California State PTA Legislative Alert | http://bit.ly/ZOuEiX
June 3, 2013 :: A Budget Conference Committee made up of legislators from the Assembly and Senate is meeting this week to craft a compromise on the state budget and the new school funding formula proposal.
Now is the time for our voice to be heard.
PTA has long supported moving to a less complex and more transparent method of financing public schools, one that is equitable, provides additional resources based on student needs, helps address the achievement gap, and empowers those closer to our schools with greater decision-making authority.
The current funding proposals take many positive steps toward achieving these goals.
But more must be done. Take action today and urge the Budget Conference Committee to strengthen provisions in the plan that address the following critical issues:
- Adequate funding for all — Any final proposal must include a concrete plan for how the state will increase and sustain funding over time to provide all students with the quality education they deserve. The new formula makes positive changes in the way school funding is distributed — but it does not change the fact that overall school funding is inadequate to meet the needs of all children.
- Raise the base — The "base grant level" for the new formula as proposed in the May Revision is too low and should be increased. As a starting point, all districts should more quickly be restored to at least 2007-08 levels.
- Ensure access to a full curriculum — Whether through a district plan, site plan, block grant or other method, every school district must ensure that all students have access to a full curriculum that includes arts, science, P.E., civics, and more.
- Meaningful parent engagement, transparency and accountability — Clear mechanisms for accountability, transparency and meaningful engagement of parents, teachers, staff and local members of the school community must be established. As part of this, additional funding for English Learners, students from low-income households and foster youth must be used to serve those students.
- Time for thoughtful implementation — Implementation of the new funding system must take a measured approach to allow governing boards and districts time to plan to meet the needs of all students, and to engage their local stakeholders.
- Invest in Early Childhood Education – Though not directly tied to the new funding formula, a robust re-investment in early childhood learning must be included as part of the state budget.
TODAY'S ACTION – Call the two co-chairs of the Budget Conference Committee and encourage them to support California State PTA's recommendations that strengthen the new funding formula for all students.
Click here for a sample script and get started today. Watch for other alerts throughout the week and keep taking action.
Make our voice heard on behalf of all children.
Click here to read California State PTA's full letter to the Budget Committee.
This legislative alert is being sent to subscribers of our Legislative Alerts, Sacramento Update and to all unit, council and district PTA presidents to share with their board members throughout the year.