No More Cuts! Make Your Voice Heard – Rally for Education, Saturday, May 8th

by on May 7, 2010 · 40 comments

in Economy, Education, Popular, San Diego, The Chronicles of Edumacation

schools budget cuts apple logoThousands of parents, teachers and students will be gathering in Balboa Park near 6th & Laurel on Saturday, May 8th at 10 am to raise their voices in support of public education.

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.

Rally Details

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:

Class Size

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.

Small Schools

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.

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Cat310 May 7, 2010 at 12:36 pm

15% of the students in California public schools are illegal aliens. It seems like the budget should be able to take that size of a haircut by simply enforcing immigration laws. Maybe the rally should be to demand federal enforcement of illegal immigration and to right size the budget for education and social services accordingly.


Marilyn Steber May 7, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Please cite a source for this statement. I found an article printed in North County Times in 2004 about the topic, but some things bother me about these statistics. If children are suspected “illegal” who is compiling the numbers? Are teachers allowed to ask now?
Just asking.


Shane Finneran May 9, 2010 at 6:55 pm

Thank you, Marilyn. No thank you, Cat310.


Cat310 May 9, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Three sources were cited an hour after Marylin asked, they have been waiting moderator review since Friday.
Here is another study from the Cato Institute that demonstrates the gross misrepresentation of the cost of education in California.


Marilyn Steber May 10, 2010 at 8:18 am

Thanks for the 32 page report from the cato institute. Please make it a little simpler by telling the page where the illegal aliens part is.
I’m not at all insulted by the misspelling of my name, BTW, but I learned how to spell that plus a nine letter surname and CAT in first grade in Florida.


Cat310 May 10, 2010 at 9:36 am

You probably still can’t see the citations I provided Friday. I guess the moderator is concerned about bringing data and facts into the discussion as it’s easier to sway opinions by tugging on heart strings. The Cato study is a different but parallel topic, it addresses the misrepresentaion of the cost of education across the financial strata of a community as well as aginst a private education.


Frank Gormlie May 10, 2010 at 10:24 am

Cat and everyone else: Here’s a little blurb about the Cato Institute:

The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank that often works in coalitions with right-wing groups. Cato’s extensive publications program deals with a host of policy issues including budget issues, Social Security, monetary policy, natural resource policy, military spending, government regulation, international trade, and myriad other issues. While the Cato Institute has increased its ties to right-wing policymakers over the years, it often reveals it’s libertarian philosophy in addressing government intrusion into privacy issues, recently calling the proposed federal marriage amendment “unnecessary, anti-Federalist, and anti-democratic.”

Founders: Edward Crane and Charles G. Koch

* Cato leads the push for privatization of government services; as early as 1983, Cato initiated the first push for the privatization of Social Security, and has heavily backed it ever since.
* Cato supports the wholesale elimination of eight cabinet agencies— Commerce, Education, Energy, Labor, Agriculture, Interior, Transportation and Veterans Affairs— and the privatization of many government services.

* In 2001, the Washington Post, noting Cato’s influence, said it “has spent about $3 million in the past six years to run a virtual war room to promote Social Security privatization.”

History and Background

* Cato Institute was founded by Ed Crane with a $500,000 grant from Charles Koch, a chemical and petroleum heir who was active with Crane in the Libertarian Party.

Alumni in the Bush administration

* Former Rep. Tim Penny (D-MN), Commission to Strengthen Social Security
* Sam Beard, Commission to Strengthen Social Security
* Carolyn Weaver, Commission to Strengthen Social Security
* Randy Clerihue, spokesman, Commission to Strengthen Social Security
* Andrew Biggs, staff member, Commission to Strengthen Social Security
* Mark Groombridge, Special Assistant, Office of the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, State Department

Other non-Bush Administration alumni include former board members: Rupert Murdoch and Theodore J. Forstmann, also founding chairman of Empower America, now FreedomWorks.
Corporate sponsors

Cato’s corporate sponsors include: Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, Bell Atlantic Network Services, BellSouth Corporation, Digital Equipment Corporation, GTE Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, Netscape Communications Corporation, NYNEX Corporation, Sun Microsystems, Viacom International, American Express, Chase Manhattan Bank, Chemical Bank, Citicorp/Citibank, Commonwealth Fund, Prudential Securities and Salomon Brothers. Energy conglomerates include: Chevron Companies, Exxon Company, Shell Oil Company and Tenneco Gas, as well as the American Petroleum Institute, Amoco Foundation and Atlantic Richfield Foundation. Cato’s pharmaceutical donors include Eli Lilly & Company, Merck & Company and Pfizer, Inc.
Additional Funding

80% of Cato’s income comes from individual donations and subscriptions, 8% from corporations (such as ExxonMobil, which donated $30,000 during 2001), another 8% from foundations, and the remainder from conference and book sales, etc. Cato has received $15,633,540 in 108 separate grants from only nine different foundations: Castle Rock Foundation; Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation; Earhart Foundation; JM Foundation; John M. Olin Foundation, Inc.; Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation; Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation; and the branches of the Scaife Foundation
Quotes about Cato

“My contact with [Cato] was strange. They’re ideologues, like Trotskyites. All questions must be seen and solved within the true faith of libertarianism, the idea of minimal government. And like Trotskyites, the guys from Cato can talk you to death.” – Nat Hentoff, columnist
Quotes from Cato

“I think Franklin Roosevelt was a lousy president. What he did— which is to impose this great nanny state on America— was a great mistake.” – Ed Crane


Cat310 May 10, 2010 at 10:30 am

What’s the reason for deleting the citations I provided Marilyn on Friday as she requested? Did I not post something correctly?


Editordude May 10, 2010 at 10:39 am

The OB Rag is NOT a sounding board for right-wing ideologues, like the Cato Institute. If you wish more info on Cato, go to:


Cat310 May 10, 2010 at 10:45 am

The citations Marilyn asked for have nothing to do with the Cato institute. But I can see where you’d rather not discuss facts in this matter and take it into your hands to squash discussion on it. Hopefully we’ll get to keep the fire pits, I’m sure you’ll want them for the book burnings your planning.

Molly May 10, 2010 at 10:43 am

Listen, if you want to talk right-wing stuff, go to a right-wing blog. This is a more liberal blog with progressives and others who write here and read. I’m getting tired of seeing right-wing dribble on this blog – stuff and links from the Cato people. Check out what the editor just posted about Cato.


Jon May 12, 2010 at 7:15 am

FLAMER!!!!! Can we just ban this kook please?


Frank Gormlie May 12, 2010 at 7:20 am

Yeah, the editor has been asleep. He is …

doug porter May 7, 2010 at 1:16 pm

If all the “sound bite” solutions that you right wing loonies always chime in with including getting rid of the teachers unions, getting rid of aliens, etc were implemented, there still would be an education funding crisis.
The fact is that education is one of the best investments that government can make. Failing to invest now will only cost taxpayers more in the future. It costs roughly seven times as much to house a prisoner for a year as it does to pay for a year of education. But, then again, an educated citizenry is the last thing you right wingers want.


Ernie McCray May 7, 2010 at 6:23 pm

You go, Doug. There’s a T-Shirt saying I like: “I think therefore I am dangerous.” It’s amazing that in a society where it’s free to think creatively and otherwise that there are so many folks who fear those who think wisely, those who think of ways to get along, those who think along the lines of finding ways to right wrongs – as opposed to thinking of a class of struggling people as “illegal.”


Ian Rammelkamp May 8, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Too bad the vast majority of education doesn’t happen at school, it happens at home.

It is a false correlation to link education spending to criminal activity. Look to home and family for the true correlation, on that one.

Conservatives make may errors in philosophy, and logic, but liberals OWN them, when it comes to false correlations. This blog is a wonderful example.


psd May 8, 2010 at 8:36 pm

Dropping bombs on Iraqi/Afghani civilians = defending America from terrorism.


Shane Finneran May 9, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Ian, does the vast majority of education really occur at home. Mom and dad teach us many things, particularly by example. But lots of the knowledge that helps us make good decisions in our own lives and in our work comes from school. Reading, writing, math, science, for instance. And that’s just getting started.

Granted, it’s a huge advantage, probably the biggest advantage, for a child to have a relatively stable home life. It’s also a huge advantage for a child to be schooled in a well-funded (and well-managed) educational system. And there’s a whole host of other variables in play, too.

Maybe we could set up some sort of A-or-B question to shed insight on this. Think of two kids…one in Somalia, in a top-decile “home & family” but bottom-decile school…one in San Diego, in a bottom-decile “home & family” but top-decile school…who would you rather be?


Ian Rammelkamp May 9, 2010 at 11:18 pm

The important education comes from “home”. Creativity, problem solving, attitude, learning to learn, how to handle failure and success, etc. In school, by and large, you learn facts, figures, dates, equations, names and numbers.

To give you an analogy; your brain is programmed, and loaded with the “software of life” at home, and at school you are fed data and tested on your ability to recall that data.

I am not saying that school is not important. It keeps kids off the street while parents are working, provides an environment for the socialization of children and provides children that don’t have a good family life with at least some sort of “window to the world”.

And I am not saying that schools don’t have the potential to provide a good education, just that they way it is implemented now is far less than optimal. Especially in the modern world with instant communication, and virtually unlimited access to any type of information, the focus should be shifted from loading our brains with data, to loading our brains with skills, methods, and techniques so that we can effectively use that data.

As far as the proposed A/B question, it would provide absolutely no useful data because the context of learning is different in different parts of the world. A person in Somalia needs very different skills than a person in San Diego (although this is changing and will continue to change as the world becomes more connected). If you take a person educated in San Diego and let them loose in Somalia they will have just as much trouble as a person educated in Somalia let loose in San Diego (probably even more trouble).


Ian Rammelkamp May 9, 2010 at 11:22 pm

My point is that “more funding” is not simply the answer. We have a system wide problem with the way education is implemented in this country.


Shane Finneran May 10, 2010 at 7:48 am

True, “more funding” is not the simple answer. But “less funding” is definitely the wrong answer. And “less funding” is what we’re getting right now. Meaning that in the future, today’s young people will be less-well-educated than they would have been…which will have a cost of its own that we’ll all end up paying, one way or another.

As for the A/B question, I’m pretty sure I’d rather be the American kid.


Ian Rammelkamp May 10, 2010 at 8:35 am

Considering that less funding doesn’t equal less education, I would call your position fear mongering.

Of course you would rather be the American kid….. you are American… duh…


Frank Gormlie May 10, 2010 at 8:52 am

Ian, not again! You are claiming “less funding doesn’t equal less education”??? And to disagree here is “fear mongering”??? That is not a debate, dude. It is a warped view.


Ian Rammelkamp May 10, 2010 at 1:12 pm

It is a fact. More funding does not necessarily equal a better education (look no further than “No Child Left Behind”), and less funding does not necessarily equal a worse education.

When you have an education system that focuses on the wrong type of learning and teaching it doesn’t make much a difference how much money you throw at it, the results will be the same. No so good.

To draw the conclusion that the future is dire, people will be less educated, and we will be raising a generation of criminals if we have budget cuts during a period of economic stagnation is FEAR MONGERING.


Seth May 10, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Ian, there is obviously a strong correlation between funding and quality of education. I don’t know if you have children, but if you do/did, and they had to go to school out of district in either Poway or National City, what would you choose? Not a very difficult decision.

Ian Rammelkamp May 10, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Seth, the significant difference between Poway and National City is family, and the value (I am not talking about monetary value, but moral value) of education, not funding.

Families in Poway put more emphasis on preparing for the future through education, and put more emphasis on using knowledge as a tool for success.

It is no wonder that nepotistic cultures like the Jews and Japanese and Koreans, have such a high success rate when it comes to education, and careers after education.

Yours is a false correlation, or a weak one at best, the stronger correlation is that which comes from family and cultural values of the worth-fullness of education in the home.

To answer your question, I don’t have children, but my experience with the education system is not that far off (graduated from PLHS in ’97 and UCSD in ’01), and I would rather have my children attend school in Poway because of the difference in environment, and the way the families of the other children approach education, rather than the differences in funding.

Seth May 11, 2010 at 11:53 am

Ian, I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt and not attempt to unpack the rather explicit undertones of this post, other than just say that while family and culture play strong roles, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

Ian Rammelkamp May 12, 2010 at 5:48 pm


Any explicit undertones would be your inference, not my implication. It is not a matter of race, but culture, and more so class. And there are always many exceptions to any generalization, which is what we are discussion… generalizations.

Immigrants come here to better their families and provide better opportunity for themselves and their offspring. It is a noble action that they have undertaken.

Marilyn Steber May 10, 2010 at 9:12 am

I don’t think we need to go to Somalia for an example. Community control of education in less “sophisticated” areas such as Appalachia leads to pretty good coal miners and explosive handlers but not a lot of people who can use that word “decile” in conversation, much less brain “software”.
We have too many poor people with too many poor children. Until we meet the problem of too many children and too few job opportunities for close to home parents, we are doomed to discuss education in terms of money.
Just my opinion.


Marilyn Steber May 10, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Oops That part about the values of parents in National City vs. those of Poway slipped by me before. I do hope the writer hasn’t followed the precepts of elitists such as some DAR ladies I know who think immigrant parents don’t care about educating their children as much as they do.

I recommend reviewing Maslow’s Needs Hierarchy. Or whatever he called it.


doug porter May 10, 2010 at 2:51 pm

what this fight for funding is ultimately about is the deep seated desire amongst right wing ideologues to privatize government. if they can’t kill a program (like public education, which has deep public support) directly through fear mongering (aliens/sex education/commies in our schools), then the next step is to slowly strangle it through reducing funding or “reform” mandates that render it ineffective.
another factor has been the “tax reform movement”, which changes the state’s revenue landscape. on of the major impacts of Prop 13, for example, has been to shift the burden away from corporations paying their share for government services. (chances are disneyland pays a far lower rate for property taxes than your grandma does for her retirement property.)
there IS a crisis in education that goes beyond the question of funding. the fact is that many of the systems and guidelines that have evolved over the past 50 years have proven to be ineffective. education administrators, teachers unions and even parent groups should realize that they share them blame for these failures and seek to find ways to move past them.
ultimately, best education practices occur in districts/schools with high levels of parental involvement at the local level. so, in one sense you can say that the quality of education is not tied to funding levels. but if the kids & teachers don’t have the tools they need because of funding cuts, all the parental involvement in the world isn’t going to change things.


Shane Finneran May 11, 2010 at 7:49 am

So some wild rumor about one administrator’s purported salary (no evidence provided) means we should cut back on state colleges as a whole? That’s a very Arizona way to make public policy.


Editordude May 11, 2010 at 10:22 am

Shane and others who were responding to Joe Ryan, we had to monitor his comments as they were getting racially biased and even anti-Semitic. We did check his website, and he is an independent candidate for Congress running against Duncan Hunter. His politics are libertarian and Tea Partyish, makes fun of the president’s name, is a capitalist, and just beyond the pale for this blog.

Again, this blog is not a forum for right-wing, racist rants and diatribes as they are plenty of other sites for those views. Yes, we are a community platform and respect divergent opinions, but opinions that go off the chart of respect and civility do not deserve our space.


Shane Finneran May 11, 2010 at 7:59 am

So the video shows an angry Mexican-American man telling a crowd that he thinks the immigration issue is not just about racism against Mexicans, but is linked to broader oppression created by capitalism and imperialism.

I don’t agree with some of the more revolutionary rhetoric the guy uses, but he’s entitled to speak his mind, and I certainly understand why he’s a little upset with the Arizona law. I’m not of Mexican descent, and the Arizona law definitely upsets me!

As for hypocrisy, moving to Europe, et cetera – that kind of ranting doesn’t help win readers to your cause, Joe.


doug porter May 11, 2010 at 1:21 pm

tea partyish? racist? I’m shocked, I tell you, shocked!


RDB May 12, 2010 at 9:05 am

I have sent letters and have phoned my representatives to communicated that I will not vote for any incumbent from either party until school funding is restored. And it seems that the adults here are more involved in defending their political turf then in helping the public schools. When schools are run for the benefit of students rather than for the benefit of adults, they will improve.


Editordude May 13, 2010 at 2:39 pm

To readers who were responding to a commenter named “cat” something – I had to step in and have placed all his comments in moderation as he continues to step over our line of civility. He continues to call immigrants “illegal” and “criminals” for being here illegally. How can a human being be “illegal” or a “criminal” without being convicted of anything. In this country, we have a justice system that is supposed to hold you innocent until proven guilty of a crime. There is no such thing as an “illegal” human being. What somebody does can be illegal, but they themselves are flesh and blood and have a mother who loves them. Once you get away with calling a human “illegal” it allows you then to disparage them in many other ways and allows you to do things to them that are inhumane.


Frank Gormlie May 10, 2010 at 11:04 am

Cat, editor and I have checked your citations – the first was to a right-wing group, the second was to another right-wing editorial that calls undocumented immigrants “criminals” and the third was to an LA Times article, part of which I’m posting:

“In the last few months, he said, nearly a dozen parishioners have told them they plan to return to their homelands because jobs in construction, restaurants and the janitorial trade have dried up here. Others say they are discouraging their relatives from coming here because of the economic slowdown and workplace immigration raids that have snared scores of unauthorized workers.”

As far as book burnings? The only ones I’ve heard about are by white-supremacists and your friend Nazis. Progressives and liberals don’t do book burnings, dude. I think you’re burning your bridges here fast.


Jon May 10, 2010 at 11:34 am

Cato31 never had bridges here to begin with. Good riddance.


Marilyn Steber May 10, 2010 at 11:54 am

We know how poor conservatives are at building bridges, though. Too many dark skinned people would work on them?


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