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CTA's First Town Hall Meeting

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CTA’s First Town Hall Meeting

At the Schools with Audrey Linden

Last night, January 7th marked a first for CTA, California Teachers Association with their Town Hall phone in. Dean Vogel, President of CTA was on hand to answer questions. It was a success judging from the number of callers who participated in the lively Q and A. The Town Hall went for almost two hours with educators and school staff calling in.

In between CTA had some survey questions answerable by one for "yes" and two for "no". The questions had to do with Common Core, training's, value, etc.

Questions covered a wide range of topics from retirement, Common Core’s value, Common Core training, respect for teachers, Social Security Offset, educational standards, teaching to test. One teacher lamented that his district is not letting him do what he does best-teach. Others chimed in on that issue.

One teacher, who had worked some 40 years before retiring wanted to know why his summer work was not directly factored in to his retirement. Summer work is not differentiated in the private sector. Another wanted to know why her years of contributing to Social Security would be offset and she felt penalized for making a career change from the private sector into public education. Other issues were brought up and a common theme was that teachers want to choose their curriculum and be respected as the voice as to what goes on in their classrooms. One teacher had commented that there was very little Common Core training; yet district personnel are coming into his classroom to monitor.

A repeated issue was Social Security and Dean Vogle assured the listeners in the Town Hall that this has and will be a key issue for CTA. He said it has been an on-going issue and will continue to be for CTA. Educators who worked in the private sector before switching to education, contributed to Social Security. When they retire, their Social Security earnings are drastically reduced when they get their CAL STRS retirement. This does not seem fair. They worked and money was contributed to Social Security. It should be theirs regardless.

Dean Vogel mentioned Republican Congressman of Santa Clarita, Buck (Howard P.) Mc Keon who has championed to get rid of the offset for years. Vogel said there was a time when they were close to winning several years ago but the repeal was not accomplished in the last minute. He said the California delegation of Democrats is pro getting the offset repealed. Fourteen states have the offset.

When the Town Hall ended almost two hours later, they accepted questions which would be answered at a later date.

I think there will be other Town Halls in the future as this one proved to be helpful,

For those who want to get in touch with Republican Congressman Buck Mc Keon, his contact information is as follows:

Phone 661-254-2111, Fax 661-254-2380

Address 26650 The Old Road, Valencia, CA

Web Site mckeon.house.gov

Audrey Linden

Educational Reporter

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