THIS JUST IN: MAYOR NEWSOM WILL BE PARTICIPATING IN THE PANEL
Details: Thursday, February 25, 2010; 6:30-8:30
Marina Middle School, 3500 Fillmore St., SF, 94123
In response to the $113 million budget cut announced by San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), outraged parents are taking action to save their schools. “We felt we had no choice, we had to do something” says Holly Carver, one of the six moms who started the project and a leading member of the planning committee for the town hall event: Public Education – Funding Our Future. “We expect over 1,000 parents, from 75 different schools, representing all of San Francisco from the Bayview to the outer Sunset to the Presidio. It will be standing room only in the Marina Middle School auditorium” says Carver. “This is the beginning of parent involvement in SF like you have never seen before.”
The moms are forming an advocacy group to give voice to the needs of children in public education in San Francisco. “We were shocked at how quickly this went from an idea to a full fledge movement. Parents are passionately looking for leadership and organization” says Cece Kaufman, another member of the planning committee.
On Thursday, February 25th state and local politicians, leading education thinkers and members of the community will be joined by thousands of parents to “look for solutions to the massive budget gap facing our school district over the next two years” says parent Michelle Parker. Moderating the two hour panel discussion and Q&A session is Michael Krasny, from KQED’s award winning show ‘Forum.’ The event panelists include:
· Mark Leno and Leland Yee, California State Senators
· Tom Ammiano and Fiona Ma, California State Assembly Members
· David Chiu, President, SF Board of Supervisors
· Jane Kim, President, SF Board of Education
· Carlos Garcia, Superintendent of Schools, SFUSD
“We are talking about cuts of $1,300 per SFUSD student,” says parent Crystal Brown. “This isn’t something we can make up by organizing yet another bake sale fundraiser.” Carlos Garcia, SFUSD Superintendent of Schools, has described the cuts as “even greater than those experienced during the Great Depression.” Outlined cuts include: laying off hundreds of teachers, increasing class sizes to 30, eliminating summer school and more.
“The goal of the meeting is to give parents a voice and look for solutions,” says parent Linda Shaffer. “At one time California was an education leader, now we are 47th in per pupil spending in the United States – and threaten to be last in per pupil spending after this round of budget cuts.”
“In the short term we are looking for ways to bridge the funding gap”, says parent Erica Hunt. “Long-term we need to address the way Sacramento funds education, period. The system is broken and needs to be fixed.”
Included in the conversation will be special guests: Terry Bergeson, Executive Director of the SF School Alliance, Dennis Kelly, President of the United Educators of SF, Jim Lazarus, SF Chamber of Commerce, Debbie Look, State Legislative Director of the California PTA and Mary Perry, Deputy Director, Ed Source.