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CTA OPPOSES BERGESON FOR STATE SUPERINTENDENT, CITES SUPPORT FOR CUTS IN SCHOOL FUNDING

 BURLINGAME, Calif., April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The board of directors of the 235,000-member California Teachers Association (CTA) voted yesterday (April 15) to oppose the confirmation of state Sen. Marian Bergeson (R-Newport Beach) as state superintendent of public instruction, CTA said today.
 The CTA action came after the organization had completed an intensive six-week review of Bergeson's qualifications. That review culminated in an interview of Bergeson last Tuesday (April 13) in the nominee's Sacramento office. The interview was conducted by CTA's top officials -- President D.A. (Del) Weber, Vice President Ron McPeck, Secretary-Treasurer Lois Tinson and Executive Director Ralph J. Flynn.
 "We commend Sen. Bergeson for her determined opposition to the school vouchers initiative scheduled for the June 1994 ballot," Weber said, "and we are certain that she will play an important role in the campaign to defeat that anti-public school measure.
 "But our review of her record -- and the positions she defended in our interview -- persuade us that she would not be a sufficiently strong advocate for public education if she were confirmed as superintendent," Weber continued.
 Among the issues Weber cited as reasons for CTA's view that Bergeson lacks the requisite qualifications are the nominee's:
 -- Support of Gov. Pete Wilson's efforts -- in last summer's state budget fight -- to take as much as $1 billion away from the public schools, or to reduce the amount the state spends per student by nearly five percent;
 -- Opposition to giving teachers a legal right to work with school boards, superintendents and principals in shaping professional and instructional programs -- including curriculum improvement, student discipline and other teaching-learning concerns;
 -- Support for "Channel One," the Whittle Communications program that takes time out os?tructional day to broadcast television commercials to students; and
 -- Many votes, as a legislator, to permit local government agencies to enact special taxes by majority instead of two-thirds votes -- but consistent opposition to giving school districts the same authority.
 "We have great respect for Marian Bergeson as a person and as a legislator," Weber concluded, "and we hope that she will continue to provide her constituents with the outstanding service they have come to expect of their state senator."
 -0- 4/16/93
 /CONTACT: Ned Hopkins of CTA, 415-697-1400/


CO: California Teachers Association ST: California IN: SU:

GT-TB -- SF004 -- 6819 04/16/93 14:04 EDT
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Date:Apr 16, 1993
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