Assembly Member Julia Brownley “Walks a Day in the Shoes” of School Security Officer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT
Blanca Gallegos, Communications Director
213.387.8393 x219 | bgallegos@seiu99.org
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Friday, March 05, 2010

SANTA MONICA, CA — California Assembly Member Julia Brownley worked a shift with John Adams Middle School Security Officer Chauncy Jones, patrolling the campus, maintaining order in the lunch lines, counseling students and ensuring the safety and security of students, teachers and others at school. The day was meant to highlight the direct impact of state budget cuts on students and workers.

State legislators make decisions about public school funding. Chauncy Jones and other Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District employees are asking legislative candidates to use their campaign platforms to advocate for better education funding, including funding for school security officers who maintain safe campuses and mentor children to stay in school and avoid gangs and drugs.

State budget cuts are forcing the District to consider teacher layoffs and cuts to essential student services, including campus security officers. School employees at Santa Monica Malibu Unified have agreed to take five furlough days this school year and five more in 2010-11 to offset some of the budget shortfalls. Additionally, school workers are urging voters to accept a $198 per parcel tax to preserve student instruction and services. The Governor’s recent budget proposal cuts nearly $2.5 billion more from our schools, which could force school districts to make further cuts.

“I’ve worked for the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District for 11 years and this is the most difficult economic situation we’ve ever been in,” said Chauncy Jones. “There are two Security Officers at my school and they are considering cutting one position. That will mean one officer patrolling 16 acres and responsible for the safety of 1100 students! I hope the Assembly Member’s experience today really helps her understand how dire these cuts are, and how lives are being affected.”

“I have seen schools through the eyes of a parent, a school board president, legislator and chairwoman of the Assembly Committee on Education so I understand the critical function that support staff play at California’s schools,” said Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, D-Santa Monica. “But, I want an even deeper understanding of their roles during this fiscal crisis in which they are being laid off in greater numbers so that I can be a better advocate for them and the jobs they perform.”

This is part of a series of “Walk a Day in My Shoes” events inviting all candidates for state legislature to learn firsthand the impact of budget cuts on student services and classified employees.

SEIU Local 99 is a union of more than 43,000 dedicated education workers who guide our children from preschool and kindergarten, through grade school, high school, and at community colleges. We are teachers, paraeducators, custodians, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, first responders, and others working in schools, colleges, and administrative offices throughout Southern California. We are part of SEIU International, the fastest-growing union in North America with 2.1 million members.

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