More than 200 students, parents, and teachers protested at UC Berkeley today in demonstration against Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed $1.4 billion in budget cuts to California higher education.
“Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to cut $1.4 billion from public higher education is totally unacceptable,” said Adarene Hoag, a 28-year-old UC Berkeley alumnus. “ We have to start this movement of students demanding a right to public education.”
Demonstrators representing Oakland High School, MLK Middle School, UC Berkeley, and Skyline High School spoke of their personal struggles with the massive budget cuts.
Gov. Jerry Brown has requested budget approval by March 10th. The students goal, according to Hoag, is to get the state legislature to intervene and stop cuts from occurring. She claims that decreasing public education will have a trickle down effect on several middle and lower-income communities because they simply will not be able to afford to send loved ones to college.
“Public education is a right, not a privilege,” said Yvette Felarka, MLK Middle School teacher. “ We have got to take mass militant direction action to fight for our rights, because any right we have is a right that we’ve fought for and won.”
Felarka was one of the many representatives of BAMN (By Any Means Necessary), a student-teacher organization that aims to restore affirmative action in schools and reform public education.