Contact: Mike Myslinski at 650-552-5324 or firstname.lastname@example.org
California’s teachers are pushing back against nearly 18,000 pink slips coming their way by launching statewide radio spots, freeway billboards and Internet blog ads asking the public to join the California Teachers Association’s “Pink Friday” Day of Action March 13 to protest mass layoffs and school cuts.
“We are pushing back against this attack on public education because our students will feel these cuts for many, many years,” said David A. Sanchez, president of the 340,000-member CTA. “The potential lay off of so many educators will hurt our communities and California’s future.”
March 13 is the state’s deadline to issue preliminary pink slips to educators, and school districts must make final decisions by May 15. The estimated number of CTA members facing pink slips is now 17,800 – compared to 10,000 issued to CTA members last year by mid-March. This chaos is fallout from the more than $11 billion in school cuts approved in the new state budget.
The radio ads airing in all markets feature concerned Californians discussing the school cuts. “Class sizes will increase and fewer kids will get the one-on-one help they need,” one man says. “California has fallen to 47th nationally in public school funding,” a woman worries. “Schools and colleges have just been cut more than $11 billion – the deepest education cuts in state history.” CTA President Sanchez urges the public to “join educators in standing up for public schools” on March 13.
“If we fail our children today,” Sanchez asks in the radio ads posted at www.cta.org, “how can our state possibly succeed tomorrow?”
Teachers, parents, and community supporters are mobilizing for the March 13 Day of Action by going to the new CTA social networking website: www.PinkFriday09.org. Local protest events are listed there.
In addition to posting Internet ads on high-profile blog sites, CTA launched three freeway billboards about Pink Friday: in San Francisco, on northbound 101 at the Bay Bridge; in Los Angeles, on the 405 freeway, westbound toward Long Beach; in Sacramento, on eastbound I-80 at the business route I-80-State Capitol split.