Those of you who live here know about the savage budget crisis in California, and the $22 billion budget cut to education that our beloved governor is enacting. 900 San Francisco Unified School District educators are expected to receive layoff notices on March 15 . . . our schools are in crisis! It's incredible to me that education would even be considered as a recipient of a massive budget cut. Our kids already have huge classes, not enough resources, a dearth of supplies and paraprofessionals, and a slowly depleting array of arts programs. Meanwhile, Schwarzenegger is building a $400 million new death row at San Quentin. Meanwhile, our state is ranked #1 in per-inmate (per year) spending, and #46 in per-pupil (per year) spending. Meanwhile, huge corporations and oil companies received $2 billion in tax breaks last year. WTF.
All that said, it was so inspiring and energizing to see the THOUSANDS of students, teachers, parents, and concerned Californians rallying at City Hall today. How can our government possibly let down our kids?? Here are some pics from this afternoon:
protestors on the steps of City Hall
right . . . cause he's The Terminator . . .
I'm so proud of my students and of students all over San Francisco for standing up for their education rights. Damn straight, kiddos!
Tonight I got the cutest message from one of my 5th period hellions. It said:
My mom doesn't noe i hav my fon Ms. Kiefer . . . plz dnt tell her . . . just wanted to noe if your ok . . . i heard about some arrestz that were made . . .
(Some of that, btw, is just wack text abbreviations, and not egregious spelling errors). ;) Pretty dang cute . . .
Today's protest had me thinking about kids who grow up in San Francisco. What a life, really. Even the underprivileged ones, despite lacking necessary resources, are growing up in this amazing, beautiful city dedicated to social justice and equality. They live in a city that has gorgeous weather almost all the time, Golden Gate Park, several beaches (cold, but so pretty nonetheless), art programs everywhere, and just so much love and openness.
This is not to say that I don't have endless love and nostalgia for my southern upbringing of front porches, sweet tea, and classic rock. It's just . . . so different.
And with my heart beating mad love for my city, I say goodnight. :)