LA QUINTA – “It’s always easier to get voters to say ‘no’ than to say ‘yes’,” said Tom Burbank, President of the Desert Sands Teachers Association.
Burbank and other Valley educators attempted to spark support Wednesday for Propositions 1A through 1F, the emergency measures being voted on next week.
Supporters, including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, say they will provide the state with new taxes needed to close a growing defecit.
Burbank worries if the propositions fail, there will be more scenes like Tuesday night when 120 Desert Sands Unified teachers got pink slips.
He says quality of education will drop as students get less attention from fewer teachers.
“The teachers left behind in the classroom will have jobs, but their classes will be bigger and they’re worried about that. It’s going to make their jobs that much tougher,” he says.
Gov. Schwarzenegger warns if the measures fail, firefighters will be laid off and thousands of inmates may be released early.
Opponents are saying “no” to the new taxes. They argue it is not a solution to the state’s budget mess.
But educators like Burbank say there is no room to make cuts when it comes to students and a state that is near the bottom in per-pupil spending.
“That’s absolutely outrageous for a state that’s as wealthy and serves as many people as California does. We can’t survive like that.”