California Educator

MARCH 2011

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it to the June ballot, SCTA Presi- dent Linda Tuttle observed, the district “would only need to cut $6 million to $9 million,” an amount she still considers “ridic- ulous,” although bearable. Fresno After receiving 257 layoff no- tices, members of the Fresno Teachers Association took their pink slip protest directly to the school board on March 9. FTA members filled the board room and tumbled out to the streets, where they shouted “Yes we can!” and waved signs that read, “Sup- port kids, support teachers.” The Fresno Unified School District also proposes cutting 73 temporary teachers, as well as cutting teachers’ salaries 5 percent. Among the programs that would be cut are home eco- nomics and voc at iona l education programs. “These are not fluff classes or hobby classes — these are life skills classes,” Mary Jo Stott, a Fresno High School home eco- nomics teacher, told the school board. As it is, the proposed cuts address just $53.8 million of the anticipated $71 million shortfall. Pomona Members of Associated Pomona Teachers in Los Ange- les County — who are facing another massive round of layoff notices in a district whose Adult and Career Education and its Child Development programs are in danger of being gutted — organized a “Code Red: Stand Up for Public Ed!” rally on March 15. Hundreds lined the street in front of district head- quarters urging passersby to contact lawmakers and press RIGHT: At a news conference packed with Bay Area media, New Haven Unified kindergarten teacher Quyen Tran de- scribes the stress of getting a pink slip while being six months pregnant. them to protect education fund- ing by placing the governor’s proposed tax exten- sions on the ballot. APT President Tyra Weis spoke to the crowd about the un- fair California tax system, which has led to the state slipping nearly to the bottom of the nation in per- pupil funding. APT was joined in the rally by parents, district clas- sified staff and administrators, school board members, CTA lo- cal leaders from nearby Clare- mont and Chaffee, and local com- munity activists, including repre- sentatives from Los Angeles Members of United Teachers Los Angeles, in the nation’s sec- ond-largest school district, held an 8:30 a.m. press conference March 15 outside the offices of the Los Angeles Unified School District to decry massive cuts 34 California Educator | MARCH 2011 Photo by Marc Sternberger

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