Contact: Jonathan Goldman at 650-552-5320 or at 415-509-1654, or Sandra Jackson at 916-801-4776
BURLINGAME – In rallies from Sacramento to San Jose, Santa Maria to Simi Valley, thousands of teachers, parents, community members, school administrators and public education supporters joined together Friday to support public education and protest the 26,590 pink slips that have already been issued to California educators. A final number will be available next week.
“The outpouring of enthusiasm and support for our students, educators and schools around the state has been amazing,” said David A. Sanchez, president of the 340,000-member California Teachers Association. “I want to thank not only our members but everyone who took part in Pink Friday activities today to Stand Up for Schools. These actions show that Californians want their schools to be adequately funded – and not ranked 47th in the nation.”
Pink Friday was observed on March 13 because that is the state deadline for issuing preliminary layoff notices to teachers. The number of layoff notices sent this year is more than double the number sent last year. The massive number is a result of the largest single cut to public education in the state’s history.
“We are facing more than $11 billion in cuts this year alone,” Sanchez said. “The layoffs resulting from these cuts mean cutting entire programs from our schools. Eliminating art, music, physical education and sports programs from our schools serves to diminish our children’s education, our society, and our future. So this is the day we’re speaking out about these cuts, and ‘Standing Up for Schools.’”
Promotion of Pink Friday was aided by a special website, www.pinkfriday09.org, which lists events, provides resources and allows educators and members of the public to connect with one another. More than 100 events were listed on the website for March 13 alone. Meanwhile, teachers continue to post comments, photos, videos, poems, and even songs.