The recent California state budget deal contains a number of hard pills to swallow, as was emphasized in this recent press release from State PTA. At their Legislation Conference in Sacramento last week, State PTA leaders and delegates from across the state delivered the following messages to legislators on behalf of PTA:
- PTA is very disappointed with the cuts to education and other critical services to children in this budget.
- “PTA’s economic recovery plan: Invest in Children”–to protect their future and our state’s economic sustainability.
- PTA strongly supports SCA 6 (Simitian) which would lower the threshold to pass a parcel tax to a supermajority of 55%. If Sacramento is not going to provide sufficient funding for education, then we need to ensure communities that wish to do so are able to pass local funding measures.
- PTA believes that there is a need to work towards a long-term solution for adequate and stable education funding to provide a quality education to every child. PTA supports AB 8 (Brownley) to look at restructuring California’s school finance system.
- PTA supports the removal of the 2/3 majority to pass a budget.
If you choose to write to your legislators, emphasize the above talking points, and here’s some other things that you may want to ask them as well:
- Share examples of the things that are on the “cut” lists in your school district and health & social service agencies that serve children. Explain how these cuts impact children.
- What steps will you take to invest in chilidren?
- Senate: Are you willing to serve as a co-sponsor of SCA 6? Assembly: Do you support SCA 6?
- Do you support AB 8? What other ideas do you have to reform school finance?
- Do you support removing the 2/3 majority to pass a budget?
- Invite them to visit schools in your District and see firsthand the programs being cut and the impacts that children will suffer. Ask how you could help facilitate these visits for you.
Included in the State Budget deal are several ballot initiatives that will be going to the voters on a May 19th statewide special election. Currently, the California State PTA has not taken any positions on these ballot measures yet, and neither can/should units, councils, or districts. The State PTA Legislation Committee is currently in the process thoroughly evaluating these ballot measures, reading arguments for and against, and determining what authority PTA has to take positions on these measures. The State PTA Board of Managers will be voting on whether or not to take positions on these ballot measures at their meeting this weekend, and information on PTA’s stances, if any, will likely be available early next week.