Facing budget cuts, the California Teacher’s Association has declared a “State of Emergency” and is planning statewide actions during the week of May 9th. UnionWatch has obtained links to documents being used to prepare CTA members, such as this “State of Emergency Plan” approved by their leadership council. Here is an excerpt from this plan:
“May 9-13, 2011, will be a week of escalating action ending in a bold statewide unifying activity. The entire week of action will involve a broad coalition of the Education Coalition (including California State PTA, California School Boards Association, School Administrators, School Employees, SEIU, County Offices and County Administrators, School Business Officials and Superintendent of Public Instruction), parents, all other labor unions, and faith and community groups. The week begins and ends with a group of educators (with others invited to join) taking over the State Capitol.” (boldface type in original, not added)
Bearing in mind that the average teacher in California works 180 days per year, compared to an average of 240 working days in private industry, yet makes, on average $68,000 per year (ref. Sac Bee “See how well your school district pays its teachers”), and bearing in mind that a teacher in California can retire after 30 years and collect a pension equal to 75% of they had made when working – shouldn’t one wonder why we don’t simply lower the pay and benefits received by teachers in order to balance the budget? Of course not…
When observing the CTA’s protests and other “educational” campaigns set to begin sometime next month, never forget that it is taxpayer’s money that is funding these massive, professionally orchestrated activities. Here are some of the actions planned by the CTA, as revealed in their planning document “State Council Ideas for Potential Activities:”
- Set up phone banks to call legislators and flood their e-mail inboxes.
- Target the businesses of legislators in their home districts.
- Student letter drives to representatives, including students telling their own personal experiences with teachers and their schools.
- Circle the offices of “problem legislators.” Target them with various actions.
- Picket/rally in front of legislators’ offices/homes.
- Follow targeted legislators for the entire day.
- Work with SCTA and other student organizations to set-up voter registration tables on campus.
- Hold “fax the legislator” events where college students, faculty and staff sign faxes to the targeted legislators and fax them hourly.
- Phone calls and letters home to parents. Hand out information to parents and the community by walking neighborhoods around school sites after school.
- Have students and parents do informational picketing for one hour outside their school site.
- Have parents and students camp in front of schools all night.
- Have voter registration forms available for parents during parent- teacher conferences.
- Partner with PTA, other parent and community groups to thank educators.
- Have one-on-one meetings with college students to bring in a younger demographic and get them involved.
- Have public employees line the main streets of community to show the pivotal role public employees play in communities.
- Create “SWAT Squads” to go out into the neighborhood to leaflet homes with information about the impact of the cuts and the week of action.
- Picket corporations that don’t pay taxes
- Publish a list of companies that are not paying their fair share of taxes. Send letters to these companies and the media and picket their offices. Withdraw funds from banks that are not paying their fair share
- One-day boycott of Microsoft and other corporations that are pushing failed education reform efforts.
- Hold “lunch-ins” on campus, so that students and faculty do not buy lunch on-campus
- 300 volunteers take over the State Capitol May 9-13 to demonstrate the need for immediate action as the state budget cuts are destroying our schools and communities.
- Attempt to close a major artery into town/cities
- Encourage mass participation of all college students at CTA rallies local to them. Wear gray and educate public about the death of higher education by sharing stories and them
- Encourage college students to wear gray for the entire week – especially during finals week to mark the slow death of higher education
- Flash Mobs” at strategic community locations
- Sleep-Ins at libraries to show that they are closing early
- Informational picket lines before or after school and on college campuses
- “Tent City” at Chancellor’s/President’s homes and/or offices
Notice how all of these “actions” will occur during the time of year when students are supposed to be focusing on finishing their academic studies and taking their final exams. Instead, parents and teachers are going to be dragged into a political campaign that includes acts of civil disobedience, and harassment of legislators and businesses.
If educators in California, as represented by the CTA, were serious about fixing California’s schools, there are plenty of options. Along with cuts to their pay and benefits, they might enact reforms to enable firing of incompetent teachers. They could increase the ratio of classroom teachers by eliminating layers of administrative bureaucracy. They could stop supporting policies that require schools to “mainstream” learning disabled and disruptive students, which is the primary reason large class sizes are problematic. And they could embrace competition in education by ending their war against charter schools.
As it is, the CTA is merely flexing their muscles with these actions planned for next month. They have exercised nearly absolute power over California’s state legislature and local school boards for decades because of their massive political spending, and their ability to use the educational infrastructure to “educate” parents and students with their self-serving propaganda. All of it paid for by taxpayers.