The two anonymous pink slipped Los Angeles Unified School District teachers behind the rap video "Two Teachers and a Microphone" are back. The angry duo is still demanding the school board rescind the 5,000 preliminary layoff notices sent out to teachers and other school site employees. But in their latest track, they're also encouraging Angelenos to join them in pressuring California's legislators to put Governor Jerry Brown's school-funding saving tax extensions on a June special election ballot.
Like the last installment, the video is entertaining and full of pop culture references—you'll spot stills of Harry Potter films, teen sensation Rebecca Black, and a Lolcats-style mockup of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. But the subject matter is undeniably serious. Over the past three years, California's K-12 schools and colleges have been hit with $20 billion in budget cuts and more than 30,000 teachers and 10,000 other school employees have already been laid off.
If the state Legislature doesn't agree to either extend the temporary taxes or place the measure on the June ballot to let voters extend them, California's schools will be hit with an additional $2.3 billion in cuts, making those 5,000 preliminary layoff notices permanent. Unfortunately, the likelihood of that happening is slim since both options require a two-thirds majority, meaning that every single Democrat in the Legislature plus two state Senate and two state Assembly Republicans would have to agree to extend the taxes.
The rapping teachers are asking citizens to stand up for our schools by contacting their local representatives about the tax extension. They also hope Angelenos will come out to protest the proposed cuts at a "Los Angeles March for Our Communities, Our Jobs" on Saturday March 26 at 10 a.m.