Saturday, January 31, 2009

Protest budget cuts

The below letter is from the United Educators of San Francisco:

Hi all,

We'd very much appreciate it if you can help promote our rally against the
proposed state education budget cuts, which will take place next Tuesday,
February 3rd at 4:00 p.m. at SF City Hall.

The Governor is trying to force $10.8 billion in additional education cuts
over the next 18 months, and is attempting to gut Proposition 98, the
state's minimum education funding law. If such a cut were to go through it
could lead to tens-of-thousands of layoffs throughout the state, and
dramatic increases in class size. The rally is intended to send a message
that these cuts are not only unacceptable, but immoral.

I've attached a PDF of a quarter-sheet flyer that we have been using at our
schools and have been giving to parents. Feel free to use or modify it.

We're also running a petition campaign addressed to the 'Big 5' in
Sacramento, the Governor and the leaders of both political parties in the
Senate and Assembly. The petitions are out in every SF school, and we've
gotten a great response. You can check out the petition here:

If anyone from your organizations would like to speak at the rally, we would
gladly carve out some time for you at the podium. We're asking speakers to
arrive promptly at 4:00 p.m. If you or one of your representatives would
like to speak please let me know as soon as possible.

Also, please let me know of any activities that your organizations have
undertaken. We'd be happy to promote them as well.

Thanks for your time,

Matthew Hardy
Communications Director
United Educators of San Francisco
415 956-8373


  1. Guess what?

    I am willing to bet that there will be more people at the rally to stop American Apparrel from opening a store on Valencia street than the amount of people that will attend this important rally.

    As someone who has been active in promoting safety in all SF neighborhoods, I am completely amazed at where parents choose to allocate their activism in this city.

    Good luck!

  2. Sorry - the above should have read "American Apparel"

  3. Thank you for posting this. I'm a relatively new SFUSD teacher, and as it stands I've got a pink slip coming March 15. Don't think that the money for education in the federal stimulus package will keep teachers from getting laid off (if it passes), it is not for teacher salaries. From

    "The district would directly receive nearly $42 million over the next two years under the stimulus plan being voted on in the House. But the money is earmarked for special education, school construction and schools with low-income children.

    "We're still going to have to put out layoff notices," said Superintendent Carlos Garcia, noting that the state's legal deadline for mailing out such notices each year is March 15. The notices can be rescinded later if the fiscal picture improves. But Garcia said that as of now, with no state budget and no certainty in how any incoming money might be spent, the notices are going out."

    This is going to touch every school in this district, and in every district in CA. Please join us on Tuesday!

  4. I'm worried that this focus on federal education funding is obscuring the big funding source: the state. California's been underfunding schools for years, and the inability of the state Republicans to face reality and agree to any tax cuts is lunatic.

    I do hope that the stimulus plan comes to the states in such a way that some money can help teachers keep their jobs, but it's California that's got to come to terms with what our schools need.

  5. Hi all

    i'm a student at UC Berkeley and an education reporter for, was wondering if there was a SFUSD teacher out there or a p.o'd parent who was wiling to be interviewed about the budget cuts and the upcoming rally.

    thanks guys


  6. Allison, there are tons of people reading this blog, but its core audience is parents looking at schools. You'll probably find more teachers on the sfschools listserve,

  7. To the teacher who posted on Feb 1, 8:02am:
    You might start by making sure that the teachers you know that are less tenured really get heard by your union leadership, whose focus, leadership and advocacy pretty exclusively is zeroed in on 'senior' teachers. In yet another budget crisis year, it pains me to see some of our best and brightest get pink slipped regardless of talent or accomplishment, while some of the dead wood hangs on. The fact is that 'newer' teachers tend not to vote or let their voices be heard among their union leadership - and as a result you are left out in the cold. Be sure and be active in your union and make sure that they are looking out for you!

  8. can anyone report back about the protest yesterday?

  9. 10:24 - It isn't the union's choice, and in any case they are well aware of the pain these layoff notices cause. Believe me, I went through the whole process with them last year. I don't even blame the district so much at this point - with no state budget the options simply aren't there.

  10. 10:24 here again:
    I know it isn't the union's choice (and I've been through it with them last year and many years before) but the reality is: they fight for senior teachers over junior teachers. They even wanted Prop A last year to focus on raises for senior teachers over junior before that got nowhere (thanks, in part, to parents BTW)

    It's the unfortunate reality of 'last-century' unions: seniority trumps all.

    However, note that in some school districts with more progressive (not in the SF sense) unions the unions are actually leading the way to moving away from seniority as the basis for keeping them on and finding ways to reward and keep quality teachers. It's happening - just not here so much here, yet anyway

  11. oh please, a blog "about" the Mission run by berkeley students... How ridiculous.

    Let's just say this web property is a little biased and politically self-serving. I wouldn't call its reporting "journalism".