Contact: Sandra Jackson (916) 801-4776
SAN DIEGO – One hundred of the 1,100 California educators attending the National Education Association’s Representative Assembly meeting in San Diego marched 10,000 postcards signed by teachers from all over the country from the San Diego Convention Center this morning to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office with a clear message: Don’t suspend Proposition 98 and pass a fair budget now.
“We hope the governor hears the message that we are bringing to him today from California teachers and educators from all over the country not to suspend the minimum funding law and take even more money from public schools and our students,” said David A. Sanchez, president of the 340,000-member California Teachers Association.
“With over $12 billion in cuts already, public schools can’t take anymore. Many districts have eliminated summer school classes, class sizes are increasing, 17,000 teachers and thousands of other school employees have been laid off and art, music, physical education and career technical education programs are vanishing. California already ranked 47th in per-pupil spending before the last round of cuts,” Sanchez said.
Chanting, “Enough is Enough,” “Fair Budget Now,” and “Students First,” teachers expressed concern about the affect of the massive budget cuts on students and education programs. Mike Noce, a Republican middle school PE teacher from Mt. Diablo, who joined the march said, “I'm disappointed in the governor and his ‘cuts only’ approach. I was hoping he would be a moderate Republican leader and a bridge builder between the parties. Instead, he's refused to build the necessary compromises. The governor must make education a top priority in our state and stop threatening to suspend Proposition 98.”
“Our children are supposed to be a priority, but that is not the message that they are getting,” said Moreno Valley Teacher Lizeth Piskulich, who received notification that she could be laid off in August layoffs. “The governor must not cut our schools and students further. We must do everything we can to give our children the best education possible.”
“The governor should repeal corporate tax breaks that he gave to big business and tax oil production like every other state. And we must look at reducing the two-thirds vote requirement to pass a state budget as well as other budget reforms. This partisan gridlock is destroying our state.”
View photos of post card delivery to Governor Scwarzenegger's San Diego offices.
View video of press conference