SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Teachers, students and other education advocates boarded two massive charter buses early Monday morning, bound for Sacramento. The message they were bringing to lawmakers: they wanted to make it clear that California schools simply can’t take any more budget cuts.

Monday’s trip was sponsored by the Silicon Valley Education Association, and was open to any resident of Santa Clara County.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

“We’ve already laid off 400 positions in the East Side Union High School District over the last 4 years,” lamented school board member Frank Biehl before boarding one of the two patriotically-decorated buses. “We’ve increased our class size by 10%, we’ve canceled summer school. We have libraries that are only open 1 period a day.”

“This is a desperate situation for our students,” he continued, “and we need to make that clear to the legislators in Sacramento.”

According to Biehl, it was nothing short of essential that state lawmakers continued to funnel enough funds to California’s public schools.

“We’re about 14 months away from a bankruptcy situation in the East Side,” he warned. “We need the state to meet its obligation to fully fund education.”

Unfortunately, there was little indication that East Side – or any local school district, for that matter – would hear definitively about the future of education funding any time soon. State lawmakers continued to battle in Sacramento over the budget, with partisan bickering over tax extensions and cuts to education.

Meanwhile, another several thousand California teachers recently received preliminary pink slips, throwing into doubt their professional future for the 2011-2012 academic year. School districts are required to meet a state-mandated May 15 deadline to notify employees if they may not have a job for the following school year.

In Santa Clara County, the number of educators receiving May 15 layoff notices was estimated in the dozens.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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