From Annie Esposito
3/16/09 Ukiah, North California
Friday the 13th was Pink Friday all over the state – including Mendocino County. Teachers and supporters wore pink to protest the pink slips being given to teachers. About 60 teachers here could be affected. A crossing guard wearing a pink muffler, a teacher on traffic duty with a pink necktie – made a rosy picture.
But of course the big picture is not. And teachers face the brunt of the steady decline in enrollment and the budget crisis. Superintendent Lois Nash promised to take the same cuts as everyone else. But one teacher noted that it’s different when you get in the negotiating room: A lawyer represents the superintendent in negotiations. And teachers are on their own. Cutbacks could include school closings – and Hopland could lose its local school.
A spirited group of teachers “pinked” in front of the County Court House; they got loud support from cars traveling past the scene. The teachers marched to Grace Hudson museum for a party and to hear announcements. They will be waiting for the May Budget Revise to learn more about their fate. Teachers are asking for creative ways to save money – other than the quick and easy axe.