SACRAMENTO – The following letter from California State PTA President Pam Brady was presented to the June 1 meeting of the California legislature’s Conference Committee on the Budget and delivered to all of the state’s legislators.
Feel free to use statements from the letter to write to your legislative leaders.
The conference committee session, dedicated to the Governor’s May Revision proposals for education and child care, drew dozens of people to speak, including PTA leaders and students from throughout the state.
We especially want to thank PTA representatives from Chowchilla and Bass Lake (Eleventh District), San Mateo (Seventeenth District PTA), Plumas Lakes and Placer County (Third District), South Pasadena (First District), Pittsburg (Thirty-Second District) and Paso Robles (Twenty-Fourth District).
TV coverage of the hearing featured California State PTA volunteer members. To watch, click here.
June 1, 2009
The Honorable Noreen Evans, Chair
Legislative Conference Committee on the Budget
State Capitol Room 6026
Sacramento, CA 95814
Dear Chairwoman Evans,
The state’s current fiscal crisis has led the Governor to propose additional, drastic cuts to education and children’s services. But how deep those cuts are, and how permanent, is up to you and members of the Legislature.
On behalf of our nearly 1 million volunteer members – and on behalf of every child in the state – the California State PTA urges you to reject the Governor’s proposed “cuts only” state budget solution and to adopt a budget plan that includes additional revenues to mitigate the severity of cuts that will be made.
Our state’s economic future depends on a healthy, well-educated workforce. And the California dream – a dream we all share and that built this state – calls for every child to have true opportunities to succeed in school, at work and in life. That dream is in grave danger. Already more than $11 billion have been cut from schools in this past year. Approximately $6 billion in additional cuts have been proposed by the Governor. These cuts will impact our children in very real ways: Students will have fewer teachers, counselors and courses to choose from; students will be in larger classes and have less up-to-date materials and technology to help them learn; and they will have few or no programs like summer school to support them if they are struggling.
At a time when we need to prepare every student for the challenges of the 21st century global economy, the Governor’s proposal would slash school funding to the point where an entire generation of students will be dramatically shortchanged. Cuts of this magnitude will restrict opportunities and reverse the slow and steady progress being made in many of our schools and communities. Equally alarming, the Governor has proposed to completely wipe out critical programs like Healthy Families and CalWORKs, which help keep more children healthy and prepared to succeed.
We understand the magnitude of the state’s current fiscal crisis. It is unprecedented. And we recognize that legislators and the Governor crafted an agreement in February that attempted to balance some of the deepest cuts with additional, temporary revenues. However, in the aftermath of the May 19 election, our state’s leaders must work even harder to come up with a responsible, compromise plan. Every creative way possible must be examined to close loopholes or generate revenues that reduce the damage of cuts to children.
We urge you and the Legislative Conference Committee to reject the notion of a cuts-only budget as one that is irresponsible, and one that will do irreparable harm to this generation of children.
We cannot compromise the future of our state or our core values without doing everything in our power to prevent it.
Pam Brady, President
California State PTA
Cc: All members of the Legislative Conference Committee on the Budget
All members of the Legislature
This article was reprinted from a June 2nd Legislative Alert from the California State PTA. Subscribe to these alerts here.