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CTA President Speaks

State Teachers' Union President Discusses Hot Topics in Education at UC Riverside

California Teachers Association President and UCR Alumna, Barbara Kerr will speak on Thursday, March 8.

(February 28, 2007)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — — California Teachers Association President Barbara Kerr will discuss “Hot Topics in Education” at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 8 at the University of California, Riverside Extension Center. The event is hosted by the Graduate School of Education at UCR. To reserve a seat by Friday (March 2, 2007), call (951) 827-6388 or email

Kerr, a 1968 alumna from UCR, represents the 340,000-member California Teachers Association, the largest state public schools teachers’ union in the nation.

Her career in public education and in advocacy has paralleled the controversies that have swirled around public education over the past three decades, becoming the president of her local chapter in Riverside following the passage of Proposition 13, the landmark property tax initiative that immediately impacted the main funding source for the state’s public schools.

She served on the teacher task force that helped draw up and secure passage of Proposition 98 in 1988, which guarantees that at least 40 percent of the state’s general fund budget must go to education.

Kerr has battled in Sacramento for issues such as protecting small class sizes, providing additional funding for schools in poorer neighborhoods, improving teacher salaries and freeing up time for learning by reducing the battery of state-mandated standardized tests.

Ongoing issues include basing school funding on standards of adequacy and equity; improving teacher salaries and training and assistance for beginning teachers; creating accountability systems that focus on helping students learn, rather than sanctioning schools; and finding support for schools with the greatest needs.

Kerr is a long-time first-grade teacher at Woodcrest Elementary School in Riverside. She was elected president of CTA in 2003 and re-elected to a second term in 2005.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

A broadcast studio with fiber cable to the AT&T Hollywood hub is available for live or taped interviews. UCR also has ISDN for radio interviews. To learn more, call (951) UCR-NEWS.

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