MODESTO -- In an unprecedented show of unity, Modesto City Schools teachers, support staff, managers, the superintendent and school board members together will campaign for the passage of Gov. Jerry Brown's constitutional amendment, Proposition 30.
The prospect of a devastating midyear budget cut brought everyone to the same table for the first time in anyone's memory, said Megan Gowans, executive director of the Modesto Teachers Association. Gowans came to the district 33 years ago.
"We felt we had enough common ground that we could work together on this," she said.
Rose Avenue Principal Diane Scott, head of the managers group, called the coalition "Modesto's 'Kumbaya' moment."
The Coalition for a Common Future has sent letters to business groups to urge support for Proposition 30. The letter notes such coalitions are uncommon within school districts, not seen since the 1980s and '90s when public schools banded together to defeat voucher efforts.
Aaron Castro, president of the California School Employees Association's Mo-desto chapter, which represents support staff, said his group will have boots-on-the-ground campaigning, as well.
The coalition plans to use the district's first "furlough Friday" on Oct. 5 to mount joint action.
Rally: From 7:30 to 8 a.m., workers and school board members will march with signs along Coffee Road by Downey High School.
Breakfast: All involved will head to breakfast at the Downey cafeteria, cooked by students in the culinary arts program.
Precinct walks: An estimated 300 school employees will walk 126 precincts, ending with a taco truck-style lunch and live music in the Downey parking lot. Gowans said the MTA and the CSEA will foot the bill, with managers contributing organizational help.
For more information or to volunteer, contact the Modesto Teachers Association at (209) 526-0191.