OPINION: Why I march for education today

By Jose Lara, Social Justice Educator, Santee Education Complex High School

imageEducation is a field I love, but currently it is in crisis. The State of California continues to make cuts in education while local school boards continue to raise class sizes, cutting teachers, art programs, and simultaneously dismantling Adult, Career and Technical Education.

I will be marching on March 4th because I wish to take a stand for quality public education. I wish to show my students that education is worth fighting for that they should not take cuts sitting down. I hope to model for my students, show them the importance of civic engagement and encourage them to become scholar-activists. It has never been more important for educators to take a stand. The dignity of our profession, the rights of our students, and the fate of our public schools depends on it.

“Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.” — Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

From today’s march:

From United Teachers Los Angeles: Thursday, March 4th: a Statewide Day of Action:

On March 4, UTLA members hand out informational flyers to parents

UTLA members are encouraged to attend one of four after school rallies at the following locations:

Downtown Los Angeles location
4:00 pm (Gather at 5th and Hill by Pershing Square)
4:30 pm-6:00 pm (March and rally at Reagan State Building-300 South Spring Street)

UCLA location
4:30 pm-5:30 pm ( Rally at Bruin Plaza)

San Fernando Valley location (Cal State Northridge)
3:45 pm ( Gather in the quad)
4:15 pm (March around CSUN)
5pm-5:30 pm (Unity action and rally at CSUN quad)

Long Beach rally location
4:15 pm (Gather and rally at Wilson High School gymnasium- 4400 East 10th Street, Long Beach)

The community comes together to fight for educational rights

California is facing the biggest education spending cuts in history, as well as thousands of job losses for teachers working in South LA’s classrooms. Community forums, like the one held on March 30th at the Baha’i Faith Center in Baldwin Park, are bringing educators, students and residents together to make a stand against what some believe to be a violation of the next generation’s constitutional rights. Equal access to education, especially in Title I, low-income schools like Crenshaw High School and Dorsey High School, is being jeopardized in a state ranked 47th in the nation for per-student spending.