Contact: Sandra Jackson 916-325-1550; Mike Myslinski at 650-552-5324; Bill Guy 619-709-0028
BURLINGAME – Starting with a town hall on Bay Area education cuts in San Francisco tonight, California teachers, parents, school board members, administrators and education support professionals will unite at several media events statewide this week to warn the public of the harm being done to students by massive state school cuts during the Nov. 16-20 national “American Education Week.”
While the National Education Association’s 88th annual American Education Week is a time for celebrating teaching and learning across the country, entire California school communities are spending it sounding the alarm about the damage done to schools, colleges and universities. K-14 education has been cut more than $17 billion the past two years, and universities have been hit with hundreds of millions in additional cuts.
“Teachers stand with their school community colleagues in wanting to remind the public of the damage being done to the academic future of our students by massive cuts,” said David A. Sanchez, president of the 325,000-member California Teachers Association. “It’s not business as usual in our classrooms any more. American Education Week is a time to stand up for our public schools and to draw the line against further cuts.”
The cuts have caused soaring class sizes, more than 20,000 educator layoffs this year, school closures and the elimination of art, music and vocational courses. Many events this week will discuss the need to end the undemocratic requirement that a state budget needs a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to pass – and how corporate tax breaks given this year to large companies by state lawmakers must be overturned. The public is joining this urgent conversation at the CTA advocacy website www.StandUpForSchools.org.
The education events come as the governor last week predicted California could be facing a state budget deficit as high as $14 billion starting July 1, 2010 – with other reports saying the deficit could be billions more, forcing the state to look at even more education cuts. Here is a sampling of some of the American Education Week events across the state:
AMERICAN EDUCATION WEEK EVENTS
TONIGHT: San Francisco – Town Hall on Bay Area School Cuts
CTA Contact: Mike Myslinski -- (408) 921-5769
WHAT: Town hall with Bay Area teachers and parents.
WHEN: 7-8 p.m. tonight (Monday, Nov. 16).
WHERE: John O’Connell High School of Technology, Little Theater Room, 2355 Folsom St., San Francisco, 94110.
Moderators: The town hall moderators will be Larry Allen, a member of the CTA Board of Directors; Dennis Kelly, president of United Educators of San Francisco; and Gus Goldstein, president, AFT Local 2121, San Francisco Community College Federation of Teachers.
TUESDAY: Sacramento – California Education Coalition Press Conference
Contact: Robin Swanson – (916) 204-6890
WHAT: Press Conference with Education Coalition Leaders, including CTA President David A. Sanchez.
WHEN: 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov 17.
WHERE: California Teachers Association offices, 1118 10th St., Sacramento, 95814.
TUESDAY: Orange County – Local Protest and Press Conference
Contact: Kimberly Claytor – (949) 510-1988
WHAT: Local protest over school cuts. Speakers include Michael Stone and Jim Rodgers – members of the CTA Board of Directors – and Vicki Soderberg, president of Capistrano United Educators Association.
WHEN: Noon Tuesday, Nov. 17.
WHERE: Newport-Mesa Unified School District Adult Education Center, 2045 Meyer Place, Costa Mesa.
WEDNESDAY: Los Angeles County – Media Availability with Local Educators
CTA Contact: Frank Wells – (562) 708-5425
WHAT: Media availability to discuss local cuts. Those attending include area educators and school board members from Downey, Whittier area, Garvey, Rio Hondo College, Compton, Norwalk/La Mirada and others. This is a meeting of the CTA Southeastern Service Center Council.
WHEN: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18.
WHERE: Holiday Inn Select, 14299 Firestone Blvd., La Mirada.
WEDNESDAY: Los Angeles – Local Protest and Press Conference
Contact: Bob Samuels – (805) 680-2719
WHAT: Students and Faculty to Hold 24-hour Protest.
WHEN: Noon Wednesday, Nov. 18.
WHERE: UCLA campus – Covel Commons
WEDNESDAY: Watsonville – Local Protest and Press Conference
Contact: Francisco Rodriguez – (831) 726-6866
WHAT: Local Protest and Press Conference
WHEN: Noon Wednesday, Nov. 18.
WHERE: Pajaro Valley School District offices, 294 Green Valley Road, Watsonville
WEDNESDAY: San Diego – Press Conference
Contact: Jim Miller - (619)702-6335
WHAT: Local Press Conference
WHEN: 1 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18
WHERE: San Diego City College, 1313 Park Blvd, San Diego