Teachers at Lake Elsinore’s Earl Warren Elementary took to the streets after school Wednesday waving signs and passing out flyers.
The organized rally formed to educate parents and public on two initiatives placed on the November ballot.
With signs that read “Yes on 30” and “Kids are number one,” close to 20 educators marched around the school letting parents know where they stand on ballot initiatives 30 and 32.
“We are supporting Proposition 30, and are against Prop. 32,” said Bill Cavanaugh, president of the Lake Elsinore Teacher Association. “We want parents to be informed on how we hope they will vote come November.”
Proposition 30 is a proposed tax hike that Gov. Jerry Brown has reported as saying is the state’s best hope for salvaging its cash-strapped education system.
If passed the constitutional amendment would generate an estimated $6 billion annually for the next seven years on wages of more than $250,000. It also would raise the sales tax by a quarter percent for four years.
“The average middle class family will only see an increase in taxes of $40 a year,” said Cavanaugh. Cavanaugh said he was told at the last school board meeting if Prop. 30 does not pass schools will have 15 furlough days next year and laying off 60 teachers.
Sandy Smolinski a speech therapist at Earl Warren Elementary said, “Spending $40 more a year in taxes is a small price to pay for restoring a complete school year and having smaller class sizes.”
Smolinski admits voting yes on Proposition 30 will not guarantee smaller class sizes but thinks it is the best chance they have.
“I am out here making sure parents are clear on where we stand on these issues,” said Smolinksi.
Proposition 32 also known as the “paycheck protection initiative if approved will ban both corporate and union contributions to state and local candidates, ban contributions by government contractors to the politicians who control contracts awarded to them and ban automatic deductions by corporations, unions, and government of employees’ wages to be used for politics.
“Proposition 32 is deceptive,” said Cavanaugh. “Teachers can already opt out to have due fees given to political candidates.”
With horns honking and parents welcoming the information being passed out, first grade teacher Teresa Garcia was energized waving her signs.
“My approach is we are in this for the kids,” said Garcia. “We need smaller class sizes.”
Cavanaugh said teachers would be holding more rallies on October and a phone bank to educate voters.
Michelle Mears-Gerst is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.