Saturday, March 06, 2010

Calexico union members join in rally denouncing state budget cuts to education

Calexico union members join in rally denouncing state budget cuts to education
By SILVIO J. PANTA, Staff Writer
Imperial Valley Press Online
March 5, 2010

CALEXICO — Members of the Calexico Teachers Association joined scores of educators statewide Thursday to denounce state budget cuts to education.

Wearing yellow “unity” shirts and listening to impassioned speeches about the need to protect education, the CTA members, along with Calexico Unified School District board members Ruben De La Rosa and Gloria Romo, staged their rally behind the Enrique Camarena Memorial Library.

[Maura Larkins comment: Unity is a good thing, but only when it's organized around a good cause. Unity isn't a virtue in itself; after all, one of the best ways to achieve unity is through a dictatorship in which followers are kept ignorant of many essential facts, and intimidated into agreement. (Hmmm. That sounds like the way Jim Groth and Peg Myers run Chula Vista Educators.) Unfortunately, CTA also invokes the need for unity when the cause is to cover up the illegal actions of a group of teachers acting only for their own personal advancement, such as at Castle Park Elemtary in Chula Vista. CTA director Jim Groth has been involved in covering up the teacher actions that led to a $20,000 PTA embezzlement, $100,000s of tax dollars spent on defending teachers, and then a big scandal when the Castle Park Five were transferred out of the school.]

Carmen Durazo, CTA president, said that California is “at a crossroads” for education and said the statewide call asks people to step up and demand that the cuts to education stop.

“It is cutting into the future of our state,” Durazo said.

Last year, 16,000 teachers were laid off statewide, Durazo said. “This year we anticipate another round of layoffs,” Durazo said.

In the past two years, $17 billion was cut from schools and colleges, eliminating art, music and physical education programs in their entirety, according to literature by the California Teachers Association.

Also, 74 percent of school principals surveyed in a University of California, Los Angeles study said they have seen class sizes increase, said Jim Groth, board president of the California Teachers Association.

“California has to reinvest in education,” Groth said.

[Maura Larkins comment: Jim Groth and I are in 100% agreement on this.]

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