Teacher in need of HELP!
A special-election, mail–in ballot only, has been forced upon West Sacramento and the voters in the Washington Unified School District by Michelle Rhee and her anti-union Students First organization. Ballots are scheduled to be mailed on February 4 to every registered voter in Washington Unified School District. The deadline to receive all ballots is Tuesday, March 5, 2013.
This election is being held to fill the remaining term of Sandra Vargas who resigned in the fall. After numerous candidate interviews, careful consideration, the Washington Teachers Association (WTA) overwhelmingly endorsed Sarah Kirby-Gonzalez (a fellow Teacher) for this vacant seat.
Brief history of events: The vacancy was not timely enough to fill during the regularly scheduled November election, so an appointment was made by the board after a thorough public announcement and vetting process. Nonetheless, a group organized by Mayor Cabaldon, mounted a successful campaign, using money from outside interests and paid petition gatherers, to nullify this appointment and force a special election.
The Mayor, along with Michelle Rhee and her organization, Students First, have recruited one of their own to run for this open seat. They have endorsed Francisco Castillo, a communications/media specialist for Students First. Given the well-known antipathy that Ms. Rhee, the Mayor and other advocates of Students First have towards public school teachers, we strongly believe that voters must elect a candidate that will best serve the needs of the entire education community in West Sacramento, which is why our Brother and Sisters in the WTA strongly recommend Sarah Kirby-Gonzalez for this open seat.
Sarah is a classroom teacher, and is National Board Certified. She understands what it will take to provide students with the high-quality education they deserve. Sarah has also been recognized as Teacher of the Year in two jurisdictions. She currently is a 5th grade teacher at Mather Heights Elementary in Rancho Cordova.
In order for Sarah Kirby-Gonzalez to win this special election, she will have to work hard to introduce herself to voters, and encourage them to mail in their ballots. She will also have to overcome an expected strong campaign from the same special interests that forced this special election in the first place.
Our brothers and sisters in the WTA and the community need our help to elect a strong-public education advocate to their school board. They need our help in talking to friends and neighbors in West Sacramento as well as assistance in precinct walking and phone banking.
For more information, please contact WTA at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 916-371-0882.
NEA RA Election
Just a reminder that all declaration of candidacy forms for the NEA RA election are due into the SCTA office this Friday, January 25th by 5:00 p.m.
SCTA will be holding a meeting today for Representatives and members from the eleven (11) school sites that have been chosen for closure. While SCTA has been in favor of school closure during the 2011-12 school year, we are still evaluating the current plan. On January the 10th, the SCTA Representative Council voted to take a neutral position on school closures prior to seeing this year’s plan. The leadership of SCTA and the Representative Council will take up the current plan in the time we have leading up to the February 21st school board meeting where the final vote on closure will take place.
Over the past few years the District has held surplusing for those teachers who have either lost their positions due to cuts, or chose to self-surplus. The self-surplus process is covered in Article 18.104.22.168.1 of the contract. SCTA and the District are still not in agreement as to the criteria for this school year. However, the language is very clear about the timeline for making your request for self-surplus. You MUST have your request into the District by the close of business on February 1st. Please turn in your request to the District human resources office and a copy to SCTA.
The annual SCTA crab feed will be on Saturday February 23rd at the Elks Lodge on Riverside Blvd. Please call Jolene at the SCTA office ASAP for your tickets at 916-452-4591.
Call Robert Lynch about any donations including time-shares and art work donations are greatly appreciated.