Blanca Gallegos at 213-500-9594
Terry Carter at 213-700-5617
For Immediate Release
April 17, 2012
On Tax Day, school employees hold a “TAX REVOLT CARNIVAL” then convoy to the capital to urge millionaires to pay their fair share for California
LOS ANGELES, CA – Cafeteria workers, school custodians, child care providers and other education workers marked the hours before the tax deadline by rallying and joining in carnival style “tax revolt” games before boarding buses to Sacramento at midnight. Tomorrow, they will call on millionaires to invest in California’s future and urge legislators to preserve the protected funds for child care and student services.
“Over the past three years, $18 billion has been cut from California’s schools and community colleges and nearly $2 billion from early care and education. We can’t keep chipping away at our children’s future,” said Eddie Reed, President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 99 and a Bus Driver with the Los Angeles Unified School District. “At the same time, many of our country’s most profitable corporations are paying less than their fair share. Many are paying nothing at all despite record profits. California would have received more than $10 billion for our current fiscal year if our schools and families weren’t paying for the tax breaks of millionaires and oil companies.”
Education workers and child care providers will spend all day Wednesday, April 18, visiting legislators and urging them to prevent any further cuts to education and child care. They will also ask them to oppose: 1) the “realignment” of child care funding from the state to counties, and 2) the dismantling of protected funds for cafeterias, transportation, early education, and other student services.
These workers have spent several weeks gathering signatures for Governor Brown’s “Millionaires’ Tax” initiative. It is expected to raise up to $9 billion for 2012-13 for education and public safety. But if it is not approved by voters, it could mean $4.8 billion more cuts to K-12 schools and community colleges.
“When corporations and billionaires don’t pay their fair share, programs like quality child care and good public schools get more and more starved of critical funding, explained Tonia McMillian, a child care provider in Bellflower. “Those of us working with toddlers and school kids know that the future lies in our kids’ success in school. The current state budget proposal cuts 62,000 kids from early education programs and takes more and more money from our schools and community colleges. This isn’t progress. This isn’t economic recovery. This isn’t job creation. Education is the genuine job creator.”
SEIU Local 99 represents more than 40,000 employees in public and non-public organizations in early education, child care, K-12, and community college levels. SEIU L0ocal 99 members are: Teacher’s Assistants, Playground Workers, Special Education Aides, Bus Drivers, Gardeners, Custodians, Cafeteria Workers, Maintenance Workers, Family Service Workers, Child Care Providers, and others working in schools, colleges, and administrative offices throughout Southern California.