The idea to establish a new network of educators in California came about when Larry Sand and several other teachers became aware that they were not getting the type of balanced information at their school sites which would enable them to make informed decisions related to their profession. A wide range of information from the more global concerns of education policy, education leadership, and education reform, to information having a more personal application, such as professional liability insurance, options of relationships to teachers unions, and the effect of unionism on teacher pay, comes to teachers from a single viewpoint.
The lack of open democratic dialogue on these matters has had a chilling effect on the ability of teachers to think for themselves. It is very difficult to navigate a complex maze of data with incomplete and biased information. It has become apparent that there is an urgent need to have an organization that provides reliable and balanced information and peer support for teachers of like mind who may adopt dissenting views or make decisions that could invite criticism and strained relationships. Because no other such organization of teachers exists, the California Teachers Empowerment Network was born to fill this void.