Contact: Mike Myslinski at 650-552-5324
BURLINGAME – Joining a groundswell of support from other unions, community leaders and students across the country, the 325,000-member California Teachers Association is announcing its support of the nationwide “Occupy Wall Street” movement for tax fairness and against corporate greed.
“Educators are fed up with watching our students and schools go without -- while banks are being bailed out and the middle class and poor are being shut out,” said CTA President Dean E. Vogel. “The survival of California’s public schools and essential public services depends on stable tax revenues. And a stable tax structure begins with everyone paying their fair share.”
The wealth inequities are stark and the concentration of the wealth among the nation's top 1 percent of earners is hurting the quality of life for the other 99 percent of us. In California, the bottom 20 percent of wage earners pay 11 percent of their income in taxes, while the top 1 percent of wage earners only pay 7.8 percent. U.S. corporate income grew over 400 percent from 2001-2008, compared to only 28 percent for personal income.
And while California’s public schools and services suffered unprecedented cuts and layoffs in recent years, corporations here enjoyed tax breaks worth billions. California has the eighth-largest economy in the world, but still ranks 43rd in per-pupil education spending.
“Teachers and many union members are joining protests around the state because we have seen our schools and colleges cut by billions of dollars,” Vogel added. “We have seen class sizes grow, college tuitions increase, and job opportunities vanish at the same time that banks have received bailouts and large corporations and millionaires have received tax cuts. We are the 99 percent. It’s time to put Main Street before Wall Street, and for corporations to pay their fair share of taxes.”
Get involved at www.cta.org/occupywallstreet. Learn more about CTA’s tax fairness campaign at www.cta.org/taxfairness. More information about the Wall Street protests is at www.occupytogether.org.
The 325,000-member CTA is affiliated with the 3.2 million-member National Education Association.