Supporters of public school funding came from across the district to attend the Rally for Education held at CVHS in the Redwood parking lot on Thurs., March 1.
An estimated 400 people gathered to listen to members of the community address the significance of education and were encouraged to attend the CVUSD board meeting later that evening. At the meeting, the district would determine whether to make further cuts to school programs and teachers.
People lined the sidewalks holding signs saying “Stand Up for Schools” and “No Teacher Cuts,” while cars honked in support as they drove by. The crowd consisted of parents, students, teachers, staff, and others from the Castro Valley community who strongly oppose education cuts. There were even members of other districts who came to advocate the protest.
California Teachers Association President Dean Vogel was one of the many speakers at the event who discussed the community’s frustration with the district’s budget decisions.
“This district is cheating you out of the quality education that you deserve,” Vogel addressed the crowd. “And anybody who doubts that for a minute just has to look at the figures.”
Other speakers included concerned students, parents, and teachers, such as Charles Reynes, Castro Valley science teacher and former California Teacher of the Year, and Carey Sanchez Para, a current CVHS parent and a classified school district employee.
Reynes explained how school teachers work tremendously hard to help students receive a valuable education and how they deserve permanent jobs.
“The fight that we’re fighting is for our children; the investment we’re making is for our children,” said Reynes.
Sanchez described the effects that education cuts have had on her daughter’s school experiences thus far. She recalled how last year at Creekside Middle School, her daughter was able to visit the school library once a week, but as education cuts continued to be made, this activity was minimized to once every other week, and eventually once a month.
Students present at the rally shared their thoughts about the event as well as the current school programs with regard to the budget crisis.
“I think it’s really important that we have electives that can help us grow and discover what we like,” said junior Katie Braninburg about the courses offered at CVHS.
“To the degree that we can stand together and stick together, we can win,” Vogel told a cheering crowd.