PTA Press Release
CONTACT: Carol Kocivar
Vice President, Communications
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: (916) 440-1985 ext. 303
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
STATE PTA ISSUES STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO GOVERNOR’S MAY REVISE
SACRAMENTO, CA- Pam Brady, President of the California State PTA, issued the following statement today in response to the Governor's revised budget proposal:
"Since January, parents and community members throughout the state have raised their voices in overwhelming opposition to the damaging cuts to education and children's services proposed in the state budget. The May Revise appears to reflect some of those concerns by not suspending the minimum education funding guarantee. However, there is still much work to be done by the
Legislature and Governor to ultimately ensure a balanced budget solution that does not jeopardize the health, safety and education of our children and our future workforce. Many essential programs and services are still extremely vulnerable. California State PTA will continue to carry the message that shortchanging education funding and services to children is the most expensive mistake California can make.
The dialogue at the Capitol needs to continue moving towards how much we should invest in our children and California’s future, not how much can we afford to cut. California has been operating for too long with a broken, outdated budget process. By adequately investing today, we can ensure that California has a viable economy in the future.
Now is the time to invest in our children and in the future of California.”
The California State PTA is a branch of the 110-year old National PTA, with over a million members statewide. The PTA is the nation's oldest, largest and highest-profile volunteer organization working on behalf of public schools, children and families, with the motto "Every child, one voice." PTA volunteers work in their schools and communities to improve the education, health and welfare of all California children and youth. The PTA also advocates at national, state and local levels for education and family issues. The PTA is non-profit, nonpartisan, non-sectarian and non-commercial.
For more information, go to www.capta.org
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Superintendent of Public Instruction's Press Release
Contact: Hilary McLean
Schools Chief Jack O'Connell Responds to Governor's May Budget Revision
LOS ANGELES – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell today issued the following statement regarding Governor Schwarzenegger’s May Budget Revision:
“Teachers, parents, administrators, and paraeducators across our state have joined together over the last four months to illustrate what a devastating impact the cuts proposed in January would have had on our schools. I think it’s clear the Governor has heard the outcry from the education community over his initial budget proposals.
“I welcome his new proposal and retreat from suspending Proposition 98. But to say that education is fully funded in this budget is an overstatement.
“Schools still must absorb the 10 percent cut made to specific programs like class size reduction, counselors, and targeted remediation programs. These cuts remain in today’s proposal and have real-world impact on our students. Many teachers and other essential school staff will still face layoffs, classroom sizes are likely to increase, and there is no cost-of-living increase at a time when the cost of gas, food, and other school essentials is increasing. With the price of gas alone increasing by nearly $1 a gallon over the last year, the failure to fund a cost-of-living adjustment amounts to a serious budget cut in practical terms.
“I realize the Governor has a lot of tough decisions to make, and I commend him for taking the difficult but necessary step of recognizing that we need to raise more revenue. I am concerned, however, about a proposal that relies so heavily on the Lottery alone to fund schools. This scheme does not address the long-term funding needs of our schools. Instead, it gambles on our students’ future by providing one-time funds for schools with a multi-year repayment plan.
“California is already near the bottom in terms of per-pupil spending. The Governor’s budget revision still falls short of what schools need now, and doesn't begin to address what is needed in the long term. I continue to argue that we are long overdue for a conversation about how to adequately and effectively fund public education in a way that invests in California’s future.
“I will continue to work with the legislature and Governor Schwarzenegger to find a budget compromise that meets the needs of our students and all Californians.”
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LAUSD Press Release
For Immediate Release
May 14, 2008
LAUSD SUPERINTENDENT DAVID L. BREWER AND STATE
SCHOOLS CHIEF JACK O’CONNELL RESPOND TO
GOVERNOR’S REVISED BUDGET, IMPACT ON EDUCATION FUNDING
LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles School Board President Mónica García, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Superintendent David L. Brewer III and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell today addressed the school funding implications of Governor Schwarzenegger’s May Budget Revision, which still calls for billions of dollars in education cuts in the State’s 2008-09 budget.
García, Brewer and O’Connell were joined by Los Angeles School Board member Yolie Flores Aguilar, Joshua Pechthalt, vice president of United Teachers Los Angeles; and representatives from the California State PTA at a news conference at Rosemont Elementary School in Echo Park.
As a result of the Governor’s so called “May Revise,” K-12 education in California will still see billion of dollars in cuts. The Governor had proposed a $4.8 billion reduction in January. In turn, the LAUSD will still need to make significant cuts, which could impact classroom instruction and student performance.
“The Governor’s public school budget cuts amount to educational malpractice in the devastating impact they will have on our kids,” said Board President Mónica García. “As a state, we risk our future prosperity when the Governor refuses to look at more ways to raise revenue and instead chooses to sacrifice the future of our children and our state.”
Supt. Brewer also had strong words in opposition to the Governor’s new proposal.
“It’s ironic that on the day we’re celebrating the accomplishments of our teachers, with California Teacher of the Day observances, that the Governor sends us a revised budget that continues to balance the State’s budget on the backs of our teachers and our students,” Brewer said. “That is unacceptable.”
Earlier this year, the LAUSD announced that every effort would be made to minimize the impact of budget cuts on the classroom by seeking efficiencies at District headquarters and at Local District offices.
“Even with layoffs to administrators and efficiencies at the District level, the depth of these cutbacks force the District to layoff critically needed school nurses, psychologists, social workers, counselors, bus drivers, food service workers and janitors,” said Flores Aguilar. “Cuts to support services, which I do not believe are wise to make, would be draconian.”
When first announced in January, the Governor’s proposed budget cuts would mean a $460 million loss in revenues—which is the equivalent of shutting down 22 District high schools or laying off 5,750 employees. The cuts could result in larger class sizes, reduced per-pupil spending, an increased dropout rate and a decrease in graduation levels.
With the May Revise numbers in hand, District staff will be able to present proposed budget cuts to the Los Angeles Board of Education by May 20. The School Board will then have two weeks to review the spending blueprint before adopting the LAUSD’s 2008-09 Budget, June 24, at the last regular Board meeting of the fiscal year.
The LAUSD is obligated to submit an approved provisional budget to the Los Angeles County Office of Education by July 1. By meeting this deadline, the District will also provide the authority necessary to fund programs for the new school year that begins that day (July 1).
statement by Scott Folsom @ O'Connell/Brewer Press Conference Wednesday, May 14, 2008:
I am the immediate past president of 10th PTA and a Community Concerns Commissioner for the California State PTA. I want to assure you that the PTA community - 1 million strong - is concerned.
And that we speak for all 6.4 million CA schoolchildren with one voice.
I am standing before you today as a parent who's been briefed by folks who've talked to folks who have been briefed — which sadly puts me in the category of "parents in the know".
That being said I'm told to be cautiously optimistic. Caution comes easy - and optimism is the stock in trade of parents everywhere.
The cuts to education in this May Revise are not as draconian as previously and perversely threatened — but the cuts to children's issues like foster care, medical and vision and dental health are probably worse. Prop 98 may not be suspended - but the cost for this is still to be paid by children.
That is totally unacceptable.
Nonetheless we are at a beginning and we must go forward.
The other day I was typing at my keyboard, inputting the buzzword of the moment - and I misspelled "enhancement", as in "revenue enhancement".
The spellchecker suggested "enchantment" - and ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, that is what I and all parents everywhere are looking for: Revenue Enchantment!
The governor looks to the lottery to save education. Been there, done that, the T shirt was twelve sizes too small.
We need to increase revenue and spending to pay for the services that children in Los Angeles and up and down the State need and deserve.
Special Ed children.
English language learner children.
Poor and disadvantaged children.
At risk children.
Children who need fillings and glasses and healthcare.
Everyday regular children
Kids in foster care,
And that means raising taxes and investing in the future - because any budget that doesn't invest in the future and in our children cannot reap the rewards of that investment in the form of a stable, educated, productive workforce.
We can afford excellence in education in California, we cannot afford less.