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UPDATE: Belmont Shore Parents Fed Up Over Teacher Upheaval

A group led by mothers of Long Beach Unified students mount a protest Monday morning as teacher layoff hearings continue at Wilson High.

Updated with photos of the protest, a link to a KTLA video and a clarification on the number of days the hearings have been going on.

Their exasperation mounting, a group of Belmont Shore and Belmont Heights parents have been meeting and texting for weeks about the state budget impasse and where it leaves their kids.

Long Beach Unified, the state's third largest district, had cut $170 million during the past few years under the last governor. It has said it's now facing another $155 million in cuts this year if the new governor's budget isn't passed. With 86,000 students and 8,000 employees, Long Beach Unified will feel the state's budget choke in daily life. Teachers make up the majority of the city's largest workforce of 8,000 LBUSD employees.

Not necessarily longtime collaborators in the trenches, the parents say they have found themselves joined in fury and frustration with how to voice what they want out of elected leaders. As individuals they have attended school board meetings, their city council forums, and PTA meetings all school year. But still there is the question of how to do anything that matters and reach those who would impact their children’s future.

In their first strike, the group launched an e-mail and Facebook effort early Sunday to rally their anger in a show of support happening right in their neighborhood: the fifth day of teacher layoff hearings. More than 1,200 layoff notices have been sent by LBUSD, which has been forced into devastating cuts that have already added more students per classroom at every grade level.

This letter was sent to Patch.com:

MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD

This is an urgent message for all of you in Long Beach who care about our children, our schools and our teachers. We are at a crossroads. We are going to lose many, many teachers due to budget woes, poor planning, a lack of forethought, and just plain madness!! We are not going to take this sitting down. We are getting up Monday morning April 11th and marching over to Wilson High School to protest the layoffs of some of our most talented and amazing teachers.

We are bringing our children, our frustration, our handmade signs, and our attitude! We want to show the union, the district, California lawmakers, and the teachers that we do not agree with the decisions that are being made. We are not going to let the people who work every day to give our children the education they deserve fight alone for their future in their chosen profession. We stand with them, and we will not stand quietly aside as they are laid off by the hundreds with little more than an unemployment packet as thanks for all of their years of service.

Join us!

  • We will meet between 8 am and 8:15 by the Recreation Park Community Center parking lot (near Park and 7th street).  Bring signs and wear mourning/black clothes if you like.
  • We will march to Wilson where the layoff hearings are being held to show our support to the teachers and our frustration and anger to the powers that be.
  • Come with us; let’s show our children that they and their education are worth fighting for!

Families, parents, neighbors, grandparents, the more people, the more power! Please forward to any concerned parents on your email list, thanks.

Questions or comments or to find us Monday morning: Kimberely (714)396-0391 call or text, email kbeeli@verizon.net; or Jacqui (562)212-1852, email vialegirl@charter.net

John B. Greet April 15, 2011 at 02:53 PM
One of the best and longest term solutions to this challenge is to pass a reasonable, effective and equitable school choice initiative. Part of the reason our schools are struggling financially is because they are woefully overcrowded. Our schools are overcrowded because many parents cannot afford to explore other educational options for their children. A reasonable, effective and equitable school choice initiative could help to address that part of the challenge.
Concerned LB Mom April 15, 2011 at 03:37 PM
Panglonymous, I get it. Using technoglogy as tools to teach critical thinking. My answer is still NOT in elementary school. Of course media literacy becomes important in middle school, and definitely in high school, where developmentally kids are testing their own perceptions and conclusions about the world around them, and they've had the chance to develop a solid foundation in the fundamentals. In my opinion, kids still need good old fashion print media in the elementary years--BOOKS, newspapers, and more books to avoid the tendancy to learn by soundbites and via misinformed websites.
Panglonymous April 15, 2011 at 04:54 PM
LB Mom What do you think of the quote, “Give me the child until he is seven and I’ll give you the man”?
Panglonymous April 15, 2011 at 04:55 PM
John just might be demonstrating ideological boilerplate, inculcation, message discipline. Or he might just really like that paragraph.
Panglonymous April 18, 2011 at 06:27 PM
Interesting take: "Is the MBA the Degree for Slackers? -- A controversial story claiming that business has become the default major for undergraduate slackers is gaining some resonance with MBA graduates and B-school profs who say there are similar problems in graduate business education. "The story, 'The Default Major: Skating Through B-School,' is a collaboration between The New York Times and The Chronicle of Higher Education. It reports that business majors spend less time preparing for class than do students in any other broad field. Quoting from a new book, 'Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses,' the article also claims that business majors had the weakest gains during the first two years of college on a national test of writing and reasoning skills..." http://poetsandquants.com/2011/04/17/is-the-mba-the-degree-for-slackers/

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