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Charter Oak to Rally Against Budget Cuts

Educators cite educational concessions and impending cuts as need to act.

Having already made cutbacks and concessions for years, Charter Oak Unified School District has decided to make its voice heard that enough is enough.

On Friday, May 13, a rally will be held in front of Charter Oak High School at 3 p.m. in a show of solidarity in the belief that financial investments in education need to be made at the state government level. The rally will mostly consist of teachers holding signs and passing out information, but the aim is to raise awareness parents picking their children up from school.

In fact, the ‘Friday the 13th’ date is no coincidence, as the idea behind the rally is for the state to “stop bringing bad luck to our schools,” said Charter Oak School Board Member Robert Cruz. While money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has delayed some teacher layoffs for a year, Charter Oak looks to its neighbor Glendora Unified, and the closing of Williams Elementary, for an example of the kind of hard realities it could be facing.

“Any additional hit to our budget would be devastating,” said Cruz, citing an impending potential loss of $349 to $1200 per student. “We’re trying to keep this issue in front of the community.”

The school board’s solution to the issue may not be a popular one, however. With a current one percent California sales tax which directly funds K-12 education set to expire in July, the district would like to see more support for an extension of the tax, as outlined in Governor Jerry Brown’s initial budget proposal. A vehicle licensing fee is also set to expire.

“It’s an ongoing effort with educators and administration,” in dealing with budget cuts, explains district Superintendent Mike Hendricks. “But public education has already done its fair share of reduction.”

For now, the district must take a wait-and-see approach in seeing how Governor Browns attempts to close the state’s budget deficit. However, Beth Smith, president of the Charter Oak Educators Association, gets to take a more proactive route.

“It’s nice to have a network of people who organize around the state,” explains Smith, who also works closely with the California Teachers Association. The rally at Charter Oak High is actually part of a larger effort to raise awareness the week of May 9 throughout the district—and throughout the state—and it’s Smith who often keeps tabs on these other efforts, and organizes support close to home.

The rally is also associated with the ‘Red for Ed’ campaign in the district, which encourages students and faculty to wear red in solidarity against further budget cuts.

Denise B. May 11, 2011 at 06:22 PM
Red- They have lost the support of the public because of the things you have outlined in your post. I would be hard-pressed to support tax extensions so we can give more to public workers - even teachers. They need to do like the private sector and do more with less including cutting salaries, merging districts, closing schools. With declining enrollments we don't need to keep all these administrators. The "Children First" rally is not going to work until we see some serious pension reforms taking place across the board. I was willing to support the Governor with the tax extensions, but the prison guard contract did it for me - 8 weeks of vacation REALLY! Until the teachers unions pushes the other unions to quit sucking up all their money to put "Children First" ... all I can say about their plight is, "Jimmy crack corn and I don't care...." A 3.1 million dollar football stadium REALLY!
David L.Miller May 12, 2011 at 05:13 AM
Anyone out there want to run for school board this November. If so please contact me at dmiller.cca@gmail.com
red May 14, 2011 at 05:47 PM
The stock market rally (2004-2007) filled California and local coffers, but lawmakers decided not to save any of the excess cash. Instead, lawmakers chose to increase K-12 funding to $56 billion from $47 billion. Even as student enrollment decreased, many school districts increased teacher’s salaries and benefits. The reality is more and more tax dollars are being allocated to teacher’s benefits and not to the classroom where our children are!! Sadly, some lawmakers have chosen to take schools hostage in this budget showdown in order to sway parents into these higher taxes, but reality is the money doesn’t even reach our kids! I’m not falling for this charade, nor should you. NO TAX EXTENSIONS!!!!!!!! According to the Wall Street Journal.
Ann Marin May 19, 2011 at 06:43 PM
I agree.. the money they have (and yes, they will have some) needs to be allocated to the classroom, to our students! Our kids always get the short end of the stick and we are tired of it. Art: gone, PE: no PE teachers, Music: forget it!, over 35 kids per class and rising, NO supplies, now they want to lay off some of the best teachers? It's a travesty. Parents should be up in arms about this. Meeting tonight, Thurs May 19 at 6pm Charter Oak Board. District office on Cienega. Tell them what you think.
Annie August 06, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Cousd Board is LIAR sice They contractual superintendente assistance students Services she is who Haití for money,she not retire with a 2000 a month she want more simple solución tris noviembre 2012 VOTE. NO por more money to COUSD Teacher are happy for more HUGE check you look you small check Washington have a arrees Teacher principal don't do anything. She pretend be a nice Teacher but she LIAR,kids are no happy with bad Teacher Of second grade ,six grade strees Teacher liares staff personal, GLENDORA WAKE UP VOTE NO in November They want you paid more money look,They took this money from you tax property USA have a bad economy They want solution them problem from Our property property tax,we need chance all distrct staff and Washington School staff nexo teachers have bad recomendation, from parental and are theta Mrs.Huffman,Mrs.Larson,Mrs.Lamb,Mrs.La Roche,Education Services Robertson,Mrs.Villaverde,Our kids mention to us The staff is very bad,They dais Now They leed more money for improvements? recomendable move this out Teacher never want listen parents They after School ours run home They said eBay? Parents. Keep questions teachers Our kids Came to study They liar. And want more money They false improvements list. They never invest The money on that They liar Robertson is a liar.think you are Rich? Your salary check is for paid your

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