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Counter Rallies Over Tax Extensions on the Embarcadero

Teachers and Taxpayer Group Face Off

— Teachers and their supporters are rallying at Embarcadero Marina Park Friday afternoon to urge legislators to extend temporary tax increases and spare schools from funding cuts.

They say after $20 billion dollars in cuts over recent years, the state’s schools are already bleeding.

“We’re seeing class sizes mushroom, we’re seeing librarians go away, school nurses go away. Here in San Diego there are so few school nurses they have to travel from school to school to school,” said Bill Guy, San Diego spokesman for the California Teacher's Association.

The CTA estimates that if Gov. Jerry Brown proposes an all-cuts budget to balance the state's projected $15 billion shortfall, it'll cost California schools $4 billion for the coming school year.

The governor's May revise will include plans for $2.5 billion in unexpected tax revenue the state has taken in so far this year. But Guy said even if all of that money went toward staving off K-12 education cuts, it would be "a drop in the bucket" compared to what schools have lost up to his point. That's why the CTA and its allies are calling for extensions to temporary sales taxes and vehicle-license fees.

People opposed to tax extensions will also be on the Embarcadero Friday. They argue Californians cannot shoulder any additional tax burden and that there's plenty to cut before getting to the state's classrooms.

“The out of control spending in Sacramento at every level, in every department and the out of control pensions at every level of government need to be reined in,” said Jennifer Jacobs, who is with Americans for Prosperity, the group organizing the counter rally.

As teachers, other school employees, parents and students have been rallying across the state this week in favor of the tax extensions, Americans for Prosperity has been organizing counter demonstrations.

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