I got a phone call tonight from LAUSD Superintendant David Brewer urging me not to participate in tomorrow's UTLA-(United Teachers Los Angeles) sponsored job action. Did you get it too? It went out to every parent in the district.
For the first hour of the instructional day tomorrow (Friday, June 6th) teachers and parents district-wide will picket in front of their respective LAUSD schools in protest of the massive budget cuts to education currently before the state legislature. Mr Brewer explained in a warm, condescending tone that while the LAUSD was certainly in agreement with teachers about budget cuts, this action will only hurt the governor and the legislature, and of course, our children. Which is hilarious. You KNOW Arnold's kids are in private school. And as for our kids? Well, not having teachers at all is what will hurt them far more than missing an hour of school. Sitting in airless, overcrowded trailers next year trying not to get left behind while yacht owners sail off into the tax free sunset is really going to hurt.
Us mommies are mad. We have baked and fund-raised, sold magazines and clocked in endless unpaid hours at our children's schools trying make up for previous budget cuts that have left us without teacher's aides, arts programs, working computers, you name it. We have labored beside these teachers collating handout pages and collecting money for field trips, serving snacks and writing grants and they have become our friends and collaborators. These are the people (not Brewer, nor Schwartzenegger) who are helping us to rear our children into informed, responsible citizens. Citizens who hopefully will have learned by our example that sometimes you have to stand up for what you believe in and do what is right, no matter what the cost or inconvenience.
And if tomorrow's action isn't enough for you, then please join us in Sacramento on June 17th for the California Children's Rally Led by artist, activist and "Mother on Fire" Sandra Tsing Loh, this will be an historic event. Thousands of pissed-off moms, put-upon dads and their underserved children will converge on the capitol steps to protest these draconian cuts. But you won't hear adults making speeches. Instead the children will square dance and tell jokes, they will dress up and sing gold mining songs and construct a giant elephant out of trash. Together we will celebrate the creativity, brilliance and vast potential of California's public school children that is being jeopardized by these cuts. We will kick off the hootenanny tomorrow by standing shoulder to shoulder with our teachers, who are sacrificing an hour of well-deserved pay to fight for their future, the future of our children and the future of California itself.
See you on the picket line!