An Open Letter from Ginger Fox, UTLA Chapter Chair for Elementary Arts Teachers
Dear Awesome Arts Teachers, Parents and Arts Advocates,
Please read the forwarded email below for the latest important news from UTLA on negotiations.
OK, so as you can see, this is crunch time to SAVE THE ARTS!!!
It is absolutely critical that we ALL attend both the Picketing and Rallies today, May 24 to demand that LAUSD rescind all RIFs, restore class sizes and funding for essential instructional programs including Arts Programs K-12!
1. Join the "Wake Up California" Rally at the Visual and Performing Arts Central High School #9 @ 450 N. Grand Ave. downtown after school (things will get going at about 3:15 after VAPA dismisses) then...
2. March en masse to Beaudry together at about 4:30 and join the UTLA Mass Demonstration, Picketing, and Rally in front of the School Board to support the UTLA Negotiations Team as they fight for ALL of us!!!
Remember to wear red, bring a hat, wear your walkin' shoes, and bring your protest signs:
SAVE the ARTS; Restore funding to Arts Education; NO Either/Or Budget Decisions; An Injury to One is an Injury to ALL: We are ALL Essential -- Arts Programs, Teachers, Adult Ed, SRLDP, Librarians, Counselors, Nurses, Magnet Programs. How about having a New Orleans style jazz funeral march and wake? Bring your trumpet, trombone, clarinet, and/or drums!
Some theatrical ideas from theatre teacher, Kathleen Ford:
Some good ideas came out at the last rally and our mock funeral. We got some good publicity, for what it's worth (hopefully it will help us). Michael Ryther suggested a firing squad and Katy H. "a la Goya." Berit suggested an execution with the guillotine and blood and the Queen of Hearts. She's got a cape & crown. Bring any props and costumes you want (or wear black) and I'll be there with the coffin, red construction paper hearts, signs, a giant pair of scissors for "cutting the fat and restoring the arts. I also have a great cigar smoking "fat cat' mask. Ever the optimist (crazy as that may be), I'm hoping everyone's jobs will be restored.
Calling all PARENTS (especially Latino/a) from Monica Garcia or Nury Martinez' Board Districts (Boyle Heights, East Valley):
We need YOU to speak to the Board tomorrow on behalf of Saving Arts Education! For details on the decimating cuts to Arts Programs District-wide -- up to 85% -- more than any other K-12 instructional program please download the Friends of the Arts in LAUSD flyer at http://lausdartsed.blogspot.com/ or http://bit.ly/mDR76g
Teachers: If you know of a parent/family member who would be willing to speak to the Board tomorrow (they can speak in Spanish if they want) PLEASE encourage them to go to Beaudry to pick-up a speakers card, and join us at the Rallies.
And in the wise words of one of our Elementary Music Teachers, Susan Roe:
"Go UTLA! I'm so proud of our union for standing it's ground. It's so hypocritical for the adults in administrative positions of our district not to reveal the truth when we are all in the business of teaching children to develop and uphold good moral character!"
See you all tomorrow!
Onwards and Upwards!
Ginger Rose Fox
Itinerant Elementary Dance Teacher
UTLA Chapter Chair, Itinerant Elementary Arts Teachers
UTLA Arts Education Committee Chair
Begin forwarded message:
From: "UTLA" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: May 23, 2011 4:24:07 PM PDT
Subject: Negotiations update
Negotiations update: UTLA fighting to save ALL positions
• The District’s current offer has been reduced from twelve to six furlough days, but that would save only 3,300 positions. That leaves out thousands of pink-slipped UTLA members! The District is still willing to make deep cuts to vital programs, such as adult education, arts programs, counselors, teacher-librarians, nurses, SRLDP, and support for magnet programs. UTLA’s top priority remains to restore all RIF’d positions and to stop class-size increases—that is what will do the most to protect our students’ education. With the new state funding for schools, $150 million LAUSD admits it has, and other pots of money LAUSD can use to restore positions, UTLA is standing firm to save ALL jobs. It is disturbing that the District is hiding behind the ultra-conservative view that they cannot count on the state money when both Republicans and Democrats are supporting increased funding for schools.
For more info: http://www.utla.net/system/files/demo_may242011.pdf
SUPPORT YOUR NEGOTIATION TEAM: Picket and Rally at the School Board Tuesday, May 24:
UTLA is encouraging all members, parents and community members to demonstrate after school today to support negotiations and to pressure the District to bring back all RIF’d positions immediately. In light of the new funds for education from the state and other funding sources, UTLA demands that the School Board immediately rescind all layoff notices and restore class sizes and any programs LAUSD has cut in the last three years. However, even with this new information, the District is still insisting on layoffs and furlough days. This is not acceptable and we are urging all our members to come to the school board after school and put the pressure on the School Board to make the right decision and rescind all the RIFs. Picketing will begin at 3 pm and the rally will begin at 5 pm. Encourage parents and community members to attend.
What: Picketing and Rally to support negotiations and to pressure the School Board to bring back all RIF’d positions
When: Tuesday, May 24th
Where: LAUSD School Board, 333 So. Beaudry Avenue, Los Angeles 90017
When: After School (Picketing 3:00 pm | Rally 5:00 pm)
Parking: Available at Athena Parking, 416 South Boylston Street, LA, CA. First come. First serve.
• District is holding new state money hostage. LAUSD is hiding behind the ultra-conservative view that school districts can’t count on the increased funding in Governor Brown’s proposed budget, even though both Democrats and Republicans in the legislature support increased funding for schools.
• We continue to demand that LAUSD embrace all strategies to bring back the most positions possible. UTLA has identified specific pots of money that we believe can be used to restore jobs without furlough days, including $70 million in the unrestricted spending ending balance, $60 million in workers’ comp, $50 million (estimated) in QEIA funds, $25 million in further cuts to local district/central office spending, and $10 million in unspent Tier 3 textbook carryover. That is on top of the $150 million by which the District overstated its deficit, which LAUSD officials admitted under UTLA pressure.
• Negotiations are scheduled for today, Tuesday, and Wednesday. UTLA is doing all we can to quickly reach a settlement with LAUSD to stabilize our schools, and we are prepared to negotiate around the clock.
If a settlement is reached, it will be put to a vote of the members, and chapter chairs will need to pick up voting materials for schools.
Send a message that you support UTLA’s fight to restore ALL positions and instructional programs, and stop class-size increases.
3 to 5 p.m.: Picketing
5 p.m.: Rally
For more info: http://www.utla.net/system/files/demo_may242011.pdf