Rally Protests School Budget Cuts

Teachers and parents gathered at the Duck Pond to protest plans to cut millions from Temecula education budget.


Teachers, parents and students gathered at the Duck Pond today to protest budget cuts to Temecula schools.

The "Rally for Education" started at 5:30 p.m. and was sponsored by the Temecula Valley Educators Association and the Temecula Valley Council PTA.

Some attendees said a speech by Superintendent Tim Ritter was the highlight of the event.

"Teachers really feel he supports us," said Kelly Maxey, a mother of three and a fifth grade teacher at .

Dozens of people held signs with messages denouncing education funding cuts as children chased each other around with balloons in hand.

Many parents attended to show support for the teachers who were given pink slips earlier this year.

"We're here to support our school, , and because one of our teachers, Mrs. Grover, was pink slipped. We're here to fight for her," said Carly Green, a mother of three.

Nine-year-old Auseyana Green stood nearby with a sign hung around her neck that read "I am a priority."

"She makes learning fun, and she's really nice," the third-grade Rancho Elementary student said about her teacher.

Another parent, Norma Rubio, came out to support Grover, who is her daughter's teacher. Her child said she was worried about Grover as they made their sign earlier today.

"When she was making our sign, she said, 'What's going to happen to Mrs. Grover?'" Rubio said.

Harold April 20, 2012 at 12:50 AM
Troy, Your comments are very sad. Although I do not agree 100% of how our state and city government spend our tax dollars, to attack our teachers and first responders is just wrong. You sound almost envious. Teachers share an important part in developing our next generation and frankly I do not think they get paid enough. Just like any industry it starts at the top, and unfortunately the teachers have to pay for the mis-handling of funds.
Temecula-is-my-Home April 20, 2012 at 01:08 AM
Sam the money for Ipads and other materials are mostly Grants or other Government money for special programs but not for salary. I see and agree with your point. There IS money out there, it's just highly in the wrong place! The Superintendent makes more then the Governor! All Department heads and supers are making Insane money for this economy. I believe the community should be asking THEM to take a pay cut and let the teachers be. Seriously ridiculous and SAD!
Troy April 20, 2012 at 01:32 AM
What makes it so wrong to question the pay and benefits of teachers and firefighters? When did they enter into a protected class of society free from scrutiny? Yes, I am envious. I wish I had tenure. I wish I could get a $67,000 salary for working 9 months out of the year. I wish I only had to pay 8% of my retirement. I wish I could sit around at a firestation all day and be paid overtime for it, pretending to do a job that someone can do just as well but cheaper. The ambulance services are cheaper and just as well equipped for the task of EMS. You have teachers screaming about how budget cuts will harm the future of our children, yet they refuse to take pay cuts. The budget needs to be balanced, therefore some teachers get laid off as a result of their greed. If they were really as concerned about the children as much as they say they are, then they would take pay cuts and pay for their benefits. I'm not asking them to work for free or to be cut altogether. I'm asking that the compesation they receive for their work is more equitable to that of their private sector counterparts.
cap1 April 20, 2012 at 02:16 AM
The teachers as well as the classified staff have taken fulough days, last year as a result the teachers monthly salary was reduced by $300 per month. And as far as the medical insurance the out of pocket has gone up each year for at least the past five years. As an example a 6 hr. instructional assistant classified employeee is now paying over $400 per month, which is appx. one quarter of their monthly salary, this is up from $177 from five years ago. Unlike other professions where your finished with the work day at the end of your shift teachers take their work home, they are correcting work, making lesson plans, etc... not only durring the week, but on the weekends as well, The teachers also spend a high amount of their own money buying supplies for the classroom. As for school funding, it sucks that the funds are so restricted that they cannot be interchanged or used for anything other than what it has been given for. They cannot take the construction funds, transportation funds, grants, ect.. and use them for teacher salary. I do absolutly agree that the cuts should come from the top fat!! It is unbelievable how many positions are useless and overpaid at the District Office.
Harold April 20, 2012 at 03:58 AM
Troy. I'm not saying that they are free from scruitiny and I do not agree with how hard it is to get rid of bad teachers, but as another person said they just don't work 9-5. They have to take their work home with them. You really should not be envious, we all have our choices. If you really think about it. When they choose to be a school teacher they actually put a cap on their future earnings. In the private sector you have the ability to make quite a bit more if you choose to. Also if you lived in New York on Septemeber 11th 2001 you would not have made the insane remark about fire fighters. I think we all agree that the system is broken, but sacraficing the teachers will only make it worse, and our kids will suffer the consequences.
Troy April 20, 2012 at 04:29 AM
If you really think about it, teachers can begin receiving retirement after 25 years. So lets assume a teacher receives his credentials at 25 then retires at 50. Theaverage life expectancy is 78 years old. So, for 28 years, the average teacher recieves $4,256 per month. That's $1,430,000 paid to that teacher for a period longer than that which they worked. I cant buy into the smoke and mirrors about putting a cap on their future earnings. That's not even adjusted for the cost of living increases they receive annually on retirement. All this plus benefits. I see my taxes going up in this state every year. I very rarely hear about teachers receiving cuts, mainly just layoffs. Anytime a politician tries to balance the mismanaged school budgets, the teachers scream bloody murder and cry that the children will be hurt. If they're so concerned about the children, stop trying to take more from taxpayers and take a pay cut. 84% of the budget goes to their salaries and benefits. The firefighters that were actually there at 9/11 are heroes, and what they did was commendable. Unfortunately, the firefighters here most likely were not involved in that. 9/11 isn't justification for how much firefighters here make for doing so little. And what part of my statement about firefighters is insane? That they sit around most of the day? That they take overtime for extra days off? That they're paid way too much? That ambulance services can do the EMS portion of their job?
Carolyn April 20, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Troy, teachers HAVE taken pay cuts for the past five years. They HAVE also paid huge insurance premium increases for the past five years, which is essentially a pay cut as it is taken out of their paychecks. They do NOT get Social Security (do you? Would you be willing to give that up?). They DO pay into their retirement. The TVUSD district administration accounts for only 3% of the entire budget. That is very lean in comparison to other districts around. And this district is NOT failing the children. The API is between 800-1000 (1000 being a perfect score) at every school in the district---- which is phenomenal. I actually don't understand why you don't become a teacher, Troy. It IS a great job---one which I love! I don't need more money, but I do feel sad for this generation of elementary students who no longer have small class sizes, art, PE, music, band, orchestra, buses, field trips, assemblies, computers, etc. All of those things were paid for by the taxpayers of California when I first started teaching and no one seemed to mind paying for them. Now, for some reason, people like you seem to think that we no longer need these things to produce well-rounded citizens in this state. To me, that is sad.
cap1 April 20, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Carolyn, thank you for pointing out that teachers DO NOT get Social Security and that PERS (retirement) is in place of S.S. I would also like to add that teachers are 11 month employees and only receive 11 paychecks per year. I just read yesturday that they will also have 13 furlough days, two of which will be by the end of this school year, this will result in a pay reduction.
Troy April 20, 2012 at 04:43 PM
I would love to give up my social securty. Social Security is similar to a pyramid scheme. You need more people paying in at the bottom, than taking from the top. Plus, your SS goes into the general fund. There's no accounting for it. I'm responsible enough to save for my own retirement. To me, that seems like a perk. No one minded paying for those things because the economy was prosperous. Now, taxpayers are broke and are less willing to pay for extras. It only makes sense that the people who fund all these programs (taxpayers) will scrutinize them. We need to balance our budgets and save money. From my point of view, It seems that public employees have been immune to this economic recession, yet the same people public employees rely on for pay are struggling to make ends meet. Talk about ecnomic injustice.
Ann April 20, 2012 at 07:21 PM
1.6 mill. in step and column. I don't agree what the state is doing and we do need to speak out but maybe getting a raise just because it's in the schedule needs to be looked into.
CA Dude April 20, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Well said! Give up the benefits that the private sector has lost and the talk of lay offs would subside.
CA Dude April 20, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Medical coverage for the average family is $900+ for the public sector, if they can get it. $400 is a steal!
Jeff April 20, 2012 at 09:09 PM
First of all public employees haven't been immune to this economy. Teachers have seen their take home pay decrease since 2008. Teachers spend at a minimum 5 years in college. They should be compensated properly. And last time I checked teachers pay taxes too. Teachers have taken cuts in pay, benefits, and retirement all to keep teacher to student ratio a low levels. What more do you want them to do? Stop hating on your friends and neighbors and look somewhere else. Part of the problem is that people believe they pay too much in taxes, when if fact they do not. Thanks Prop 13 and VLF offset.
Jeff April 20, 2012 at 09:11 PM
@David Shisler Your math tells me a lot of people work in low wage jobs. Wal-Mart and food service. Is that the society you want? That's the private sector for ya.
Temecula Parent April 21, 2012 at 07:04 AM
Just a quick clarification... the chairs at TMS were provided through funds that were raised through the PTA at TMS. Parents and Teachers donating to raise the funds. The chairs are for the kids, and occasionally parents to attend functions at the school. Sorry, but I think my child deserves a proper chair with all the taxes that I pay. Lunch tables, again, I think our kids deserve to sit at a table rather than eating off their laps when we pay the amount of taxes we do. As far as the Performing Arts Center, that is being built with funds that can only be spent on building. That's what is so ironic about our State and the way they fund education. They earmark the funds and tie the hands of the school districts. I am sure our District Office would have preferred to use those funds for educational materials, programs, and teachers for our children. However, they could not. As well, have you been in the Performing Arts Center that currently exists at TVHS? The arts are a very important part of education. This new Performing Arts Center can allow our students to have a much better opportunity to put together programs they can be proud to put on and not fear that they might actually fall through the stage. What we all need to be doing is pressure our Legislature to change the way Education is funded so we don't go through this every year, and so our children can get the programs every other state is providing WITHOUT having to pay higher taxes.
KB April 21, 2012 at 08:01 AM
I don't care how the public employee unions disguise the props, NO NEW TAXES! We're already HEAVILY TAXED! The schools don't have a revenue problem, they have a spending problem. The time has passed for teachers to take a haircut like most in the private sector have already had to endure.
temeculan April 21, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Tiffany, et al - This whole mess is not about teachers - that is, it's not their fault that California and the US is broke - so please stop using their pain as a one-way ticket to the "SS Guilt Trip". The public workers unions and democrat spend and tax policies are killing our schools, our state and our country. Let's not fixate on the symptoms. We should leave our children at home and seek real change at the ballot box. Vote out the democrat party.
Jeff April 22, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Hey you guys! Do you know who else has a defined benefit package and medical coverage? The military!!!!!! Let's stop this powerful group from destroying our economic future. All they do is take and give nothing in return!
Troy April 22, 2012 at 03:41 PM
I'd like to point out that servicemembers do not belong to unions. I agree that servicemembers should also pay more into their retirement. Public employees shouldn't receive defined benefit packages, very few in the private sector still do. Everyone should pay into a defined contribution plan similar to a 401k. The medical coverage is a different story. First off, they're responsible for paying into medical benefits for their family. Second, they themselves dont have to pay, and rightfully so. Are we not putting them into harms way? You're right in that everyone that works for the government should receive cuts in some way. Our country is broke and cannot continue along this path. Our nation, all the way down to local governments, has a spending problem, not a revenue problem.
Jeff April 22, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Call it what you will, but service members receive a great benefit package whether or not they technically are a union. Rightfully so…teachers and other public servants should receive great benefit packages as well. Do we not want to attract the best and brightest to the education field? We should strive to attract the best and brightest in any field. Seems more like we have an inequality problem rather than a spending problem. America used to have that "can do" spirit, but now it seems more like a "drag everyone down to my level" spirit. Sad considering the actual wealth we have here in America.
Golden State April 22, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Troy, I think most agree that drastic cuts needed to happen to balance the budget. I just think that your rhetoric is a little outdated. You've not kept up with the times and paid attention to what has already happened over the past 5 years in school spending. School districts have agreed to huge insurance benefit increases and large pay cuts. Here is a chart that shows how much of a sacrifice schools were willing to make to help balance budget the state budget last year. California cut 23% from school spending this past year. Nearly a quarter of its budget! We're just trying to stop the bleeding from happening further before we start producing young adult citizens who can't think creatively enough to return California to its "golden" status once again. Chart--California makes THIRD largest school spending cut in the nation out of 50 states: http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=3569
Brenda April 22, 2012 at 09:43 PM
I am appalled you would even bring up a service member. Just based on the FRICKING hours they put in for godsake. My husband served for 23 years and they literally make chicken feed compared to what most make when they get out of the military. The other benefits are the only thing that even it out a bit, but then we also have to go to base doctors and recieve care from the trainee's which is NOT fun, most of us can tell you first hand. Then add in uprooting your family who knows how many times, changing schools his horrible for our children, husband away for months and months to a year or more at a time, most all of that time they are WORKING. Even if you are OFF you are still sitting in the middle of a desert, or on a ship, so you arent really OFF now are you? They do not get 3 months summers off, or one month every 3 months of work. The wages are not anywhere near the same the private sector makes doing the same job, and the benefits are relatively good, but you do not have alot of choice in your medical care. Even when you through in the BAH and BAQ it comes out to about 5.00 an hour someone once figured out :/ So sure, all you making over 60k a year go and sign up for the military, LOL, take a huge paycut. Hope they let you in at chief or then it will be about 3.00 bucks a hour. Think about what and how our soldiers lives are 24/7 then include them in this conversation when you have true information to contribute.
Jeff April 23, 2012 at 03:32 AM
Brenda I am appalled you didn't read all my previous comments. Had you taken the time to do so you would realize I am being sarcastic. Jesus Christ! You didn't even read the comment below yours.
Brenda April 23, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Apparently I did read your posts "backwards" to their true meaning. They are still tough on my peanut brain. :/ We have no spirit left because we sit here and have watched our country be taken over by illegals, our aid programs closed that benefit USA Citizens, to accomidate more being given to illegals and all their anchor babies. We have no spirit left, we have no hope because the simplest thing our government could do is get them all out of here, cut the aid to any and all of them, and each month we would see huge recovery in our benefits, programs restored, monies to hire more etc. etc. Our government to stand up and make all companies doing business in the USA have their offices in the USA, not other countries. Look at the biggest move of late with HILTON right? He moved all of his phone operations and offices OUT of the USA, and we continue to let him do business here? IF our government thought of us and the USA they would take a stand on these two issues alone. If Hilton doesnt bring all his offices back, and employ US Citziens, he doesnt sell to the USA people. As with ALL companies this is the way it should be, and we would see how fast these companies all moved back their plants, and offices. Right? IN turn, simple enough we would have funds for teachers, back to 1/24 students, and we would not have to keep givng up EVERYTHING to keep supporting more and more illegals and their babies. Sooo simple.
Mike April 25, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Troy... Its funny how you can hide behind your computer and say the things you do. Its obvious that the only reason you're making the comments is to try and get a rise out of people. For every comment that was left you took the exact opposite. I feel sorry for people like you. I would suggest that you visit a school, or for that matter a fire station, before you go off and make statements about things you don't understand. Do some fire fighters have second jobs? Yes, and more power to them. Does your job require you to put your life on the line each and every day? I doubt it. Does your job demand that when everyone else is running out of a burning building that they are asked to run in? I doubt it! Just remember that when your child or family member is involved in an accident that its these same firefighters that you say are paid to much and we don't need that pull your family members from the car. I bet you would be more than grateful if they helped you or your family in a situation like that. But hey we don't need them, right? I feel sorry for people like you. You love to talk about things you don't understand because your unwilling to see first hand what these people do for you and for the public. Did you feel the same way about the firefighters that ran into Tower 1???
Mike April 25, 2012 at 03:47 PM
What about Tower 2? Without firefighters our way of life would be much less safe. As for teachers... I have watched as teachers have become public enemy number 1 over the past few years. Do I think that teachers should be safe behind tenure. Not at all. However I do feel that teachers are constantly given a bad rap for a job that demands a seven day a week commitment. Most people I know leave their job every Friday and don't tend to give it a thought until late Sunday night when they are getting ready for the new week. Teachers on the other hand spend a lot of their free time grading papers, planning new lessons, working on projects, talking to parents, and trying to make sure that tomorrows generation is ready for the world.
Troy April 25, 2012 at 04:26 PM
I do know how big a scam the firefighter job is. To make what they make, doing what they do is ridiculous. They're earning six figures for what? More than 80% of their calls are for EMS type things. Those are the same things that paramedics can do but for cheaper. So if my family is involved in an accident, a paramedic can come do it just the same. Firefighters only show up to justify their existence. We only need them for fires! How often are their fires in this area? Firefighters are not putting their lives on the line every single day. Some days they do, but not most. The days when they're just sitting around at the firestation collecting double overtime to gain more days off is not detrimental to their health. Dont twist my words. I never once said we dont need them. I'm suggesting that they're overpaid and underworked. I understand much better than you may think about what these people do and dont do for the public. The firefighters that ran into tower 1 were doing their jobs. That's great. Those guys are brave and their actions are highly commendable. However, the actions of some firefighters on the east coast does not justify overpaid and underworked firefighters here. We pay these people to sit around all day and wait for something to happen. Should be minimum wage without retirement while in the station. When you get called, then you're on the clock. And your comments about teachers... Does that justify a $1.5 mil retirement, with full benefits?
Mike April 25, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Yes I do believe it justifies it. By the way what is it that you do???
Mike April 25, 2012 at 07:47 PM
What full benefits??? You have no Idea what your talking about. If you don't understand how something is being done you may want to get a good education... Oh wait, you don't feel teachers are valued... I guess you'll have to stay ignorant.
Kevin Clark May 05, 2012 at 12:46 AM
I can see you don't know or don't care who is paying for all of it. The tax payers are!!!. Why is questioning the appropriateness of lifetime health and life retirement paid with my tax dollars is out of line? How rediculous, I must admit I haven't looked to find the published salaries for teachers as of yet. Does anyone have a web site? Maybe thier communist driven corrupt union prevented thier release. I urge everyone to look at the facts at the State of California web site that lists the actual monies Murrieta Fire Dept emploees took home in 2010. 30 fire personell took home over $120,000.00 that year. Do they pay into SSI?No! Do they pay for thier health beneifts? No! Do they pay for thier life time retirerment? No! do they pay for anything? No !The state web sites include a multiplyer ( what nice benign way to fool people) this is the real amout of money taken out of the budget they just don't add it up for you. x 3, yes! times three, so instead of deducting anything ,they keep it all and we the tax payer put in the rest what a great system!. So,to keep, let say the 7th fire employee on the list employed, first we paid him $155,000.00 for the year which included "OT". Plus 3 times his salary of 72,446.00 which equals $217,338.00 add them together for a grand total of $372,338 had to be taken out of the budget to fund one guy. Just one guy. Which is about $31,028.00 a month about 180.00 an hour, not bad for a vehicle accident response team.


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