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News Messenger 9-25-15

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Our Priorities for Our Schools and Our Future

Most Important Contract Negotiations in a Generation.

We are in the middle of a round of site visits to discuss and develop our priorities as we prepare for contract negotiations beginning in the spring.  Soon we will be conducting a comprehensive contract survey to further refine our priorities.

The District is in the best financial situation it has been in for decades, but is failing to take steps to make Sac City a “Destination District.”
  • The class-sizes in our District are higher than in surrounding Districts.
  • In relation to 13 comparable Districts throughout California, Sac City ranks 5th out of 13 in compensation to administrators, but only 12th out of 13th in compensation to educators.
  • There’s a national teacher shortage, and the District lacks a recruitment plan.
  • The District has made it clear it plans to attack our benefits.
  • The District does not have a plan to reverse the declining enrollment or respond to the growing challenges from charter schools.
Uniting as educators and aligning with parents and other community allies together, we can win the best contract in our history and, more importantly, elevate Sac City into THE Destination District in our region.
Our Priorities for Our Schools and Our Future
  1. Class Sizes With Professional Support that Optimize the Learning Environment
  2. The Ability to Recruit and Retain Quality Educators by Providing Competitive Wages
  3. An Educational Environment that Promotes Student Safety and Wellness
  4. Early Academic Intervention
  5. Behavioral Intervention Support
  6. The Opportunity for Students to Obtain a Well-Rounded Education including Arts, Physical Activities and Technical and Trade Training
  7. Teacher-Driven Professional Learning, Growth, and Development
  8. An Improved and Responsive Overall Special Education Program
A flyer setting forth these priorities can be found here.

Tutorial Opportunities for Sac City Teachers.
NCLB Supplemental Educational Services (SES) Agreement Finalized
 
This week we finalized our agreement with the District regarding the NCLB Supplemental Education Services (SES) Teacher Tutors.  The agreement can be viewed here.

The program will pay participating teachers $70 per hour for twenty-nine (29) hours.  Unlike other SES programs, some of which have been less than optimal, this program–where the District is program provider–has the support of SCTA.

For a flyer that provides an oversight of the program, click here.

For more details on the expectations for participating teachers, click here.

If you are interesting in applying, you can click here.

CTA Student Loan Forgiveness Program
Teachers at “High Impact Schools” May Be Eligible
Teachers working  in a “high impact school” who have Stafford and/or Perkins loans may be eligible for having a portion of their student loans forgiven.
Stafford Loans:
If you have a Stafford Loan, teach five consecutive years in a “high impact school”, and have not consolidated your loans, you may be eligible for $5,000 or $17,500 forgiven.
Perkins Loans:
If you have a Perkins Loan, teach a “shortage area content” in a “high impact school”, and have not consolidated your loans, you may be eligible for a percentage of your student loan forgiven.
PSLF Forgiveness:
You must make on-time monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan and working full-time at a qualifying public service organization.
Resources:

For more information on this program visit our CTA Member Benefits website for additional information and helpful links, click here.
Message from SCTA’s Human Rights Committee Chair   CTA “Guy DeRosa” Safety in Schools Grant

The last two years, the Gay-Straight Alliance at Rosa Parks has been the recipient of the CTA “Guy DeRosa” Safety in Schools grant.  The 7th and 8th graders used the funds to organize school-wide LGBT awareness and tolerance/respect events, such as Teaching Tolerance’s Mix It Up Day, GLSEN’s Ally Week, and Day of Silence.  GSA was also able to participate in SCUSD’s LGBT youth leadership conferences and community bullying prevention seminars, buy club T-shirts, and march alongside SCUSD school board members and State Senator Richard Pan in the Sacramento Pride parade.

Rosa Parks and Burbank Students at 2015 Sacramento Pride Event
Any CTA member can apply for this grant, as well as their scholarship program. “This program provides grants to support projects and presentations that promote understanding and respect for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender persons, in addition to scholarships for members enrolled in a teacher/counseling credential or graduate program who understand the importance of GLBT educators as role models.” Find more information and the online application click here.
Next Generation Science Survey

With SCTA input, the District has put out a survey regarding Next Generation Science Standards.

The survey results will help guide the district and SCTA on this school year’s transition to the new science standards. The survey will be sent to your district email, but that is just a link that takes you to an outside internet page so your name and email are not attached. The survey is 100% anonymous.

We encourage you to answer and comment honestly. The survey will only be live for a short time, maybe two weeks. Thank you for taking your time; it’s about a 10 minute survey.  If you are a k-6 teacher or secondary science teacher please click on the link here and take the following survey.

In addition teachers who are interested in becoming Mentor Science Teachers as part of the Next Generation Science Standards, can apply by following the links here.  Applications are due October 2nd.

New (and Experienced) Teacher Orientation

At SCTA Office on October 14th beginning at 4 p.m.
 
We are hosting a new teacher orientation.  Every teacher, including those who have been around a while, are invited.  The orientation is a chance to learn about SCTA, our contract, and the teaching profession in general.  There will be also information on professional development opportunities and lots of tips to make your career a success.

Mark you calendar for Wednesday, October 14, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. in the SCTA office at 5300 Elvas Ave, Sacramento, CA 95819.  Hope to see you there!

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