SF Bay Area: Mike Myslinski, 650-552-5324
Los Angeles Area: Frank Wells, 562-478-1375
Central Valley: Dina Martin, 650-552-5491
San Diego: Bill Guy, 619-709-0028
CTA’s top leaders will spend Wednesday’s 28th annual California “Day of the Teacher” at a news conference in Burlingame announcing major news about the union’s ballot initiative to close nearly $2 billion in tax loopholes for corporations – and launching a statewide TV ad about educators making a “life-changing” impact on students and communities.
“What better time than Day of the Teacher to honor our profession by taking direct action to help fund our classrooms,” David A. Sanchez, president of the 325,000-member California Teachers Association, said of the news he will announce about CTA’s Repeal Corporate Tax Loopholes Act. “This dramatic step will show how serious educators are about demanding more funding for a public education system that has been devastated by $17 billion in funding cuts over the last two years. Everybody must pay their fair share.”
As the state wrestled with its growing, $20 billion budget deficit this spring, 26,000 California educators received preliminary pink slips – and reeling school districts only have until Saturday to make final decisions on layoffs. Wednesday’s news conference at CTA headquarters is one Day of the Teacher event among many where educators are pushing back against cuts with picketing, protests and community rallies. President Sanchez will show the TV ad that declares teachers can help build a better California because “they are partners with parents and our communities.”
Sanchez will also stress that the governor and legislators must keep their promises to our students by not reneging on an agreement signed into law last summer to restore $11.2 billion owed to public schools. Against the stark reality that the state ranks 46th in education spending per student, the CTA Day of the Teacher theme this year – “California Teachers: Creating Brighter Futures” – reflects how educators and education support professionals succeed every day despite hardships.
All of the events listed below are on Wednesday, May 12. For media planning purposes, here is a sampling:
Bay Area Day of the Teacher Events
BURLINGAME: In a news conference, CTA President David A. Sanchez will announce the union’s major next step in fighting for more revenue for our public schools with an update on the union’s Repeal Corporate Tax Loopholes Act. Pink-slipped teachers from local districts will speak out about how pink slips are wreaking havoc, thanks to state cuts. A new CTA TV ad will be unveiled in honor of educators and education support professionals. The news conference is at noon Wednesday, May 12, in Room 102 at CTA headquarters, 1705 Murchison Drive, Burlingame, 94010. Contact: Mike Myslinski at CTA at 650-552-5324 or on cell, 408-921-5769.
OAKLAND: A huge “Line The Lake” rally will feature Oakland Education Association members joining community supporters to ring Lake Merritt downtown. Teachers will gather with picket signs and noisemakers at 3:30 p.m. at the north side of Lake Merritt and march from Lakeside Park to 12th Street. The rally comes after a one-day strike April 29 by OEA members after the district imposed a contract with no raises. Teachers will pack the 5 p.m. Oakland Unified school board meeting to end Day of the Teacher. More information is at www.OaklandEA.org. Both sides return to the bargaining table this Thursday, May 13. Contact: OEA President Betty Olson-Jones at 510-866-3676.
CUPERTINO: Teachers will join parents for a media availability about parents’ astounding fundraising of nearly $2 million to save 107 pink-slipped teachers and keep class sizes small in the high-achieving Cupertino Union School District. Teachers agreed to take five furlough days to save $1.4 million to help restore their colleagues’ jobs. Interviews are available from 2-3 p.m. in front of Eaton Elementary, 20220 Suisun Drive, Cupertino, 95014. The parents’ website is www.SaveCupertinoSchools.org. Contacts: Cupertino Education Association President Dave Villafana at 650-823-9563 or parent leader Hoi Yung Poon at 415-235-5249.
SANTA ROSA: The Sonoma County Education Coalition will hold a rally against state budget cuts in a county where nearly 200 teachers could lose their jobs. The 4-6 p.m. rally is in downtown Santa Rosa in Courthouse Square on Santa Rosa Avenue, between Third and Fourth. Emcee is Pat Sabo, chair of the CTA Redwood Service Center Council. Speakers include CTA Board member Larry Allen; Frank Pugh of the Santa Rosa school board and California School Board Association president; Cloverdale Superintendent Claudia Rosatti; PTA State Representative Dianna McDonald; CSEA Representative Emily Keeran; and Petaluma Federation of Teachers President Ted Ross. Contact: Andy Witthohn at 707-972-9162.
FREMONT: To protest $27 million in program cuts and 260 teacher pink slips sought by the Fremont Unified School District, educators will picket at 42 school sites before school from 7:30-8:30 a.m. Wednesday. Students and parents will join members of the Fremont Unified District Teachers Association for a 5:30-6:30 p.m. rally and march that starts and finishes at the district offices at the City Council chambers, 3300 Capitol Ave., Fremont. Contact: FUDTA President Brannin Dorsey, 510-331-1663.
SANTA BARBARA: Santa Barbara Teachers Association members will spend Day of the Teacher in an administrative hearing to challenge nearly 60 pink slips issued to educators. Preschool and after-school teachers face being laid off for the first time in a district that has already cut $25 million over the past three years. The hearing is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the offices of the Santa Barbara Unified School District, 720 Santa Barbara St. Contact: SBTA President Layne Wheeler at 805-455-6950.
SAN DIEGO: Camille Zombro, president of the 8,000-member San Diego Education Association, is available for interviews about SDEA members spending the afternoon calling lawmakers to get them to stop the cuts to public schools – and calling school board members to halt 112 pink slips for educators. The calling will be done during a celebration of the teaching profession from 4-7 p.m. in the Seaside Room at the Marina Village Conference Center, 1936 Quivira Way, San Diego, 92109. Contact: SDEA President Camille Zombro at 619-283-4411. BIG BEAR LAKE: In keeping with the Day of the Teacher theme of “California Teachers: Creating Brighter Futures,” teachers, administrators and support staff in rural Big Bear Unified School District in San Bernardino County will hold a candlelight vigil for public education in front of their schools before the start of classes in the morning. The small district faces having to lay off about 19 educators, a quarter of the teaching workforce. Contact: Bear Valley Education Association representative Diane Thompson at 909-585-6892.
BAKERSFIELD: In Bakersfield, about 1,500 people will attend a Day of the Teacher picnic honoring all Kern County educators in Yokuts Park (off Westwind and Truxtun Extension) that will also include a special “Advocacy Row” where participants can call their legislators about stopping cuts to schools. “The event is both a celebration of teachers and an opportunity for teachers to participate in the democratic process,” said Mitch Olsen, president of the Kern High School Teachers Association and chair of the Sierra Service Center Council, which is sponsoring the event. The picnic is 4-7 p.m. Contact: Mitch Olson at 661-706-6034.
MADERA: The Madera Unified Teachers Association will host a barbecue that will focus on teachers who have received their pink slips. The association will provide information for teachers on how to get through this period of uncertainty and will also hold a raffle for grocery and gas gift cards as well as other items they might need in the future if they lose their jobs. Contact: Babette Jaire, president of the Madera Unified Teachers Association, at 559-283-6882 or 559-673-6882.