Saturday, April 25, 2009


There have been some exciting developments over the past week for our “Support Local Schools” movement…

- Governor Schwarzenegger sent a personalized response to a letter written to him about the situation here in MDUSD. He acknowledged the efforts here and the frustration being felt by school employees.

- Our Friday Demonstration was not only well attended by the staff of EDMS (as always, you rock), but also present were two new supporters (pictured above): Sean Bristol, a De La Salle High School teacher, and Lia Muñoz, a District Representative for Senator Mark DeSaulnier! District Representative Muñoz stood with us and talked to the teachers about the crisis we are facing. She is looking into setting up a time for a few staff, parents, and students of EDMS to deliver letters to law makers in Sacramento. There could also be an opportunity for us to meet Senator Mark DeSaulnier.

Thank you to both of them for joining us on a cold morning to help get the word out that the cuts to our educational system are not okay!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Welcome back from break!

Here at the EDMS pink slip and budget cuts headquarters we have a few things in the works for the first week back:

#1 - Back to School Night: We will be demonstrating out in front of the school before the evening kicks off. Come join us by handing out flyers to the parents and families of the very kids we are fighting for. We will be there from 6 - 6:30 pm.

#2 - Friday Demonstration: We will meet at the usual time and location to represent for the cause once again this Friday. If you are taking part in the RIF hearings, please come join us before you go!

#3 - MDUSD Video Fundraiser: A local man, and parent of an MDUSD student, is going to be filming a children's action film to help raise money for our district's sports and music programs. Check out the site and support this positive effort by pre-ordering the video! The link is in the Related Websites section on the bottom right. When you go to the page, click on the eBay PayPal icon then click on "Buy It Now." You will be prompted to sign in with your eBay account info.

#4 - Contact Your Legislators: Take a few minutes some time this week to email the folks who are making the decisions that we are struggling against. Tell them about our district and the bleak future we are facing due to unfair cuts in education. There is a link on the right that can put you in contact with our law makers.

As always, we thank you all for the support and effort you have put forth. Together we make a difference.

Friday, April 10, 2009


We have officially reached the four-week mark since Pink Friday. Although we are still worried about what next year (and the future beyond) will hold, there are reasons to feel positive about the impact our efforts have had.

With this in mind, we just wanted to take a moment to mention what we all have accomplished:

- The teachers of El Dorado have joined together each Friday morning for demonstrations.
- There are currently 24 dedicated followers of our site.
- This site has received over 3000 hits.
- EDMS and the efforts here have been the focus of 3 news spotlights- with the prospect of more to come…
- The posts here have received 95 comments.
- There were 117 comments on the site in reaction to the post about our demonstration.

Thank you to all of the reporters and photographers who have come out to cover our efforts.


Have a great week off and check back for updates after the break.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


This Sunday's Contra Costa Times ran an article on the first page of the "East Bay" section written by Theresa Harrington. In the article, about the state budget cuts, El Dorado is mentioned, our blog is mentioned, and the fabulous Wendy Murphy is quoted!

We have stood up for what we believed to be an injustice and have been recognized. Well done all!

Here's the part about us:

Across town, nearly half of El Dorado Middle School's teachers could be out of jobs next year.

This knowledge has created a sense of instability, leading El Dorado employees to create a "support local schools" blog and to rally every Friday morning at Concord Boulevard and West Street.

"The times are uncertain," seventh-grade teacher Wendy Murphy wrote on the blog. "Tension is high and morale is low. ... My students are constantly asking questions about what will happen next year and sharing their concerns with me."

To view the full article, go to Contra Costa Times, Sunday, April 5th in the Contra Costa County Section. Title: "District budget cuts hit faculty -- and students"


California’s latest $11 billion cut to schools and colleges is the state’s largest single budget cut ever made to public education. $11BILLION! What is the message this sends? The value Sacramento places on educators and school programs is now painfully clear. Are we held in such low regard as to deserve these cuts by the thousands? Has our state decided to completely check out of the business of educating our children?

As a society, we need to send our own message: It is not acceptable to treat our profession with such little respect. We deserve better. What we do is vitally important and our educational system is not where you start the process of cutting government spending. As a community, state, and country we talk quite a bit about how we want to not only compete, but lead on a global scale. We want the future of our country to not only support us but to make us proud with their innovations and ingenuity. If we take away the tools they need to develop, how can we expect them to soar?

Skimping on the foundation is never a good plan.


Denise Hood, a 6th grade Resource Specialist, recently spoke at an MDUSD Board Meeting. Denise and her husband James both work at El Dorado and are among the people we fight for, as they have both been given notice that they will not be offered a position in our district next year. Here are a few highlights of her speech:

“Good Evening Superintendent Nicoll, President Eberhart, and Board members - My name is Denise Hood and I am involved with the district on many levels. I am an alumni of the district who attended K-12 and graduated from Mount Diablo High School. I have two children who both attend Concord High School. Both my husband and I have been affected by the recent notices of precautionary action. It is scary for all who received this notice but you can only imagine how scary it is to have both of your household incomes on standby. I am on the schools leadership team, the PFC, co-chair of the 6th grade team, master scheduling committee and am the academic coach for the after-school program, I spend hours upon hours at my site and have poured my heart and soul into my school and my students for the past 9 years. The possibility of leaving is breaking my heart…

As a teacher and a parent in the district, I feel this is the time when we have to stand together and fight back. We have to say “Enough is Enough” and protect our children. They are our future and these cuts will seriously impact their education and their safety…

I know that tonight you will be discussing the priority list of items that should be on the Tier 1 and Tier 2 lists when the parcel tax is passed. There are two items that I specifically want to mention tonight.

The first is the teacher ratio that was increased at a board meeting earlier this year. This makes class sizes larger and offers less supervision on every level.

The second is Daytime Custodial Supervisors. Ours has been with our site for 18 years. He is our flag football coach, basketball coach, and a mentor to every student on our campus. I have never heard him say a negative word about anyone. On the day he found out his position had been eliminated he was repeatedly found comforting crying staff members when he was the one that lost his job. He is a true gentlemen and a gift to our site. He is on constant watch for our students’ safety… For those of us on sites every day we can not imagine how we will function without this very important position.

Thank you for your time and please visit our blog spot and join our rallies and our effort to be active in the fight against the state budget cuts.”