All Avenues

PhotobucketBeyond the tragic news of Arnold and Maria’s possible breakup, there was a bunch of actual news here in the state.  Robert mentioned the CTA protests in Sacramento yesterday, but those weren’t the only ones.  Teachers (and others) have been activating across the state.  Beyond the scene in Sacramento, where a big group of protesters were arrested by CHP, the anger trickled down to specific local politicians.

Dozens of teachers marched outside state Sen. Tony Strickland’s Simi Valley office Monday, saying their students deserve a better future.

Deep state cuts in recent years have prompted local school districts to cut hundreds of positions, increase class sizes and shorten the school year.

“We’ve cut counseling and increased class sizes. We’ve reduced summer school and library hours. Our students are receiving less instruction and less support,” said Colleen Briner-Schmidt, president of the Unified Association of Conejo Teachers. “Our students deserve a better future.”(Ventura County Star)

And in Orange County:

Nearly 300 educators, parents, students and rallied on Monday outside the Orange County offices of state Assemblyman Chris Norby, R-Fullerton to support proposed tax extensions they said will prevent billions in cuts to public schools.

Clad in red and black, the demonstrators held signs reading “Save our schools,” “Stand up for schools – support tax extensions” and “Budget cuts to schools are killing the American dream” as motorists passing along Harbor Boulevard honked horns to show their support.(OC Register)

This is by no mean sufficient to change the tide in the state.  We still need a lot of work before we can really change the narrative in the state.  But this is how we do it.  Go to the offices of these intransigent legislators and let them know what these cuts are doing to the state.  And more importantly, mostly because many of these legislators hear lobbyists dollars far louder than their constituents, make sure that the story is picked up by the media.

And the California Teachers Association and their allies are doing a pretty good job at getting the attention of the media.  Whether the state is listening is a better question.  However, given the nature of this problem, we need to be using every possible avenue.  Big protests like this, and small conversations with your neighbors.

This budget is simply not going to resolve itself, no matter how much wishful thinking we engage in.