creating a lesson plan that provides education and awareness around the environment and energy. The second-grade teacher received a  $500 Visa Reward Card to use toward the required materials needed to execute her lesson plan. The deadline for this year’s grant program is October 21, so get your lesson plan ideas in!

Help Our Children Thrive, Yes on 55

 Labor Day is here before you know it, and educators and students are gearing up for another great year of learning. It’s a good time to remind ourselves how important a well-rounded public education is to our kids and our future. That’s why it’s so important we pass Prop. 55 this November.  Take a look at footage from our Back to School Media Tour kickoff in Los Angeles Monday. We can’t go back to the devastating cuts experienced during the last recession where programs were slashed, jobs were lost, and parents and educators had to reach in their pockets to help with rising school costs.

Voting YES on Prop. 55 will maintain the current tax rates on the wealthiest Californians, helping our schools stay funded so our students get the public education they deserve. Can we count on your support? Thanks! Use this link to like the Prop. 55 Facebook page. Sign up for emails here. And then join in telling your story of why our kids need 55 to THRIVE!

Today we’re asking you to share a back to school photo from your home, your school, or your neighborhood that shows us why passing Prop. 55 is so important to you — and join our #BackToSchool55 push on social media.

It’s as easy as counting to three!

  1. Take a picture
  2. Tag with #BackToSchool55
  3. Post on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter

Thanks so much for helping spread the word about Prop. 55. With your help, we will pass this initiative and maintain funding for our schools and colleges. Be sure to keep informed about the initiatives, including Prop. 58 and Prop. 52, as well as educator-approved candidates during this election season.

Happy Back-to-School to YOU!

Happy Back-to-School  to YOU!
With the beginning of the school year upon us, we’ve got some neat resources to help you make the most of the first few weeks. You can start with our  Back to School page, and our  Member Engagement and  Family Involvement centers, then hop to these neat NEA Resources:  Classroom Management Tips to Start the School Year Strong and  Getting Rid of Back-to-School-Anxiety. You can round off your back-to-school resource quest by joining our  Facebook and  Twitter pages, and by checking out the new  Pinterest page for educators. Welcome back!


More B2S resources from  your Association
You can also check out these  back-to-school resources offered by NEA, including a guide on  welcoming ELL parents into the classroom, a  digibook for ESP’s on meeting the needs of the whole student, a handy sheet of tried and true tips from fellow educators on  strategies to deal with out-of-control kids, and a  note from a seasoned educator on her thoughts about teaching after 60 years in the profession.


Some of the reasons it’s great to be a CTA member!
The new school year is the perfect time to learn about – or refresh your knowledge of – the great member benefits CTA has to offer.  This handy video highlights those benefits, including insurance programs, financial services and discounts & travel opportunities.  The video features the CTA president and the very staff who help to provide benefits to our members.  Check here for the direct link to where you can begin using your benefits today!
Speaking of benefits – here’s a limited-time opportunity for newly-hired CTA members
If you’re a newly hired CTA member, you have a  special opportunity to get Disability Insurance and up to $200,000 of Life Insurance if you apply within 180 days of starting work. Act now to get the protection you deserve from the only CTA-endorsed provider of Disability and Life Insurance – Standard Insurance Company . Click here to learn more.

Friedrichs v. CTA

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 7.51.01 PMHere’s a quick update on Friedrichs v. CTA and resources (links at bottom of email) for your use. CTA, as it is named in the lawsuit, is part of a national labor effort to coordinate communications and coalition support. We’ve been doing a lot of research to develop message points and to launch a national coalition to support our work. The national coalition, America Works Together, launched its website today (still in the early stages).
Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 7.48.30 PM
The NEA, along with CTA, SEIU, AFSCME and AFT, is part of a coalition called America Works Together (AWT) formed in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association this year. As you likely know, in theFriedrichs case the Court will decide whether or not it is constitutional for public sector unions to collect Fair Share or agency fees from employees who choose not to join a union. The Court is being asked to overrule its unanimous 1977 decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, which affirmed that collection of these fees was, in fact, constitutional. This is a case that could substantially impact NEA and all affiliates.
We are expecting oral arguments in this case this winter, in either December or January. The case will be decided by the end of June 2016.
America Works Together Coalition
On Tuesday, September 22, the AWT launched a new website at americaworkstogether.usas one way to shape the public narrative around fair share. This coalition includes NEA, CTA, SEIU, AFSCME, AFT, and a growing list of allied organizations who are coming together to make sure that working people in America have a voice around this court case. Along with the coalition, NEA will offer our state affiliates the necessary tools and support to talk about this case in the coming months.
Here are some new resources that have been added to the Fair Share Toolkit in CTA’s Leader Resources Center. Remember, you will need to log in to download these and other resources. Also, each of these pieces is intended for an internal audience only, and should not be shared on websites, etc.

Voices Independent Charter School

I’m sorry to report that on February 18th the SCCOE voted 4-3 to accept Voice’s petition to start an independent charter school in our district. They did so even though their own staffing report recommended they turn it down. I was happy and excited to see so many MPEA members in attendance.

Here is how each board member voted (click to enlarge).


On Monday, February 2, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu tentatively ruled in favor of sticking taxpayers with a large portion of exorbitant expenses for which the Vergara v. state of Californiaplaintiffs’ law firm Gibson Dunn sought reimbursement. While CTA’s motion to exonerate educators from having to pay for lavish trial expenses was granted, unfortunately, taxpayers are on the hook for $390,000 of the expenses exceeding $439,000.
The exorbitant reimbursement claim the plaintiffs submitted is above and beyond any actual attorney fees.CTA challenged these charges because a) we were not defendants in the case and b) the costs were excessive, unnecessary and, frankly, outrageous.
We have known all along what this case is really about, and it’s certainly not about kids. While the group that brought the suit deceptively named itself Students Matter, it appears that what really mattered to these attorneys was the money. Take a look at this graphic which outlines the exorbitant expenses they’re passing along to taxpayers. Please share it with as many people as you can and on your social media sites.
In addition to these unreasonable charges, plaintiff attorneys also appear to be “nickel and diming” taxpayers by billing $5,400 for “travel expenses” to a courthouse that is four blocks away from their own office. Also noteworthy is that they want mileage reimbursement for former LAUSD superintendent John Deasy (now a “consultant” to Students Matter since being shown the LAUSD exit door), whose office was also just a few blocks away from the court.
Taxpayers should not have to pay for these lavish expenses, but the judge’s ruling in this matter is not at all surprising considering his track record. Judge Treu is, after all, the same judge who made the original disastrous decision in the Vergara trial. But this abuse of money and power shows the mindset of the team that is scapegoating teachers instead of focusing on issues that would actually help California students.


Date: 12/19/14
2014-2015 CTA Scholarships & Awards Available Now!
You still have time to apply for the following scholarships and/or award:
Cesar Chavez Memorial Education AwardDeadline: January 9, 2015
This awards program provides recognition for teams of students and their teachers who demonstrate an understanding of the vision and guiding principles by which César Chávez lived his life. The recipients, both students and sponsoring CTA members, will receive up to $550 and their work will be recognized by the posting of visual art and written essays online and in various CTA publications. The exact amount will be determined by the Awards committee.
CTA Scholarship for Dependent Children Deadline: February 6, 2015
This program offers up to thirty-five (35) scholarships in the amount of $5,000 each to dependent children of active, retired or deceased CTA members. The highest scoring applicant is awarded the Ralph J. Flynn Memorial Scholarship.  Note: Application should be completed by the dependent child not the CTA member.
Del A. Weber Scholarship for Dependent Children Attending Continuation High School/Alternative Programs –  Deadline: February 6, 2015
This program offers one scholarship in the amount of $5,000 to a dependent child of an “active,” retired or deceased CTA member who is attending or attended a continuation high school or an alternative education program.   Note: Application should be completed by the dependent child not the CTA member.
CTA Scholarship for MembersDeadline: February 6, 2015
This program offers up to five (5) scholarships in the amount of $3,000 to an “active” CTA members completing college coursework. The highest scoring applicant is awarded the Alice Piper American Indian/Alaska Native Memorial Scholarship.
L. Gordon Bittle Memorial Scholarship for Student CTA (SCTA)
Deadline: February 6, 2015
This program offers up to three (3) scholarships in the amount of $5,000 each to members of Student CTA (SCTA) who have demonstrated high academic achievement. The highest scoring SCTA member is awarded the Philip Vera Cruz Pacific Asian American Scholarship.
Martin Luther King, Jr. ScholarshipDeadline: February 20, 2015
This CTA scholarship is given in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to aid members of ethnic minorities in pursuing a college degree, credential or certification for a teaching-related career in public education. Applicant must be an “active” CTA member, Student CTA member or dependent child of a CTA member.
To apply for any of the above, click here