Imperial Valley locals to attend California State of Emergency rallies
Students walk to the cafeteria Monday at Imperial Valley College, past a poster calling for support of funding for education. (Joselito Villero)
This week the California Teachers Association, the largest teachers’ association in the state at 325,000 members, is launching a series of activities in its LEARN campaign, according to CTA’s California Educator magazine.
LEARN stands for events that include Legislative activities, reaching out to Every parent, Appreciating educators and allies on Wednesday (Day of the Teacher), promoting Revenue extensions and tax fairness, and Not business as usual on a day of regional rallies Friday.
“I think our main goal is to give the sense of urgency to the budget cuts to the citizens of California so that they will understand that we really are now in a state of emergency,” said Bill Guy, CTA communications consultant for region four (including Imperial County).
“California has had budget cuts so many years it’s almost like people are getting used to it but what they don’t realize is that we’re really getting down to the point where it’s going to be extremely difficult to provide the level of education that we’re expected to,” Guy said.
“(Monday) was the kickoff of the state of emergency and there were more than 300 current teachers and retired teachers, counselors and librarians to kick off the week,” said Jim Groth, CTA board member, Imperial County representative and Chula Vista teacher, on Monday on his way out of Sacramento.
Groth said CTA representatives met at the state Capitol for interfaith prayer services and a march around to the Capitol building.
“We broke off and had teams of teachers go to the legislative offices and talk to them about passing the next fiscal budget for our students,” he said.
“The Legislature has the authority to extend the taxes that are going to expire June 30,” Groth said.
“It’s going to take two Republicans in the Assembly and two Republicans in the Senate to meet the two-thirds requirement to pass a budget that would include the tax extensions,” he said.
“The issues remain very separated by party lines,” he said. “We’re asking Republicans to do the right thing for the students of California and pass a budget including the tax extensions.”
“What we hope to do is bring awareness of this issue (of budget cuts),” said local CTA chapter president Gaylla Finnell. “During this week, CTA’s hope is that people will contact their representatives and let them know to not cut education.
“We need to take action and put pressure on our representatives,” Finnell said.
Though Imperial County Teachers’ UniServ staff couldn’t comment on exactly who will be attending, UniServ did say two busloads are expected to attend a state of emergency rally Friday in San Diego with others traveling on their own. About 125 to 150 teachers, students and others from Imperial County expect to be in attendance.
Groth also said some school board members from Imperial County will attend Friday’s rally in Sacramento.
For more information on the rallies visit www.castateofemergency.com
Staff Writer Roman Flores can be reached at 760-337-3439 or firstname.lastname@example.org