As part of a statewide call to action, educators, parents and students from school districts in Murrieta, Temecula, Lake Elsinore and Menifee will hold a "Pep Rally for Schools" at 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 17, in the football stadium at Temecula Valley High School.
The community is invited to participate as a show of support for local schools.
The Temecula event is part of a California call to action known as “State of Emergency,” coordinated by a broad coalition of state education and labor groups, with educators, students and parents participating in a series of bold actions May 9-13.
Statewide activities include a sit-in at the State Capitol building in Sacramento and several regional rallies calling for a state budget that protect schools, colleges and public services from additional cuts.
This local demonstration is being called to publicize the local impacts of more than $18 billion in State budget education funding cuts during the last three years, said Barb Burkett of the Temecula Valley Council PTA (TVC PTA), which is coordinating the rally alongside the Temecula Valley Educators Association (TVEA).
“Unless California’s citizens, especially taxpayers, rise up and tell the legislature, ‘Enough is enough! No more cuts!’ we are looking at an additional $4 billion in cuts this year,” said incoming TVEA President Chris Lindberg.
Class sizes are increasing; music, art and sports programs being eliminated; and computer labs, libraries and schools are being shut down, the California Teachers Association stated in a report.
"As the Governor and the Legislature struggle with ways to close the state budget deficit, education is being further threatened. According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, an “all-cuts” budget could mean the loss of an additional $4.1 billion in K-12 funding, or $695 per student...The Legislature must act NOW to prevent this all-cuts scenario from becoming reality," according to the report released Tuesday.
For the Murrieta Valley Unified School District, it would mean an additional loss of $14,5 million.
There were fewer days in the Murrieta Valley Unified School District this year to accommodate teacher and staff furlough days. The school year will remain shorter through next year.
“California has the eighth-largest economy in the world, but it ranks 43rd in per-pupil spending, and it continues to shortchange our students of the education they need and deserve,” Lindberg said.
“This is not the California we want for our students, our families and our future. That’s why we’re working with our local PTAs, parents, school staff, school boards and administration to pressure legislators to finish their jobs and pass the revenue extensions.”
"We are pleased to join forces with local educators to rally parents to show their support for education,” said Kathy Fink, incoming president, TVC PTA. “We know after-school time is tight, and we want this event to be upbeat, family-friendly, and a celebration of all that public education should be offering California students.
"There will be student performances, a marching band and cheerleaders to add plenty of school spirit, and we’ll do our best to get folks in and out in an hour. We hope parents at every level--elementary, middle, high school and college--will take a moment to demonstrate the importance they place on education in California.
"Now, more than ever, our voices are needed to speak up and let our elected officials know that cuts hurt kids. We need legislators to put education first and practice fiscal responsibility for students and for our State’s future,” Fink continued.
The Temecula Valley Educators Association, Murrieta Teachers Association, Lake Elsinore Teachers Association and Menifee Teachers Association are affiliated with the 325,000-member California Teachers Association and the 3.2 million-member National Education Association.
For more information about the statewide events, go to Castateofemergency.com.