Contacts: Los Angeles Region: Frank Wells 562-708-5425
San Diego, Orange County, Riverside: Bill Guy 619-709-0028
Bay Area: Mike Myslinski 408-921-5769
Central Valley: Dina Martin 415-710-6794
BURLINGAME – In a groundswell of protests against devastating budget cuts to neighborhood schools and other critical services, California’s teachers, administrators, school employees, parents and students will join a statewide “Day of Action” on Thursday, March 4, to stop the governor and Legislature from cutting billions more from a public school system already reeling from $17 billion in cuts over the past two years – and to tell lawmakers it’s time to close corporate tax loopholes.
The protests come as CTA is estimating today that the total pink slips issued for educators statewide is now about 18,000 – and rising, as the March 15 deadline for layoff notices looms.
This show of solidarity with many community and labor groups is about fighting more cuts to schools, colleges, universities and other essential state services. It’s also about demanding that everyone pay their fair share and the need to rescind the tax breaks handed out to large corporations and oil companies last year while class sizes increased and critical student programs were eliminated. The 325,000-member California Teachers Association is urging its members to hold protests before school in a “Start the Day for Students” approach.
***ATTENTION MORNING TV NEWS EDITORS*** Many of the CTA protests will be held before school starts. A sampling of events is below, but scores more are described in detail online. Media can find local events posted on the CTA social networking site at www.StandUpForSchools.org. Also, CTA has posted a short March 4 video on YouTube that is spreading from school to school.
“These are the largest cuts our students have seen since the Great Depression and they will hurt a generation of students, robbing them of the future they deserve,” said CTA President David A. Sanchez. “Now the governor is proposing $2.5 billion in additional cuts – and wants to renege on an agreement signed into law last summer to repay schools more than $11 billion they are owed. It’s time to stop the cuts, have everybody start paying their fair share and start changing the conversation about additional revenues for our public schools and California’s future.”
SAMPLING OF MARCH 4 PROTESTS AGAINST MORE PUBLIC SCHOOL CUTS
Southern California Events
LOS ANGELES: CTA President David A. Sanchez will join a United Teachers Los Angeles news conference against more Los Angeles Unified cuts at 7:40 a.m. at Farmdale Elementary, 2660 Ruth Swiggett Ave., Los Angeles, 90032. UTLA members will be leafleting parents before school at all district campuses and will gather at 4 p.m.at 5th and Hill streets near Pershing Square for a huge march to nearby Reagan State Building, 300 South Spring St., in downtown Los Angeles for a rally. More information is at www.utla.net. Contact: Marla Eby of UTLA at 213-305-9310 or Frank Wells at CTA, 562-708-5425.
LONG BEACH: Facing 650 pink slips in Long Beach Unified, the Teachers Association of Long Beach will host a 4:15 protest rally against state cuts at Wilson High School gymnasium, 4400 East 10th St., Long Beach. CTA President David A. Sanchez is the keynote speaker. See www.talb.org Contacts: TALB President Mike Day or Executive Director Joe Boyd at 562-426-6433.
COVINA: The Azusa Educators Association and other CTA locals will hold a “March Forth 4 Schools” rally from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on the Gladstone High School Football Field, 1340 N. Enid, Covina. Contact: Meg Savella, AEA President, at 626-222-3731.
SANTA BARBARA: Huge “March Forth” march beginning at 3:45 p.m. at De La Guerra Plaza will end up on State Street in an event about saving public education and protecting students from more disastrous state budget cuts. Organized by the Santa Barbara Teachers Association, the march will include educators, school administrators, students, police and fire association members, as well as local political leaders. More information: http://mysbta.org/ Contact: SBTA President Layne Wheeler at 805-455-6950.
RIVERSIDE: Facing about 360 pink slips, teachers will rally at several schools throughout the Riverside Unified School District before school on March 4. They will wear black arm bands in solidarity with their colleagues who are slated to receive layoff notices. There will be black and pink balloons and posters. CTA Board of Directors member Mikki Cichocki will be among participants at Pachappa Elemenatry, 6200 Riverside Ave.. Other sites will include: Magnolia Elementary, 3975 Maplewood Place; Alcott Elementary, 2443 Central Ave.; and Mark Twain Elementary, 19411 Krameria Ave. Contact: Riverside City Teachers Association President Mark Lawrence at 951-452-9001.
HUNTINGTON BEACH: CTA Executive Director Carolyn Doggett and CTA Board of Directors member Michael Stone will join with teachers and education supporters from the Ocean View, Huntington Beach City, and Huntington Beach Union High School districts for a rally and march to begin at Ocean View High School, corner of Gothard and Warner, Huntington Beach, beginning at 4 p.m. The march will finish at the corner of Beach Blvd. and Warner Blvd., Huntington Beach. Event sponsors include the West Orange County United Teachers union, superintendents, school board members, administrators, classified staff, and PTA members of the respective school districts. Contact: Monica Mora at 310-868-4742.
LA MESA: CTA Board of Directors member Jim Groth will participate in March 4 activities with members of the Helix Teachers Association as they demonstrate in front of Helix Charter High School, corner of Yale and University in La Mesa wearing “Start the Day for Students” T-shirts and carrying signs before school. Video/speaker feeds will be available on the half hour, beginning at 5 a.m. and concluding at 7:30 a.m., when demonstrators will march to the school for the 7:40 a.m. start of classes. Contact: John Geary at 619-507-3454
SAN DIEGO: In San Diego Unified, the San Diego Education Association is planning a red-shirt day with all members across the city wearing their “Together We Are Stronger” shirts at schools. Individual sites will be participating in a variety of activities such as leafleting and picketing. More info: www.sdea.net. Contact: SDEA President Camille Zombro at 619-283-4411 or 619-203-7186 (cell).
San Francisco Bay Area
CONCORD: CTA Vice President Dean Vogel will join a 7:15 a.m. news conference at Monte Gardens Elementary, 3841 Larkspur Drive, Concord, 94519, to sound the alarm about state cuts hurting the Mt. Diablo Unified School District – which faces about $60 million in cuts over the next three years. All schools will hold a disaster drill at 9 a.m. to call attention to the disastrous impacts of state education cuts. Teachers will wear “disaster attire” during the drills, including hard hats and Red Cross T-shirts. The news conference includes a mock bake sale with $1 million cupcakes and will be attended by Superintendent Steve Lawrence, PTA representatives, state Senator Mark DeSaulnier, Assembly member Joan Buchanan and teachers talking about soaring class sizes and the cutting of music and library services. More info: www.mtdiabloeducationassoc.org. Contacts: MDEA President Mike Noce at 925-676-4664 or 925-250-6557 (cell); or Mike Myslinski, 408-921-5769.
SEVEN BAY AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT DISASTER DRILLS: To draw attention to disastrous state budget cuts, at least six Bay Area school districts are moving their required spring fire drills to the morning of March 4. The districts and times of the drills: Mt. Diablo Unified, 9 a.m.; Oakland Unified, 9:15 a.m. (see details at www.OaklandEA.org); Dublin Unified, 8 a.m.; New Haven Unified in Union City, 8:15 a.m. for elementary schools, 8:45 a.m. for high schools; San Lorenzo Unified, 10:30 a.m.; San Francisco Unified, 10 a.m.; Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District, various times in the morning at each school. Contact: Mike Myslinski at 408-921-5769.
OAKLAND: Starting at 7:30 a.m. Thursday with protests in front of all Oakland Unified schools, the Oakland Education Association is taking part in a day of events. The school district’s 9:15 a.m. disaster drill will be followed by a coalition rally from noon to 4 p.m. at Frank Ogawa Plaza at City Hall, with OEA President Betty Olson-Jones speaking at a 4 p.m. news conference at the Elihu Harris State Office Building, 1515 Clay St. Oakland teachers will then board BART for a ride to the huge 5 p.m. San Francisco Civic Center rally co-sponsored by San Francisco educators and many groups. Contact: OEA President Betty Olson-Jones at 510-866-3676 (cell).
CUPERTINO: In response to state cuts threatening the success of the high-achieving Cupertino Union School District – which ranks ninth out of California’s 1,000 school districts with an Academic Performance Index overall district score of 948 – the Cupertino Education Association will take part in a 6 p.m. town hall meeting at Lawson Middle School Event Center, 10401 Vista Drive, Cupertino, 95014. State cuts resulted in the district issuing 109 pink slips for teachers and deciding to increase K-3 class sizes from 20 to 30 students. CTA Board member Don Dawson, a San Jose teacher, will moderate the education coalition event hosted by teachers, the district, the California School Employees Association, the Cupertino Elementary School Administrators Association and SEIU. Educators will be leafleting parents at all 25 school sites before school starts on March 4 as well. More info: www.ceaweb.org. Contacts: CEA President Dave Villafana at 650-823-9563 (cell) or the district’s Jeremy Nishihara, 408-252-3000, ext. 323.
SAN FRANCISCO: Facing a budget deficit of $113 million over the next two years, and the chaos from nearly 900 pink slips being sent to teachers and administrators, San Francisco Unified educators will be pushing back with a huge “Defend the Classroom” regional rally on March 4. Hundreds of members of United Educators of San Francisco will gather with parents and other Bay Area teachers at 4 p.m. at the Civic Center, then march to the State Building, corner of Van Ness and McAllister, and then return to the Civic Center for a huge 5 p.m. rally. Details at www.uesf.org Contact: Matthew Hardy at 415-956-8373.
SANTA ROSA: Before school starts in districts across Sonoma County, educators will be protesting state cuts to education and calling local state legislators to speak out against more cuts to schools and other public services. Educators will also be getting community members to sign the CTA-sponsored Close Corporate Tax Loopholes ballot measure to reverse $2 billion in tax breaks to large corporations. Contact: Andy Witthohn at 707-544-1075.
SAN JOSE: K-12 and higher education events are planned. In the early morning hours, San Jose Unified teachers will do informal tailgating at all school sites before school starts, offering parents coffee and doughnuts, along with the latest info on district cuts. Later, San Jose Teachers Association President Janice Allen will march in solidarity with San Jose State University educators against SJSU cuts as part of a California Faculty Association event where she will also join other speakers. The march starts at 11:45 a.m. at San Jose City Hall and ends with a rally at Seventh Street plaza near SJSU. Contacts: SJTA President Janice Allen at 408-267-0411 or 408-504-7708 (cell); contact for SJSU march is Sue Pak, 510-290-4308.
MONTEREY: State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell will join local educators in a 4 p.m. rally against school cuts at Colton Hall on Pacific Street in Monterey. Other speakers will include Monterey Bay Teachers Association President Jill Low in this education coalition event coordinated by MBTA, the California Faculty Association, California School Employees Association and others. Students will perform skits and read poetry. Contact: MBTA President Jill Low at 831-375-8942 or 831-521-5509 (cell).
SACRAMENTO: CTA Secretary-Treasurer Gail Mendes will join K-12, community college, CSU and UC faculty staff and students gathering on the north steps of the State Capitol for an “Educate the State Rally” from 11a.m. to 1 p.m. March 4. Speakers will educate the Legislature about the value of public education and the need to protect and enhance public education budgets. Action includes holding classes for legislators on importance of public education to California complete with lectern, desks and chalkboard. Contact: Kevin Wehr, president of the faculty association of CSU Sacramento, at 916-541-2125.
ELK GROVE: With Elk Grove Unified School District expected to issue hundreds of teacher pink slips, students and teachers will hold a mock funeral for the death of public education from 7-7:45 a.m. Thursday at Monterey Trail High School, 8661 Power Inn Road, Elk Grove, 95624 CTA Secretary-Treasurer Gail Mendes will attend the “funeral.” A simulated disaster drill calling attention to the disastrous cuts will be held from 12:15-12:35 p.m. in the quad area during lunch. Contact: Teacher Cathy Rieger at 916-834-1816 (cell).
STOCKTON: Students, parents, educators, school and college staff, and all those concerned about public education, will wear black and join in a march from downtown Stockton to San Joaquin Delta Community College for a candlelight vigil in support of public education. “Black Thursday” begins with a march at 4:30 p.m. in front of the State Building on Channel Street in downtown Stockton, which will follow Center to Park streets, Park to Madison, and Madison/Pacific to Delta College. The candlelight vigil is scheduled to begin about 6:30 p.m. on the Pacific side of Delta College, where speakers will include CTA Secretary-Treasurer Gail Mendes. The event is sponsored by a coalition of organizations that includes San Joaquin County Educators Association, the San Joaquin Grassroots Action, the Associated Student Body of San Joaquin Delta College, Stockton Teachers Association, California School Boards Association, MECHA, the Hispanic Regional Foundation and the Association of California School Administrators. Contact: Rose Roach at 209-472-6102.
MERCED: Merced parents, civic leaders and members of the community will join educators and college faculty in solidarity against further cuts to public education at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at the new CTA office, 510 W. Main St., Suite E, in the Bob Hart Square. The event is sponsored by CTA’s Merced-Mariposa Service Center Council. Contact: Paul Chambers at 209-723-8871.
REDDING: The Shasta County Education Coalition plans an early kick-off of its Stand Up for Schools activities with a rally on Wednesday, March 3, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Redding City Hall. Speakers will talk about the impact of state budget cuts (past and proposed) on Shasta County school districts. The event is in advance of activities that will take place at numerous school sites on the morning of March 4. Contact: Cork McGowan at 530-243-5623.
DAVIS: Before Davis schools start on Thursday -- from 8-8:30 a.m. at elementary schools and 7:45-8:15 a.m. at junior and high schools -- Davis Teachers Association members will be leafleting parents as a call to action to save local public schools from more state cuts. The Davis Joint Unified School District is issuing about 120 pink slips for educators and wants to increase class sizes to save funds. Contact: Davis Teachers Association President-elect Tim Paulson at 530-902-3923.