Posted by: march4thswhswalkout | January 23, 2010

SWHS Walk-Out to Protest the Budget Cuts

March 4th at 9:10 am, walk-out of SWHS

As people throughout the country struggle under the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, public education from pre-K to higher and adult education is threatened by budget cuts, layoffs, privatization, tuition and fee increases, and other attacks.

Washington State has the MOST REGRESSIVE tax structure of any state in the U.S. according to The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy ITEP (read more in the ‘Who Pays?‘ link). This means that the poor pay a higher percentage of their income relative to the rich in taxes, than in any other state in America.

Budget cuts degrade the quality of public education by decreasing student services and increasing class size, while tuition hikes and layoffs force the cost of the recession onto students and teachers and off of the financial institutions that caused the recession in the first place.

The 2009-2011 WA state operating budget sliced approximately $1.5 billion in K-12 funding and another $500 million from Higher Education Even before these cuts, Washington ranked 45th in the nation in per-pupil investment.

Public schools across the state are laying off teachers, classroom aides and librarians, and they are eliminating entire programs, including art, music and sports. Governor Gregoire’s proposed supplemental budget includes another $408 million in K-12 cuts and will put our schools, our students and our state even further behind. The proposed cuts will result in overcrowded classrooms, the elimination of all-day kindergarten, the loss of 3,000 teaching jobs and cuts in vital student programs.

And these listed items are just cuts that threaten K-12 education. This does not include Higher Education, Basic Health, and other social services that are being slashed by this budget proposal.

Cuts to South Whidbey Public Schools

Submitted by ‘Rebuilding Our Economic Future

Initiative 728 voter-approved funding to reduce classroom over-crowding -$142,475
Levy equalization funding (to hold down levy rates) -$0
K-4 funding to hire teachers and reduce classroom over-crowding -$161,757
Value of professional development and training day -$27,886
Full day kindergarten funding -$0
Highly capable (Gifted Education) funding -$13,291
Total Cuts to South Whidbey Public Schools -$345,410

*       *       *

There will be a SWHS All-Day student walk-out on March 4th in solidarity with a nation wide day of action to defend education. http://www.defendeducation.org Students will be encouraged to leave class and carefully drive/bus/be picked up from school and go home. This walkout focuses on state and federal cuts, not Whidbey Island policies, however, the more schools that participate, the more successful the statement will be in Washington State.

I want to be clear that this walkout is an attempt to organize a protest with a well planned strategy, used nation-wide to help people mobilize and take action. We do not want people to lose their jobs. We want people to take initiative and firmly make it known that we will not stand for cuts to vital social services. If you are legally obliged to stay in school and do your job (faculty, administrators and staff), and therefore you do not wish to participate, then let us, the students fight for you by walking out of school on March 4th along with hundreds of thousands of others throughout the country. Support us in our effort to defend quality education, including the jobs of the teachers and staff who make it possible!

If students, teachers, staff and the community are firmly united, organized, and mobilized to win public support, these cuts can be defeated.

Please email march4thswhswalkout@gmail.com with your thoughts, or if you are interested in helping organize, outreach or other resources that you may have.

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