Twenty-four area teachers gathered Wednesday to make over 1,200 calls to residents to discuss voting “yes” on Proposition 30 and Proposition Y, and “no” on Proposition 32.
Between now and Election Day on Nov. 6, teachers will man the phones and park off campus with car-window signs, reminding parents to vote with the students’ best interests in mind.
“From (Wednesday) night’s phone bank, the biggest concern we’re hearing from families is the shorter school year if Proposition 30 doesn’t pass. How can we have higher achievement levels in the country if we keep cutting days for class?” said Chris Lindberg, President of the Temecula Valley Educators Association.
Teachers remain concerned about months of lost salary if Proposition 30 does not pass.
“We’ve been trying to keep people informed on the meaning of these propositions, and what it will mean to the local schools if these measures are defeated,” said Lindberg.
“Last week, Proposition 30 was polled at approximately 49.5 percent and it moved the teachers to believe a little extra work educating voters on how passing Proposition 30 will aid all of our schools (from elementary to community colleges) could go a long way,” Lindberg said.
According to Lindberg, should Proposition 30 not pass, it would devastate public education.
“There will be over $6 billion in trigger cuts to public education immediately, a shorter school year—less instruction time for students—and lower budgets for schools over the next four years, indicating inevitable layoffs, and larger class sizes.”
As for community colleges, a “yes” on Proposition 30 will ultimately assist students to move through faster, and enter the workforce at a greater rate by providing more classroom instruction, and classes, Lindberg said, adding, “Our state has one-quarter of the community college students in the country. If Proposition 30 fails to pass, even more community college students will be wait-listed for classes, and it will take them up to six to eight years to graduate. Not to choose a measure that moves kids to enter the work force is irresponsible.”
The teacher’s phone bank educated the masses on Proposition 32, and why a “no” vote is essential.
“Proposition 32 would take the voice of the unionized organizations out of the campaigning sphere,” Lindberg said. “All advertisements, flyers, and information would come from the wealthy donors and super PACs, and the voices of educators, health care workers, public safety officers, and firefighters would be effectively silenced.”
The word against Proposition 32 is the cautionary tale seen by states that have passed similar initiatives, most recently seen in Wisconsin, now moving to California.
“When legislators don’t hear from the unions, the portion of the funds used for political advocacy, it can only be detrimental to teachers in the classroom … Teachers are dedicated professionals who go way beyond what needs to be done, with dedication to their students that exceeds the classroom. Their voices need to be heard.”
As for Measure Y, Lindberg said: “Measure Y will bring in $165 million over time for much needed repairs, updates and technology to area schools that will help keep our district up to pace. This measure is only for facilities maintenance, to keep our kids safer, and our schools better equipped. The average family will only pay roughly $2 a month to pass this measure. Our kids are worth it.”
For more information on Measure Y, visit the Temecula Valley School District website.
Ashley Ludwig is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.