Monday, May 17, 2010
Our Day In Sacramento - Yr 2
Another successful trip to the capitol!
Today a group of 4 teachers, 6 students and 5 parents from El Dorado went to Sacramento to tell the story of our community; one that is facing yet another round of debilitating cuts to staff and programs. We went into Sen. Mark DeSaulnier's office and spoke to him about the concerns we have.
The teachers (Mr. Cuizon, Mrs. Machado, Mrs. Hood, and Mr. Kelly) began by sharing the story of our district's cuts including the effects we are seeing at our site in terms of our library, our computer lab, special education cuts, lack of continuity in personnel, and general observations of deficiencies in the system.
After we spoke, Theresa Dowd, the mother of a current and a future Toro, spoke to the senator about the effects budget cuts are having on teachers and kids. She was able to send a message as a community member who is watching, concerned, as our state fails to provide for our future's ability to compete in a global market.
Finally, and most powerfully, we sat proudly by as our 7th and 8th graders read their thoughts. They not only touched on the things that are affecting them personally and their futures, but were able to offer ideas and constructive solutions to our budget crisis. We were all inspired and impressed by each of them. They showed the senator what it is we are fighting for; they are why we do what we do.
The Senator thanked us for coming and talked about his position. He then brought the whole group onto the Senate Floor and described the process to the students. Our school's name was put onto the marquee and we took pictures before the session started. Mr. Kelly and the 6 students remained on the floor and were announced at the beginning of session then remained for a taste of the lawmaking process.
Our day ended with a visit to Assm. Tom Torlakson's office to drop off letters written by a number of El Dorado's English students and a stop by the Governor's office. Thank you to all of the EDMS teachers who supported this trip by encouraging their students to write letters to our local lawmakers.
Thank you to Mark DeSaulnier and the people in his office who made our second annual trip to the capitol a success. We welcome him and his staff to come visit El Dorado any time.
Our community needs a change and that only happens when people speak up. We will be back next year to bring our story to all who will listen.