As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Mass Student Walkout In Alameda

This is a really big deal.

Hundreds of students have walked out of their classes in Alameda in a protest over the state's proposed budget cuts.

Students from Encinal High School marched off campus and straight to the school district's headquarters.

Tuesday night, the district school board voted to cut $200,000 out of sports programs and to increase class sizes on some campuses to save money.

This got national cable news coverage today, by the way.

I'm not saying this is akin to protesting the draft in the Vietnam War era, but the similarity is that when you threaten the livelihood of a whole mass of people, you awake a sleeping giant. And society actually has a compelling interest in providing a full platter of school programs to create a well-rounded and engaged class of young people. It won't be long before these students are joined by teachers and parents on the streets.

Republicans can keep their heads in the sand or they can take note. The governor's already flopping like a fish, bringing it down to the "it depends on what your definition of tax increase is". He knows that his political legacy is on the line and that you're going to anger the whole state if you try to balance the budget on the backs of students. Democrats need to simply defend the principle that the state is worth paying for. The public will be with them. The ghost of Howard Jarvis is being slain.

P.S. High school seniors vote, they've been energized by the excitement in the Democratic presidential race, and they should be targeted furiously by legislative Democrats.

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