FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LOS ANGELES—More than 8,000 members of the National Education Association (NEA) today rallied around their California Teachers Association (CTA) colleagues in protest against Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's broken promises to schools and his attacks on school employees.
NEA President Reg Weaver led a rally highlighting school funding issues across the nation, and culminating with a spotlight on the high-stakes, high-profile fight in California.
"Teachers are tired of elected officials 'acting' like they care about students when it's election time and then turning their back on their campaign promises later," said Weaver. "Broken promises hurt our kids. That's why we are standing firm with our California colleagues to send a loud, clear message to this governor. We insist that he keep his promise to fully fund California public schools, and we ask Californians to vote against any initiative that will hurt those public schools."
Delegates to the NEA Representative Assembly, now underway at the Los Angeles Convention Center, protested the governor's initiative that would gut Proposition 98, California's voter-approved minimum school funding guarantee. Governor Schwarzenegger has reneged on a promise to restore $2 billion in school funding he borrowed from the prior year's education budget.
NEA members also rejected the governor's initiative that would strip basic due process rights for beginning teachers, making it harder to recruit and retain quality teachers in every classroom; and an initiative that would try to silence the voices of teachers and all public employees in the political process.
"We welcome the support of our colleagues across the nation in our effort to protect our public schools," said CTA President Barbara E. Kerr. "Not only do they oppose what our governor is doing, but they realize what's happening here has implications for the teachers and students in their own states. After all, the governor isn't getting millions of dollars in out-of-state donations simply because big corporations back East are concerned about California."
The rally was followed by a march of about 300 delegates to the governor's office in downtown Los Angeles. The procession, led by Kerr and comprising NEA executive officers, the Association's state presidents, and teachers and school employees from across the country, walked about two miles to deliver resolutions against the governor from NEA's 50 state delegations.