Teachers Strip Off Shirts in Budget Protest

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Travis MacKenzie

    Clothing was flying through the air at the Escondido Unified School Board meeting Wednesday night.

    Teachers from several Escondido schools offered the shirts off their backs to board members to illustrate that they’re tired of watching their salaries reduced due to budget cuts.

    The clothing started coming off when Romero Maratea, president of the Escondido Elementary Educators Association, addressed the board.

    “It seems then next item you want to take will be the shirts off of our backs. So I’m going to go ahead and give you my shirt either symbolically or literally if you want it,” Maratea said.

    Other teachers came forward at the meeting with boxes filled with shirts collected in an earlier demonstration. Some audience members tossed other shirts on the floor in front of the board.

    The district is attempting to trim about $11 million of its estimated $150 million budget this year.

    Teachers urged the board to use their reserve to fill the gap.