FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BURLINGAME – California's 23rd annual "Day of the Teacher" Wednesday will be a day of statewide teacher protests over the governor's broken promises to public education – as well as a time of honoring the inspirational role educators play in helping millions of students to succeed each school year.
"This is our day when normally we would focus on the joys of teaching and learning, what we do and accomplish every day in our classrooms," said Barbara E. Kerr, president of the 335,000-member California Teachers Association. "Many events will be about honoring teachers, but there will also be an unprecedented number of activities about protecting our schools, and the fact that the governor has turned his back on the real needs of our students."
On California street corners, in city parks, and in front of shopping malls Wednesday, crowds of teachers, parents and administrators will be waving "Save Proposition 98" signs as they protest the governor's proposals to weaken the voter-approved law providing minimum-funding to the state's 1,000 school districts. That proposal and his broken promises to fully fund public education amount to a $25,000 cut per classroom.
This year's CTA theme for Day of the Teacher – "California Teachers: Where Excellence Begins"– reflects the pride that educators take in their work in the nation's largest school system, Kerr said. "Against great odds, teachers keep our public schools improving. Our students are our special interest."
CTA and the Association of Mexican American Educators sponsored the bill that proclaimed the state's first Day of the Teacher in 1982. The day is based on "El Dia del Maestro" festivities observed in Mexico and other Latin American countries.
On Wednesday, Kerr will be at a 5:30 p.m. dinner in Yuba City honoring local teachers. CTA Vice President David A. Sanchez will be speaking at a 3:30 p.m. rally in Santa Rosa, and Secretary-Treasurer Dean E. Vogel will be available for interviews at CTA headquarters in Burlingame.
Here is a sampling of California Day of the Teacher events being held around the state Wednesday:
40-mile El Camino Picket: Hundreds of teachers picketing the governor's education policies will be out on various corners after 3:30 p.m. Wednesday along a 40-mile stretch of El Camino Real, starting in Daly City and ending in Sunnyvale. Media can find teachers at certain intersections including El Camino and Westborough Boulevard (in South San Francisco), Millbrae Avenue (Millbrae), Hillsdale Boulevard (San Mateo), James Avenue (Redwood City). Contact Dale Martin: 650-552-5491.
Santa Clara County: Teachers from two dozen Silicon Valley districts in the county are picketing before school on campuses, and picketing against governor outside four shopping malls at 4 p.m.: Valley Fair, Oakridge, Westgate, Great Mall. Contact Mike Myslinski: 408-921-5769.
San Francisco: United Educators of San Francisco members are picketing from 4:30-5:30 p.m. at corner of Van Ness Avenue and McAllister Street to educate the public about their contract fight and the governor's attacks. Contact UESF President Dennis Kelly: 415-956-8373.
Santa Rosa: CTA Vice President David A. Sanchez will speak against governor's agenda on education funding and Proposition 98 attacks at a large protest rally, 3:30-5 p.m., at Santa Rosa Courthouse Square. Other speakers include CTA Board member Larry Allen, local teacher leaders and Sonoma County Schools Superintendent Carl Wong. Teacher picnic follows, 5-7 p.m., Julliard Park. Contact Helen O'Donnell: 707-544-1075.
Monterey: Local education coalition teachers, parents, and school board members will be attending 4-5:30 p.m. community rally for public school funding at Window on the Bay Park, across from Lake El Estero. Contact Jim Gutman: 831-783-3200.
Salinas: "Save Our Schools" rally at Central Park, corner of Central and Homestead, across from Hartnell College, at 3:45 p.m. Teachers, parents, administrators to speak. Contact Susan Midori Jones: 831-783-3200.
Fremont: To let the governor know teachers are united and won't back down, educators from Fremont, Newark and Union City will create a human "Chain for Education" along Mowry Avenue in Fremont, from Cherry to Blacow. Event is 3:45-5 p.m. Contact Marta Dragos: 510-791-8366.
Napa: Local education coalition rally, organized by the Napa Valley Educators Association, 3:30-5:30 p.m. at Veteran's Memorial Park, corner of Third and Main streets. Contact NVEA President Roberta Wright: 707-252-4522.
Sacramento: A huge 4:30-5:30 p.m. event with parents, local school superintendents, jazz music and refreshments celebrating local educators will be held on the west steps of the State Capitol. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell will speak. Teachers hosting the event are from the Elk Grove Education Association, Sacramento City Teachers Association and San Juan Teachers Association. Contact San Juan President Nancy Waltz: 916-487-7582.
Yuba City: CTA President Barbara E. Kerr will be attending a 5:30 p.m. awards dinner honoring teachers in the CTA Feather River Service Center Council at The Refuge restaurant, 1501 Buttehouse. Contact Mike Myslinski: 650-552-5324.
Davis: 3:30-5 p.m. Teachers picketing along Covell Boulevard and other streets to support public education. Contact Davis Teachers Association President-elect Phyllis York: 916-723-2822.
Modesto: The Modesto Teachers Association will honor educators with a picnic and dinner at 5 p.m. at Downey Park. Contact Gary McBride: 209-526-0191.
Ukiah: 4:30 p.m. coalition rally for education at courthouse. Contact Sherry Sandoval, co-president of Ukiah Teachers Association: 707-463-5236, ext. 126.
Fresno: Hundreds of teachers will attend a reception hosted by Fresno Teachers Association from 4-6 p.m. at Masonic Lodge on 3444 East Shields Ave., and then converge on a political fund-raiser by the governor at 6435 North Van Ness Blvd., Fresno. Contact Fresno Teachers Association President Larry Moore: 559-224-8430.
Bakersfield: Kern County Education Coalition celebration of teachers and rally against governor's agenda, 4-7 p.m., Yokuts Park off Truxtun Avenue, Bakersfield. Contact Bakersfield Elementary Teachers Association President Carol Reichert: 661-327-4567.
Visalia: Visalia Unified Teachers Association will be conducting its own 4 p.m. celebration of educators from the VUTA office, 244 West Caldwell Ave., Visalia, to honor teachers and announce teacher-endorsed candidates for the school board election. Contact VUTA President Karl Kildow: 559-730-7995.
Lancaster: On May 13, "Run on Runner Rally." Teachers from 14 school districts in Antelope Valley will rally at 4 p.m. at the local CTA office, 1027 W. Lancaster Blvd. in Los Angeles County. They will march to nearby office of Senator George Runner. Speakers will include teachers, superintendents and school board members. Contact Paul Scott or David Aponik: 661-948-6035.
Paramount: A May 11 Day of the Teacher Fiesta and rally from 3:30-6 p.m.at Progress Park in Paramount, Los Angeles County. Contact Robin DeVitt: 562-924-9311.
Palm Springs: Teachers will wear red "Save Proposition 98" T-shirts and do picketing before and after school hours at intersections near school campuses. Contact Allen Tarzwell: 760-333-3899.
Riverside County: Moreno Valley Education Association members will be handing out "Why Are Teachers Angry?" flyers to parents before and after school, wearing "Students: Our Special Interest" buttons. Contact Ann Adler: 951-485-0545.
San Diego: San Diego Unified teachers will be honored at a 4-7 p.m. reception hosted by the San Diego Education Association at the Hilton By The Bay Hotel. Teachers will be signing a large banner they are taking to a huge May 25 rally against the governor in Los Angeles. Contact SDEA President Terry Pesta: 619-283-4411.