As mentioned in today’s story, there will be a protest rally at Birchfield Park this afternoon about pending cuts in the Hayward Unified School District. Organizers say it will be big. Here’s the press release:
East Bay School Cuts Showdown as Hayward Teachers Rally Today Against Music, Smaller Class Size Hits
Marching Band to Join 3:45 p.m. Protest Over $12 Million District Cuts List
HAYWARD — Sparked by the state budget crisis, the Hayward Unified School District’s plans to find $12 million in “savings” for next school year by potentially cutting all elementary instrumental music and class size reduction efforts — and scrapping high school art and other electives – is prompting a protest rally at Birchfield Park this afternoon. Teachers and members of the award-winning Hayward High School student marching band will attend, and the “Angry Tired Teachers Band” of Hayward High educators will play rock protest songs.
“This district is making the same mistake as the governor and lawmakers in Sacramento by trying to balance the state budget on the backs of students,” said Kathleen Crummey, president of the 1,330-member Hayward Education Association. “Music and arts programs are vital to a well-rounded education, and instrumental music in the lower grades is crucial to strong programs in middle and high schools. The district will have about $11 million in reserves and therefore should not be looking at such severe classroom cuts.”
Among widespread cuts being considered for the next school year, the district is considering ending the 20-student class-size caps in K-3 classrooms and changing the high school block system of scheduling to give students a choice of only taking six classes per year instead of eight, which could eliminate high school music and art programs.
*WHAT: Protest rally by hundreds of teachers and students against music and other cuts now among $12 million in budget “savings” under consideration by the Hayward Unified School District for the 2009-10 school year.
*WHEN: 3:45-5:30 p.m. TODAY, Tuesday, Jan. 13.
*WHERE: Birchfield Park, Santa Clara at Winton streets, across from the main post office in Hayward