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Inside CFT: Supporting Community Schools and Special Education in San Francisco

Supporting Community Schools and Special Education in San Francisco

This Monday CFT President Jeff Freitas and AFT President Randi Weingarten joined UESF leaders and members in San Francisco, to advocate for community schools and special education.

The day started at Buena Vista Horace Mann (BVHM), a K-8 community school in the city’s Mission District, where Jeff and Randi got a chance to meet with educators, parents, and students to hear about the successes and challenges at the school.

A community school for over ten years, BVHM is the only school in the country that provides shelter on campus for unhoused families and students. The school also has deep ties to the community, and robust parental involvement, where family and student voices are not only heard, but drive the work at the school.

The meeting at BVHM was followed that evening by a boisterous rally at district headquarters, where UESF members and parents demanded more district action to support special education. The union has been negotiating with the district for over two months, seeking improvements in staffing and services for the SPED program.

“For months, we have pushed the district at the bargaining table to work with us to implement tangible solutions to the special education challenges our students, families, and educators face. These issues are pivotal for our entire school community. District management must recognize the importance of SPED and work with us to create a safe learning environment for our students immediately,” said UESF President Cassondra Curiel.

CFT and UC-AFT leaders call for the immediate resignation of UCLA Chancellor

Following violence on the UCLA campus this week, CFT President Jeff Freitas, UC-AFT President Katie Rodger, and CFT Universities Division Council President Mia McIver released a statement calling for UCLA Chancellor Gene Block to resign for failing to protect students.

“We call for the immediate resignation of Chancellor Gene Block for his failure of leadership,” the statement read. “Chancellor Block has refused to meet with protestors to discuss their interests; instead he has created an environment that has escalated tensions and failed to take meaningful action to prevent the violence that occurred last night.”

RSVP now for the Classified Day of Action on May 21

We are less than three weeks away from our Classified Day of Action in Sacramento, and we’d love to see you there! The event will take place on May 21 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the west steps of the state capitol. The theme of the day will be No Class Without Classified: Filling the Gaps to Educate California Students, and will be an opportunity to demand respect for all classified workers and the students they serve.

Register here. A t-shirt and box lunch will be available for all those who register for the event.

May 16 unemployment insurance workshop for part-time faculty

All CFT part-time faculty are welcome at our May 16 online workshop for unemployment insurance. The workshop, which takes place from 3:30–5:00 p.m., will help part-time faculty through the online unemployment filing process for both new and reopened claims. The training will also include a review of critical information needed to deal with phone interviews, denials, and appeals. Register here.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Next week communities across the nation will recognize their educators during the annual Teacher Appreciation Week. While we join parents and families in thanking those who do the work of education, we know that thanks alone is not enough.

Teachers, and all school workers, deserve good pay, benefits, and the respect they need to do their critical work. But low pay and lack of resources and support are driving too many of us out of our schools, and high turnover and staffing shortages are a reality in nearly every district. CFT President Jeff Freitas says we’ve got more work to do.

“We’ve got to continue our work of organizing, demanding action at both the state and local levels, and continue to fight to bring full funding to our schools,” says Freitas. “And there is no better place to start than continuing our advocacy for AB 938.”

AB 938, the CFT-sponsored bill that would commit the Legislature to raising LCFF funding for our schools by 50% by 2030 to increase wages for school workers, will be considered by the State Senate this summer. Look for more on how you can get involved in the weeks to come.

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