Inside CFT: $11 billion more for schools and communities proposed

Dear Jim,

$11 billion more for schools and communities

As a new year gets underway at schools, colleges, and universities across the state, we have some good news to report.

Last week, as part of a broad coalition of 90 different organizations, we turned in over 850,000 signatures to the California Secretary of State to place the California Schools And Local Communities Funding Act on the November 2020 ballot. CFT has consistently been a leader in bringing more resources into our schools for years, spearheading the original millionaires’ tax in 2012 that ultimately became the successful Prop. 30, and taking a leading role in renewing that progressive tax measure for years to come in 2016 with Prop. 55.


The new initiative, if passed by voters in 2020, will bring up to $11 billion a year to our schools and communities by reforming how commercial property is taxed in the state of California, while leaving protections in place for homeowners. It is one of several avenues we are pursuing to bring California up from our dismal ranking of 46th in the nation in per pupil spending.

In helping to announce the initiative, CFT President Josh Pechthalt spoke of the dramatic impact the increase in funding would have on our schools and colleges: “For too long California has treated children as second-class citizens while prioritizing the wealthiest corporations. This initiative will restore funding to K-12 schools and community colleges, ensuring all children in California have access to a world-class education.”


Billionaire-backed groups on the hunt for your personal information

Following the Janus v. AFSCME decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in June, we have learned that several billionaire-backed organizations have begun collecting the personal information of CFT members statewide through information requests at local districts and colleges. Some of these groups are supported by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and the Koch brothers. Others are supported by longtime advocates of school vouchers in California. They have started to send spam emails to CFT members in an effort to convince individuals to drop their membership. Using other publicly available data, soon they are likely to contact people by phone, by personal email, at the worksite, or even at home.


Keep in mind that those funding these efforts have little interest in your personal welfare, but they do have a lengthy history of attempting to undermine public education, including cutting school funding, dismantling educator pensions, and using public dollars to fund private schools.

The more we stick together, the better chance we have to advocate not only for ourselves, but for our schools, colleges, and universities as well. This includes winning full funding for our schools and advocating for the pay, benefits, and working conditions that we need to serve our students and their families.

If you have have been contacted by one of these groups, please let us know. Contact your local union or send an email to Also, take the CFT pledge to stand together for our students and our profession today!

Register now for the CFT Classified Conference – October 19-21 in Millbrae


Our annual Classified Conference promises learning and fun. The 2018 conference will take place October 19-21 at The Westin San Francisco Airport hotel in Millbrae. You can attend workshops and seminars on a variety of professional issues and enjoy our Saturday evening soirée. The registration fee is $100 for one attendee, $75 each for two attendees, and $50 each for three or more attendees from the same local. Conference registration and room reservations at The Westin close on September 21.


For more information and to register, click here.


CFT Organize/Resist t-shirts available for a limited time


Back by popular demand, we are selling out popular Organize/Resist t-shirts for a limited time. Shirts can be ordered online through September 1st.



Joshua Pechthalt, President
Jeffery M. Freitas, Secretary-Treasurer | L. Lacy Barnes, Senior Vice President