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Millions protest education cuts across U.S.

March 4, 2010 12:26:53 AM PST
Across the region, the state and even the country, millions are turning out to protest cuts to education for National Day of Action.Union leaders said this is an unprecedented action by the education community on all levels. From elementary schools to universities, teachers, parents and students united to make sure their voices were heard.

Spreading the word, teachers outside Farmdale Elementary School in El Sereno encouraged students to join the massive statewide Day of Action. Protesters are demanding that there be no more cuts to education.

"Class sizes have grown, we've seen programs such as art and music programs eliminated, counselors losing their jobs," said David Sanchez, president of Cal Teachers Association. "It's just devastating what the legislature and the governor are doing to public schools today. It's criminal."

Over the last two years, the governor and state legislature have cut roughly $18 billion from California's public education and have left many districts, including the Los Angeles Unified School District, struggling to stay afloat.

"I'm just worried about the education of the kids, and of course, myself, my family income," said teacher Sonia Thompson.

More than 150 UC students gathered in the halls of the state Capitol in Sacramento on Wednesday night to urge lawmakers to take action against the massive tuition increases that they have seen.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger met with leaders of California colleges on Wednesday to talk about the cuts that have left higher education in critical condition. He pledged his support, saying he will do his best to make sure there are no more cuts.

"I'm very frustrated," said parent Irma Orozco. "Education is important to the kids. They are the future."

In Riverside, teachers and students took their frustrations to the streets, chanting "Save our teachers" outside John F. Kennedy Elementary School. Parents said they know their kids' futures are at stake.

"The point is, we have to do something," said parent Omar Nunez.

One of the largest rallies planned on Thursday is a march in downtown L.A. at Pershing Square at 4 p.m. Other large rallies will take place at Cal State Northridge and Cal State Long Beach.