On April 18, in response to Right to Learn‘s call to action, California students all over the state organized days of action at their schools to protest the enormous budget cuts slated for public schools next year. This is an issue that affects students of all ages, and our kindergarten class took action to send the message that school matters! After discussing the important services that governmental money is needed to support, each student chose their favorite thing about school – popular choices were teachers, books, the library, and science supplies. They made signs or hats with drawings of that favorite thing and wrote messages like “Necesitamos nuestros maestros/We need our teachers!” and “Las escuelas de CA van a perder $4,400,000,000/CA schools will lose $4,400,000,000!”
Finally, we marched around the entire school with instruments and signs, yelling “Save our teachers!” There was, of course, lots of support from the faculty and staff we passed by, and plenty of older students jumped into the march and wanted to discuss what was going on afterwards.
Even kindergarteners understand that it’s impossible to provide an adequate education with inadequate funding, Mr. Schwarzenegger. When rates are adjusted for regional cost differences, California is already ranked 46th-47th in the nation for per student spending, investing almost $2,000 less than the national average per child per year. The proposed budget cuts are equivalent to cutting $24,000 from every classroom in the state or laying off almost 110,000 teachers. We want to make an unequivocal statement:
The education and safety of our children is a cost that we can’t afford.
Please read articles (a few links below), write letters to government officials, and talk to friends and co-workers about what is happening. There has to be a way to stop this.
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