CA teachers take heat for pushing school-policy bill

BURLINGAME, CA: The California Teachers (CTA) Association has launched a media and lobbying campaign to promote new legislation.

BURLINGAME, CA: The California Teachers (CTA) Association has launched a media and lobbying campaign to promote new legislation.

Assembly bill 2160 would give union members, through collective bargaining, permission to participate in such processes as textbook selection and school policy.

Announced last week, the bill is already facing harsh criticism from school superintendents. The Wall Street Journal ran an editorial last week entitled "Educating Davis,

which criticized the bill.

"Once upon the 1960s, California's public schools were the envy of the world,

it read. "If you want to know why they're so awful today, consider the political scam that the California Teachers Association is now playing on Gov. Gray Davis."

Critics say that school policy should not be dictated through labor relations, and that the bill would create chaos in the system.

"We've been surprised at how ferocious and unjustified the criticism has been,

said Mike Myslinski, CTA media relations specialist. "Our position is that teachers know best; they are in the classroom every day.'

The CTA is running bilingual radio campaigns throughout the state, featuring CTA president Wayne Johnson and secretary-treasurer David Sanchez. "Too many school decisions are made by top-down bureaucrats who leave few decisions in the hands of teachers,

the ad reads.

The two-dozen-strong media team has been working to mobilize its 300,000 members through its internal communications systems.

Johnson has been actively engaged in promoting the bill through media interviews, and by writing op-eds. The CTA retains no PR agency to help with this campaign.

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