SACRAMENTO – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today congratulated the educators, school administrators, and labor leaders who participated in the Spring 2016 Labor-Management Initiative symposiums.

The final Spring session was held last week for districts in the South Bay Area and San Jose, following earlier sessions in Southern and Central California. More meetings are planned for the next school year. A total of 98 school districts and county offices of education have participated since the first symposium in May 2015.

“I want to thank all the outstanding teachers, administrators, school board members, and other education leaders who came together at these sessions and learned about better ways to build stronger partnerships,” Torlakson said. “This is another step forward on the way to helping students succeed in 21st century careers and college.”

Torlakson said the Labor-Management Initiative is a key element of his “California Way” movement, which means enacting groundbreaking, nearly revolutionary changes in the state’s education system and doing it with collaboration, consensus, and support from nearly every stakeholder.

The Labor-Management Initiative includes broad participation among education groups and is coordinated by the Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation .

“Students benefit when the adults are working well together,” said Shelly Masur, Chief Executive Officer of the CDE Foundation. “That is what the work of the Labor Management Initiative is all about.  The districts doing the work of collaborating are leading the state in addressing the changes in public education in California and doing it in a way that engages all staff to create a strong culture of inclusiveness and engagement.”

Frank Tarantino, a member of the Sweetwater Union High School District in Chula Vista, participated in one of the forums.

“It is helping us as we try to mend the historically ‘bad blood’ that has characterized our negotiations,” Tarantino said. “Keep up the good work, and I am looking forward to continuing participation.”

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