I'm posting this on behalf of my sister, a high school teacher here in the Bay Area, who participated in the rallies for education today.
"If you cut teachers, you cut education""Save our schools; stop cuts to education""Take action: call your elected officials today"Just a handful of slogans and messages spotted on handmade banners this morning, along with a little over 100 of us, braving the cold morning in front of our school.Most of you probably know, but...Today throughout the state of California, students, parents and teachers are Standing Up For Schools and California's Future...by sending a message to lawmakers. It's a big day for us!At 7:45 this morning, we gathered, and at 10:00 we took more direct action. Our students wrote postcards, we called our politicians, and we, as teachers, spoke to our students about the implications of the impending cuts.For those of you "on the outside", in other states or abroad, the future looks bleak.The cuts mean:
- more class size increases,
- Art classes reduced or eliminated ( we have a phenomenal art gallery which may very well not be open next year because, with the dept reduced, it will be impossible for 1 teacher to direct it),
- Music (award-winning band and orchestra) reduced or eliminated,
- PE reduced,
- ROP reduced or eliminated,
- Adult Education reduced or eliminated,
- Electives reduced or eliminated,
- other programs which make a huge difference on academic achievement like AVID and PUENTE to be cut,
- Summer School reduced or eliminated, and:
- After school programs, reductions in staff ( 1/3 of my dept, hard-working NON-tenured young teachers receiving pink slips this month), Leadership programs, yearbook classes, less counselors...So what can YOU do to make a difference?CALL, WRITE, and E-MAIL (California) elected officials; we did, today-- even my students called-- and we were pleasantly surprised to talk directly with a human being!!Here's the basic 'gist' /speech to follow ( many of you are far more articulate and have concrete percentages/research and other substantial info to add on, so you can disregard and just do your own thing) and below are the numbers. Please, make the time to voice your concerns."Hello, I'm calling/writing to say that I am concerned about the threatened cuts to education. Our public shcools are important for the future of California and its workforce. Please protect public education funding."(916) 445-2841 for our Governor's office.(510) 577-2310 for Senator Ellen CorbettAssembly Member Mary Hayashi is at (510) 538-8818. (For east bay residents.)Thank you for taking the time. Sorry for those of you who hate these sort of messages, but thanks for taking these concerns seriously in any concrete "ACTION" way possible.