Fellow Teachers, Parents, Citizens and California Neighbors,
We have cut our schools to the bone and then into the bone and Prop 30 and the Governor’s budget are not going to do more than stem the bleeding. The bones are still weak and have been weak since Californians passed Prop 13 thirty-five years ago (almost to the day). From overcrowded kindergarten classes to overpriced university classes, we are paying for our financial mistakes with the miseducation of an entire generation, the decimation of our schools, our libraries and our cities.
One field trip could change all that. Enough with the cutting of librarians, arts in the schools, music programs. Enough with overworked, underpaid teachers, and classroom conditions which do not and will not foster the critical thinking and innovation we need to save our economy and environment! Mark your calendars:
Let’s takeover Sacramento on Friday the 13th, 9/13/13, and demand the reform of Proposition 13!
Here’s an efficient synopsis from a site called Close the Loophole on how we got in this mess, where our per-pupil spending is consistently 48th or worse in the nation:
“Thirty-three years ago, California passed Prop 13 – and it still dominates our political and fiscal realities today. Of course, the right-wing Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association took advantage of an opening – escalating property taxes that were threatening the homes of seniors, gridlock in Sacramento and an ascendant conservative movement that elected Ronald Reagan two years later. At a different time, they may not have been successful.
“But they were also crafty enough to go for a comprehensive measure whose impacts were not suddenly apparent – and would permanently starve the public sector. Beyond giving Grandma peace of mind that her property taxes are locked in place, Prop 13’s real impact was a huge windfall for commercial properties. Billions of potential tax revenue gets lost every year in California, because big commercial landlords pay 1% of their 1978 value.” (http://closetheloophole.com/taxing-the-1)
Even the most hopeful articles printed in the papers recently are riddled with the word “maybe.” Five days ago, the San Francisco Chronicle reported a poll that a majority of Californians supporting closing this loophole and yet take a look at the language of analysis:
“This is a change that may find its way to the ballot in the next few years…”
Go find a teacher and ask them, “How’s it going? Everything good at work?” Ask them if they want to wait a few years to see if some change finds its way into the schools?
Why are we even able to talk about this now? Bodies on the street. Say what you will about the Occupy movement, it allowed us, at least briefly, to talk about class again, about the 1%. How we are going to get past just talking about change now?
Bodies on the street, demanding we invest in education and in children.
Let’s stop talking about how California’s schools used to be great and do something about it on Friday the 13th, 9/9/13. The time is now to change the future.