OAKLAND (KCBS) – Students, parents and teachers will climb on their bikes Saturday and pedal their protest about education cuts all the way to the state Capitol, raising money for their schools along the way.

“I have raised, I think, $780 and I’m going to ride 40 miles,” said 6th grader Lucy Flattery-Vickness. It’s the 11-year-old’s second Ride for a Reason.

The Claremont Middle School band gave riders as young as 9 and as old as 75 a rousing sendoff at a good luck rally Friday.

The riders raised $40,000 worth of pledges that will help pay for things that Claremont Middle Schooland Oakland Technical High School can no longer afford,” said Paul Vetter, one of the parents participating.

“Not the things that you think of as extras or fancy stuff,” he said.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

Vetter said the schools no longer have access to basics such as “a computer lab where kids can start to learn about using computers and doing things in the modern world.”

Science teacher Ian Lesser committed to riding 100 miles because he’s tired of having to explain to his students why the school library is closed.

“It’s gotten significantly worse every year to a really unacceptable level,” he said.

Everyone participating agreed the message is far more important than the money, which barely makes a dent in what the state has taken away.

“This is our future. If we don’t fund the schools properly, then California doesn’t have a future,” said Mike Napolitano, a parent with children in both schools.

Last year 40 rode to the state Capitol. This year, 110 riders registered to participate.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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