52.2 F
Davis

Davis, California

Monday, May 20, 2024

Teachers push for tax extensions

Last week marked the State of Emergency Week of Action, led by the California Teacher’s Association (CTA). Teachers, students, parents and other educators protested at the Capitol in support of Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed tax extensions, which they believe will keep further cuts away from schools and public services.

The 325,000 members of the CTA served as the driving force of the actions that took place throughout the week in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Bernardino and San Diego, as well as Sacramento.

According to Sandra Jackson, spokesperson for the CTA, a group of policymaking teachers and educators met in March and came up with the state of emergency campaign.

“They thought we should declare a state of emergency to bring attention to the public to try to pressure the legislators to pass the tax extensions, since they had already passed $12 billion cuts for the budget, but they did not do the other part of what the governor was proposing in his budget, which was $12 billion in temporary tax extensions,” Jackson said.

Brown’s extensions would apply to income, sales and vehicle taxes. A bulk of the CTA protests were fueled by state Republicans’ opposition to these tax extensions.

“Facing a $15.4 billion deficit, we are under no illusion that crafting a balanced budget is an easy task by any stretch of the imagination,” said Rep. Connie Conway (R-Tulare), in a press release.

“But the news that California has taken in $2.5 billion in unanticipated tax revenue in the past four months shows that we can balance the budget and protect the priorities of working families, like education and public safety, without raising taxes on overburdened Californians,” Conway said.

CTA President David A. Sanchez said he feels that the $14.5 billion deficit could not be removed by the $2.5 billion in unexpected, one-time revenues.

“Educators, parents and community leaders are fighting back against state budget cuts that are decimating our schools, public safety and health care services,” Sanchez said in a press release. “To protect essential public services, the legislature must finish the job of resolving the state budget crisis by extending current tax rates legislatively. Time is running out for our students and our communities.”

Various events took place statewide throughout the week, including teach-ins, grade-ins, sit-ins, rallies and protests, all in the effort to push legislators to pass Brown’s proposed tax extensions. According to Jackson, while CTA members were meeting with legislators in the capitol, teachers and parents were going to legislative offices in their own communities to rally support.

“Rallies were to call attention to the fact that something needs to be done and it is not business as usual, and that our state is in a state of emergency,” Jackson said.

At a rally on May 9, about 65 protestors were arrested for misdemeanor trespassing after being warned to leave the Sacramento Capitol rotunda after it closed at 6 p.m.

On Thursday evening, Sanchez, as well as 26 other educators, were arrested by the California Highway Patrol for refusing to leave the offices of Rep. Bob Dutton (R- Rancho Cucamonga) and Rep. Conway.

“Today, I took a stand for the millions of California students who are being robbed of their future,” Sanchez said. “I refused to step aside while California’s public schools and colleges go without the vital resources they need.”

“Our schools and colleges have been cut $20 billion in the past three years, and without action by California lawmakers, will endure another $4.1 billion in cuts next year,” he said. “Enough is enough. Our students deserve better and our state can do better.”

ANNABEL SANDHU can be reached at city@theaggie.org.

1 COMMENT

  1. Profound cuts in University of California funding and operating costs prevent tuition increases. As Californians face foreclosure, unemployment & depressed wages it’s about time that the timid UC Board of Regents & President showed some leadership by curbing UC costs, particularly wages & benefits. The UC system is not untouchable. As a Californian, I don’t care what others earn at private & public universities. If the wages are better elsewhere, UCOP, chancellors, vice chancellors, tenured & non tenured faculty should apply for the positions. If wages keep UC paid employees committed to UC, leave for the better paying job. Talented, ambitious employees will be promoted to the vacancies. The sky will not fall at UC. California suffers from the worst deficit in modern times. UC wages & benefits must reflect California’s ability to pay, not what others are paid. UCOP, campus chancellors, vice chancellors, tenured & non-tenured faculty are replaceable by like or more talented individuals.

    What we do to curb tuition increases:

    18 percent reduction in UCOP salaries & $50 million cut.

    18 percent prune of campus chancellors’, vice chancellors’ salaries.

    15 percent trim of tenured faculty salaries, increased teaching load

    10 percent decrease in non-tenured faculty salaries, as well as increase research, teaching load

    100% elimination of all Academic Senate costs, wages.

    A rose bush blooms after pruning.

    The UC Board of Regents can show leadership by bridging the trust gap with the public by offering reassurances that UC salaries reflect the depressed wages of California. Everyone is replaceable at the UC system. The sky has not, & will not fall. Californians are reasonable people. Levy no new taxes until an approved balanced budget: let the Governor & Legislature make the tough-minded (not cold hearted) decisions of elected leadership. Then come to the public for specified, continuing or new taxes. Thanking you in advance for your partnership & for standing up for all Californians & University of California system.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here