Teachers, administrators, school employees, students, parents, and other supporters of the California education system took part in a statewide “Day of Action” or “March 4 Schools” protest against the massive budget cuts to public education on March 4th.
Turlock’s education supporters organized in wearing all black and demonstrated their protest to budget cuts before school started on Thursday morning in front of campuses across the city.
Signs read: No School Left Behind, S.O.S Save Our Schools, Got Teachers?, and Schools Build the Future.
The public school system has already seen about $17 billion in budget cuts over the last two years and is facing even more cuts pending the California Governor’s budget.
“These are the largest cuts our students have seen since the Great Depression and they will hurt a generation of students, robbing them of the future they deserve,” said California Teachers Association (CTA) President David A. Sanchez. “Now the governor is proposing $2.5 billion in additional cuts – and wants to renege on an agreement signed into law last summer to repay schools more than $11 billion they are owed. It’s time to stop the cuts, have everybody start paying their fair share and start changing the conversation about additional revenues for our public schools and California’s future.”
The Turlock Unified School District (TUSD) is making plans to address potential impacts of around $1.9 million from the State’s proposed budget cuts to the education system.
By law, layoff notifications must be sent out by March 15th and CTA is estimating that around 18,000 pink slips have been issued to educators.
The TUSD Board of Trustees unanimously approved at Tuesday night’s Board Meeting to notify 75 teachers of their termination.
On the California State University level, students, faculty, and proponents of higher education at CSU Stanislaus protested additional budget cuts to their education system by staging a Warriors Fight Back walkout.
The WFB Facebook page states: “CSU, Stanislaus students are tired of the budget cuts, the fee hikes, and the inept administration leading our campus into disaster! We urge all Stan State students, workers, and faculty to come together and fight for our right to public education.”
This last year, CSU Stanislaus has announced cutting 2010-11 Winter Term and closing 2010 winter, spring admissions due to an unprecedented budget reduction from CSU Stanislaus that is consistent with all other universities in the CSU system.
Last year, the CSU Board of Trustees had to manage the $584 million system-wide cut that included furloughs, student fee increases, and enrollment reductions.
Shirvani said “We regret having to implement more enrollment reduction strategies, especially since we have been growing steadily over the past four years to meet the increased demand for higher education in the Central Valley. Nevertheless, the Governor’s and Legislature’s cuts to CSU have left us with no other choice but to reduce enrollment in order to maintain academic quality.”
Votes of No Confidence against the CSU Chancellor and CSU Presidents, such as CSU Stanislaus President Hamid Shirvani, have been reported throughout 2009.
While frustrations lie with a diminishing higher education system while paying increased higher education fees of about 32% for 2009/10 and 182% since 2002, action being called for is at the legislative level of government.
CSU Stanislaus ASI President, Diana Heredia, announced that there would be a state-wide march to the Capital from Raley Field on March 22nd and that CSU Stanislaus students have access to a bus for the event to represent the CSU Stanislaus campus.
Professor Lawrence L. Giventer of the Department of Politics and Public Administration at California State University, Stanislaus advocated “This is about change… But nothing is going to change unless you make a change.”
Giventer said “Protests are good, marches are good, petitions are good, signs are good, what’s better is voting!”
There will be more information released soon on a march from Bakersfield to Sacramento and the Turlock pass through in April.