By Frank Wells
CTA Board member Gayle Bilek
Central Coast communities link 30, 32 to student needs
Community events to advocate for education kicked off in August around California.
Over 100 CTA members and others representing employees in several Central Coast school districts joined students, parents and labor groups in front of Santa Maria High School for a campaign kickoff that emphasized community involvement and the urgent need to both pass Proposition 30 and defeat Proposition 32.
CTA Board member Gayle Bilek, who teaches in Templeton, emphasized how Proposition 32 is connected to Proposition 30, and how it would diminish the ability of educators to impact all other issues affecting public schools. She spoke to the crowd about the millions of dollars each participating district would lose if Proposition 30 fails, and the impact the measure would have on class sizes and teacher layoffs.
“It’s time to take a stand for public education and public safety,” said Bilek. “After years of cuts, California’s public schools, colleges and universities, and local public safety services are at the breaking point.”
The Santa Maria High School band played before the rally, a joyful but sobering reminder of the types of programs that might suffer if schools endure further cuts and need to cut back on electives.
Students from area high schools joined the Santa Maria students and spoke of the importance of passing Proposition 30, stopping school cuts and protecting electives. “Elective classes help students decide what they want to do with the rest of their lives,” said SMHS student Kaitlyn Furst. Her school district would lose $3.6 million if Prop. 30 fails.
Mark Goodman, president of the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District Faculty Association, says their August kickoff was just the beginning of an intensive 10-week effort leading to Election Day.
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