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LA Teachers Rally against Budget Cuts

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TEHRAN, May 14 (ICANA) – Thousands of teachers have staged a rally in Los Angeles, California to protest against a proposed plan to slash billions of dollars in state spending on education.
Saturday, May 14, 2011 1:43:59 PM
LA Teachers Rally against Budget Cuts

Demonstrators, who converged on Los Angeles' Pershing Square on Friday, urged lawmakers to find another solution to the state's massive budget deficit, instead of cutting education spending, a Press TV correspondent in Los Angeles reported on Saturday.

At the end of a weeklong series of protests organized by the California Teachers Association, the educators called on Republican lawmakers to back Governor Jerry Brown's plan to extend a series of temporary increases in the sales, income and vehicle taxes that are set to expire on June 30.

Brown is expected to unveil his May revision budget plan on Monday, including details on how the state can rein in a USD 15 billion deficit.

However, Republican lawmakers have so far pressed ahead with their own plan, saying spending about USD 2 billion from an unanticipated USD 2.5 billion in tax revenues on schools would leave them fully funded.

According to the California Teachers Association, the state's education could face some USD 12 billion in cuts if the temporary taxes expire this year and the California legislature suspends the state's minimum-funding guarantee for schools.

California has put an estimated 20,000 teachers on notice that they will lose their job unless the state budget improves. Teachers say billions of dollars in cuts will increase class sizes and cause thousands of layoffs in schools.

The rally culminated a week of protests spearheaded by the California Teachers Association, and was part of a "state of emergency" campaign meant to draw attention to the direction California is heading.

"California is number 41 in funding for education but number one in funding for prisons, and I think it shows that something about the politics in California is really backwards and twisted," a demonstrator told Press TV.

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