Teachers call for "pink hearts, not pink slips"
February 14, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) -- The American Federation of Teachers is asking people to wear a pink heart today, Valentine’s Day, to show support for public education.
“As lawmakers across the country prepare their state budgets, they need to recognize that teachers, school support staff, higher education faculty, government employees and healthcare workers make a difference every day in the lives of our children and in our communities,” a press release issued by the AFT states.
Locally, many school districts have announced lay-offs of teachers to address the state funding shortfall, including the Grossmont Union-High School and La Mesa-Spring Valley districts in East County. Class sizes have been increased and other deep budget cuts have also been made.
Many teachers choose this work because they believe in public service, even though they could earn more in other fields, the teacher’s organization notes. “As lawmakers develop their state budgets for the coming year, we need to remind them to have a heart and not shortchange the services our children and communities rely on.”