By Kiet Do

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — Teachers across the Bay Area on Friday joined a state-wide rally to show solidarity with at least 35,000 Los Angeles educators who are in a contract dispute.

What did a demonstration in San Jose have to do with what was happening in Oakland or Los Angeles? These South Bay teachers say, Everything

Many parents around the region probably noticed the unusual sight while dropping their kids off at school Friday morning.

Teachers dressed in red waving signs as they demonstrated before class.

It’s called “Red for Ed” — a wave of teacher activism rolling from the East Coast, through the Midwest, and now arriving in California.

When asked about Red for Ed, Dominic Rizzi with the Oak Grove Education Association explained the movement was “started by the National Education Association. It’s for all of our public educators across the nation to bring awareness to the community — and our public and our students — about the funding levels that we have nationwide.”

From Berkeley to Rancho Cucamonga and Concord to Santa Monica, the teachers were demonstrating in support of United Teachers of Los Angeles — one of the largest teachers’ organizations in the state — and the Oakland Educators Association.

Both Oakland and Los Angeles are battling the state and their districts for pay raises, smaller class sizes, and more school counselors and nurses.

Oakland has been negotiating their contract for two years.

“It puts the district on notice that we know what’s right. We’ve seen the budget,” said teacher Katherine Gibson. “We know there’s money. We need the board and the district to spend it correctly.”

As for Los Angeles, Governor Gavin Newsom has promised more money from Sacramento, but the president of the United Teachers of Los Angeles Alex Caputo-Pearl was not optimistic. Teachers are bracing for a walkout next week in a district with 600,000 students.

“We are ready to strike on Monday if we have to,” said Caputo-Pearl.

Back in San Jose at the campus of Earl Frost Elementary, teachers said Friday’s “Red for Ed” demonstration was a friendly reminder for school district administrators.

“We feel like we have been forgotten in the past,” said Rizzi.

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