Calif. teachers lobby lawmakers to protect school funding

Teachers from across California are converging in Sacramento to lobby state lawmakers to stop cutting funding to public schools.

The California Teachers Association says more than 200 educators are hitting legislators' offices Tuesday to ask them to sign commitment cards pledging to protect public education from further budget cuts.

Several lawmakers plan to join the teachers for a news conference to announce the names of legislators who signed the cards.

The teacher lobbying campaign comes as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature negotiate over how to close a projected $19 billion state budget deficit.

State budget cuts to education have led to widespread teacher layoffs and deep cuts to academic programs and extracurricular activities.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press