Joseph Shannon refuses to be silent about the recent budget cuts.
On May 15, Shannon organized a student rally to raise public awareness about the consequences of axing education funds. As the money evaporates, Shannon fears that the futures of his classmates will disappear with it.
“They’re spending billions of dollars to rescue huge companies,” Shannon said. “Meanwhile, our school funding has dropped.”
Rally participants gathered on the western edge of campus alongside Park Ave and used posters and portable amplifiers to spread their message. Shannon hopes the financial crisis won’t become an educational crisis.
About 20 students marched west on Broadway toward NBC studios before returning to campus. Among the marchers was Jana Defresco.
Defresco joined the rally because she plans to transfer from City College to a four-year college.
Would her dreams be thwarted by budget slashing?
“I have been affected personally,” said Defresco, waving a rally poster. “So, I’m going to vote to not cut teachers, not cut classes, and not cut financial aid.”
The May 19 California Special Election places a proposition on the ballot that gives voters a chance to decide the fate of school funding across the state.
Here’s what’s at stake:
Prop 1B will require the state to pay $1.5 billion from the rainy day fund to schools for six years starting in 2011.
However, Prop 1B hinges on the passing of Prop 1A.
Prop 1A limits state spending and funnels excess revenue into a rainy day fund. The passing of Prop 1A would grant three temporary tax raises, approved in February, to an estimated $16 billion.
Prop 1B depends on the tax increases from 1A.
Shannon distributed pamphlets explaining which departments were affected the most. But he also included non-school related items, such as bus routes, which will also be cut as funds diminish.
Officers of the San Diego Police were dispatched to help coordinate the protest.
“We’re here to keep [rally participants] safe,” said an officer.