Teachers in California are planning statewide protests to pressure the state Legislature to pass tax extensions to prevent deeper cuts to schools, colleges and other essential public services.
The California Teachers Association (CTA) has dubbed the event "State of Emergency" and plans to hold a week long sit-in at the Sacramento statehouse along with demonstrations in cities across the state on May 13.
CTA President David Sanchez told local news station KQED that the upcoming protests are modeled on the month-long pro-union protests that occurred in Wisconsin, after the state's governor proposed eliminating most collective bargaining rights for public employees.
"Our teachers are absolutely fed up with what's happening right now," Sanchez said.
California currently has a $26.6 billion deficit and Democratic Governor Jerry Brown has been seeking to renew increases to the sales, personal income and vehicles taxes as an alternative to an all-cuts budget, according to San Jose Mercury News.
Democratic lawmakers claim that accounting for the deficit through cuts alone would devastate public schools, colleges, law enforcement, health care programs, and other basic public services.
The CTA is hoping to pressure the state Legislature into passing a budget that includes $11 billion in tax revenues for the state’s schools and teachers.
Brown has said he wants the five-year extension of temporary tax increases placed on a statewide ballot this year, but has been unable to get the state Legislature to call a special election. The governor has already approved $11.2 billion in cuts, leaving a $15.4 billion budget deficit remaining.