By Bay City News Service
Walkouts are taking place this morning (March 4) at Canada College in Woodside and Skyline College in San Bruno as part of a statewide protest against budget cuts to education.
In the protests at both schools, organized by the student groups Canada Strikes Back and Skyline Against the Cuts, students will walk out of classes beginning at 10 a.m., according to event organizers.
Students are protesting layoffs, rising fees and tuition, course cancellations and overcrowding, and loss of student services at the University of California, California State University and K-12 schools.
"The citizens of California want their public education back," said Robert Ovetz, an adjunct professor at Canada College.
He described the day's events as "an impressive new movement of students and faculty and staff that are fighting to protect public education from privatization."
Ovetz said at about 9:30 a.m. that students were beginning to assemble at the campus' main quad in preparation for the walkout.
A 30-foot by 20-foot banner reading "Rise Up and Walk Out" hung from the library in support of the several hundred students who had pledged to participate at Canada College, Ovetz said.
He said some students told him his morning that students at schools throughout San Mateo County, including in Half Moon Bay and Redwood City, were participating in budget cut protests today as well.
At Skyline College in San Bruno, a cross-campus march was slated to take place at 10 a.m. followed by a two-hour rally on the main quad, according to Michelle Araica, student leader of Skyline Against the Cuts.
She said that this afternoon, Skyline and Canada colleges have a carpool system set up to get to the Daly City BART station, where students will take BART into San Francisco to join the protests at 24th and Mission streets.
The College of San Mateo also has a day of events planned, including poetry and music, to educate students about the budget cuts, but that school is not taking BART into the city with Skyline and Canada colleges, Araica said.