Over the last two years education funding has taken the brunt of budget cuts. Politicians in Sacramento have cut billions of dollars from education and it would seem that there is no end in sight for this downward spiral. Schools throughout the region are dealing with larger class sizes, teachers laid off by the thousands, fewer nurses and counselors, cutbacks in science, music, arts and sports. This week San Diego Unified announced yet another round of pink-slips, with the school board voting 4-1 to send teachers packing.
This rally has been called to say ‘Enough is enough!’ California politicians will stop cutting education only when enough people stand up and make their voices heard: ‘No more cuts.’
This is a perfect opportunity chance to stand up for our kids. Join thousands of parents, students, teachers, principals and others who care about public education at the rally. Together, we can stop the cuts and rebuild a public education system in California worthy of our kids.
Later the same day State Assembly Budget Committee Chair Bob Blumenfield and Speaker pro Tempore Fiona Ma will hold a public budget forum at nearby San Diego High, starting at 2 pm.
Budget hearings in Sacramento will be starting next week, and this is a chance to tell a couple of top lawmakers that we need to support public education in every district across California. Unless the legislature calls a halt to the egregious violations of Proposition 98, also called the “Classroom Instructional Improvement and Accountability Act,” which amended the California Constitution to mandate a minimum level of education spending, next year’s budget cuts for local schools will amount to $120 million. And that’s on top of three successive years of budget shortfalls.
Where: The Sixth and Laurel corner of Balboa Park.
When: Saturday, May 8th, at 10am.
Student performances, such as the Lincoln High School choir and City School Mariachi Band, will perform beginning at 9:30 a.m. Hear students, teachers, and parents speak about the importance of well-funded public schools.
Free shuttle buses will take visitors from the City College parking lots, off Russ Blvd., to the Rally for Schools via Park Blvd.
Why we must act now to protect our future
Here are some of the painful cuts the school board will be facing next winter:
Additional cuts in funding for 2011/12 will lead to increased class sizes for all grade levels. State budget cuts have already led to teacher layoffs and larger class sizes – especially in elementary schools. According to a January 2010 report by UCLA, teacher layoffs have led to class size increases in 67% of schools. Class size increases have been particularly prominent in elementary schools, 74% of which increased class size. Principals report that these increases hurt teaching and learning.
Arts and Music
Additional cuts projected for 2011/12 will result in severe reductions in most if not all programs. San Diego’s Visual and Performing Arts Program (VAPA) supports over 300 district Visual and Performing Arts teachers, not including magnet schools. VAPA also is integral to the District’s Five Arts Magnets: Oak Park, Valencia Park, and Zamorano elementary schools; Creative and Performing Media Arts Middle School; and School of Creative and Performing Arts. And it supports itinerant elementary instrumental teachers who travel to schools throughout San Diego offering instruction and support.
Full Day Kindergarten
The 14,000 plus children of kindergarten age in San Diego Unified will face reductions from full day to half day programs, if funding levels continue to be cut in Sacramento.
Counselors, Vice Principals, Librarians and Nurses
All these key support personnel will all be facing deep reductions in staffing should the budget funding from our State government continue to decline. This will increase the burden on teachers, taking them away from instructional duties.
Schools with low enrollments will need to be boarded up if budget cuts continue. The district estimates that it can save nearly half a million dollars annually in operating costs for each school closed.
After School Programs, Including Sports
The district is committed to providing the kind of education that creates well-rounded graduates, but if the funding isn’t there next year, these programs also face being discontinued.