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If you are a reporter and would like to speak with an Educate Our State representative, please contact Katherine Welch at Katherine@educateourstate.org or (415)786-7663 or Cushon Bell at Cushon@educateourstate.org or (626)755-1276.

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Website:         www.EducateOurState.org

"Enough with Bake Sales" Parents Launch Third Camp Educate Event

LA Superintendent Dr. John Deasy and former State Sup. Delaine Eastin to speak at event

Los Angeles, CA – November 4, 2013 – Now that parents have sent their kids back to school, Educate Our State is sending those same parents to camp. "Camp Educate" is a two-day, statewide, hands-on training conference to teach parents and community members to become strong advocates for public education on the local and state level. It is organized by Educate Our State, a grassroots, parent-led, volunteer advocacy organization with 50,000 supporters across California.

Held in Los Angeles, at the Renaissance LAX Hotel, November 8-10, Camp Educate will include Saturday addresses from LAUSD Superintendent Dr. John Deasy and former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin.   Dr. Michael Kirst, President of the California Board of Education, stated "I am pleased that Educate Our State is empowering parents to be successful participants and advocates in developing Local Control and Accountability Plans that meet the unique needs of students in the varied school districts in California.  Parent engagement will be critical to the success of this process."

“Parents are realizing that they cannot "bake sale" their way out of school funding problems, and that their voice will be critical as districts begin to implement the much more flexible new funding formula” said Katherine Welch, Educate Our State Board Chair.  “Camp Educate will give parents the tools they need to make real, systemic change.  These skills will be invaluable as they return to their communities and begin the advocacy that is critical to the success of this new parent engagement plan,” said Cushon Bell, Educate Our State Board Member.

Dr. Deasy, in a previous address at an Educate Our State conference, spoke out about the importance of parent advocacy saying, “The work that you are doing about insuring the parent voice has an anchor in schools that is constitutional…don’t back away for a second.”

The New Organizing Institute (NOI) will be leading the training using the highly successfully organizing techniques that were used by Caesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers, Dr. Martin Luther King during the civil rights movement, and the Obama campaign.

California educates the largest number of children in the United States with fewer dollars per student, resources and support than most other states in the nation.  

Educate Our State was started four years ago by six moms frustrated with the state of California public Education and has grown to over 50,000 supporters statewide. 

Educate Our State is a grassroots, volunteer, parent-led organization, educating and uniting Californians to advocate for systemic change that will provide all students with a high-quality public education. Learn more at: www.EducateOurState.org. 

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For Immediate Release: July 9, 2013

NEW LEADERSHIP AT CALIFORNIA PARENT GROUP, EDUCATE OUR STATE

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JULY 9, 2013:  Board chair and co-founder, Crystal Brown, has decided to step down as board chair of Educate Our State.  A new set of leaders, Katherine Welch and Vali Frank, have been elected as the organization co-chairs. Crystal will continue to be an active board member of Educate Our State and a passionate advocate for children and public education in California.

“I am honored and thrilled to take on this new leadership role with Educate Our State,” said Katherine Welch, a long time board member of Educate Our State.  As a board member of Educate Our State, Katherine has focused extensively on outreach, fundraising and a proposed ballot initiative.  Vali Frank comes to Educate Our State with extensive experience in initiative and parcel tax campaign work as well as a passion to build a long-term, sustainable future for our children. 

Educate Our State just concluded its successful “Show Schools the Money” campaign, demanding more funds for schools and asking for a workable new funding formula.  The organization is now preparing for Camp Educate 2013, currently scheduled for September 20-22 in Los Angeles, where the organization will train parents to become grassroots organizers. One month later on October 23, they will host their annual Fall Luncheon in San Francisco.

Katherine and Vali will be chairing a highly skilled board of directors and parent leaders from all parts of California.  To learn more about the Educate Our State board, current initiatives, and upcoming events, go to www.EducateOurState.org.

Educate Our State is a grassroots, parent-led organization educating and uniting Californians to advocate for systemic change that will provide all students with a high-quality public education. 

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For Immediate Release: November 2, 2012

Contact: Teri Levy (323) 445-6641 teri@educateourstate.org

EDUCATE OUR STATE LAUNCHES THE FIRST GRASSROOTS CAMPAIGN IN SPACE!

 Educate Our State is launching their “YES for Education” campaign into space!

Los Angeles, CA – On November 3rd at 11AM, Educate Our State will prep and launch a SkyProbe weather balloon that is expected to reach 100,000 feet - the height of 68 Empire State Buildings - before bursting and crashing back to earth.  The launch will publicize Educate Our State’s Yes for Education campaign which encourages voters to pass both Propositions 30 and 38 in order to prevent California’s public education system from bursting and crashing like the weather balloon.

The event on the Sierra Madre Elementary playground includes speaker Scott Phelps from PUSD’s Board of Finance, two-time Cupcake War champion Sweet Arleen’s, Boba ni Taco food trucks, opportunity drawings, giveaways, games, music, and more. This playful, family friendly affair hopes to inform the public on the importance of the two education initiatives on next week’s ballot.  Attendees will be encouraged to take Educate Our State’s pledge to vote YES for both Prop 30 and 38. If both measures pass, the one with the most votes will take effect. If both measures fail, students could lose up to three weeks of school this year and face even more devastating cuts next year.  Educate Our State created a short video explaining what your vote will mean for public education – educateourstate.org/why_vote_yes_yes.  Vote YES for Education to help our children soar.   

Educate Our State is an all-volunteer, parent-led group, uniting the voices of Californians in support of high-quality K-12 education.  Their YES for Education campaign held over 50 events up and down the state informing parents on Propositions 30 and 38.  For more information on both initiatives, sign on to www.educateourstate.org.

What:   Educate Our State’s Launches First Grassroots Campaign in Space!
Where: Sierra Madre Elementary School playground
             141 West Highland Avenue
            Sierra Madre, CA 91024. ( http://mapq.st/Tqpsfs)
When:  November 3rd, 2012 at 11am
Why:    To promote a YES for Education vote on Props 30 and 38

 On site contact:        Stana Milanovich  (626) 476-6787 mail4stana@gmail.com

Educate our State is a grassroots, parent-led, statewide campaign uniting the voices of Californians in support of high-quality, K-12 public education and to demand real, systemic change. We believe parents, together with community leaders, can organize, mobilize and put pressure on all stakeholders to work together and agree on fundamental changes that put our children’s achievement and success first. For more information visit: www.educateourstate.org.

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Press Release: November 1, 2012

Contact: Suzy Pak (925)899-0990

Kids Protest School Cuts

November 1, 2012. Walnut Creek, CA: Elementary school children from all over Lamorinda and Walnut Creek will gather on El Curtola Blvd. overpass (Patriot’s Bridge) in Lafayette at 3pm on Friday November 2nd to remind passing cars on the busy I-680/24 interchange to vote YES on Proposition 30 and YES on Proposition 38.

On behalf of the more than six million California public school children, Educate Our State is turning to local parents to organize pop up pledge events to vote for education this fall and restore K-12 funds to the state budget. The event is co-sponsored by Lafayette For Education (www.lafayetteforeducation.weebly.com)

Kids will be wearing brightly colored shirts, holding orange pom poms and waving to the cars below to get their attention. “It’s election crunch time and if neither of the 2 education props pass, our elementary school district will see 1.5 million dollars of cuts. That is bad for California kids,” says Shelly Hamalian, parent and Lafayette resident.

“I’m excited to dance and wave at the cars and get their attention. If they vote and honk they will help my class,” says 2nd grader Sophia Rich. The focus of the protest will be to urge drivers to vote yes on November’s two education ballot initiatives: the Governor’s Proposition 30. and the Advancement Project/PTA’s Proposition 38. “Who doesn’t love seeing cute kids waving and jumping about from afar, we’ll do anything at this point to get people educated on what is happening to our schools,” says Sophia’s mom, Andrea Rich

“Without the funding provided by these initiatives schools will face cuts of nearly $6 billion dollars, or almost $500 per kid, a shorter school year, larger class sizes and elimination of all or nearly all enrichment programs,” said Crystal Brown, co-founder and Board President of Educate Our State. California already lags behind all but a few states with respect to funding (lower than 43rd), standardized test scores (math 43rd and reading 46th; NAEP 4th Grade 2009), and staff to student ratios (50th, NCES Common Core of Data, 2007- 2008).

For more information about “Kids get Cars Honking YES for Education” and please visit www.educateourstate.org, Facebook at http://www.educateourstate.org/264/kids_get_cars_honking_yes_for_education#_=_ and follow hashtag #yes4ed.

Educate our State is a grassroots, parent-led, statewide campaign uniting the voices of Californians in support of high- quality, K-12 public education and to demand real, systemic change. We believe parents, together with community leaders, can organize, mobilize and put pressure on all stakeholders to work together and agree on fundamental changes that put our children’s achievement and success first. For more information visit: www.educateourstate.org.

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Press Release October 30, 2012

Contact: Teri Levy (323) 445-6641 or teri@educateourstate.org

Moms Mobilize Voters Via Twitter to Support Public Education to say "YES TO EDUCATION" at the Ballot Box.

October 30, 2012.  Educate Our State, a parent-led grass roots education advocacy group, uses Twitter to mobilize its 45,000 supporters in order to protect education funding on the November ballot endorsing Propositions 30 & 38.

Los Angeles, CA: On behalf of more than six million California public school children, Educate Our State is turning to social media outlets to organize parents and supporters to vote for education this fall and restore K-12 funds to the state budget.  Educate Our State is partnering with popular LA based blog, MomsLA to host a Twitter party on November 1, 2012 from 7-8pm PST using hashtags  #MomsLAChat #yes4ed.

“It’s time we get parents out there voting in California and social media is the next step in getting that done,” said Teri Levy, board member of Educate Our State. MomsLA founder, CBS Local LA contributor and Twitter party host, Yvonne Condes, reaffirms the importance of this media, “We average 4 million impressions with our Twitter parties, but we have had as many as 8 million impressions in 1 hour.”   

The focus of the Twitter party will be to talk and educate voters about Propositions 30 and 38.  “We’ll chat about Education in California and what the two props would do for schools.”  Educate Our State is urging a “Yes for Education” vote on November’s two education ballot initiatives: the Governor’s Proposition 30 and the Advancement Project/PTA’s Proposition 38.  

“Without the funding provided by these initiatives, schools will face cuts of nearly $6 billion dollars- almost $500 per kid, a shorter school year, larger class sizes and elimination of all or nearly all enrichment programs,” said Crystal Brown, co-founder and Board President of Educate Our State. California already lags behind all but a few states with respect to funding (lower than 43rd), standardized test scores (math 43rd and reading 46th; NAEP 4th Grade 2009), and staff to student ratios (50th, NCES Common Core of Data, 2007-2008).  “Our goal is to educate voters that you don’t have to choose one over the other, we recommend voting yes for both Props 30 and 38 so that we don’t split the vote and we’re going to use Twitter to get the job done,” says Brown.

The Twitter party panel will consist of Edgar Zazueta who serves as the Director for the Office of Government Relations for the Los Angeles Unified School District; Crystal Brown, co-founder, Board President of Educate Our State and recent recipient of the “Women Making History” award; Liz Dwyer, Education Editor for www.Good.is and founder of www.losangelista.com and Craig Cheslog, Senior Advisor to State Superintendent of Public Schools, Tom Torlakson.

For more information about “Education Twitter Party”, please visit www.educateourstate.org, Facebook at and https://www.facebook.com/events/377097839032224/ follow hashtag #momslachat #yes4ed

Tweets can be followed at this customized TweetGrid link: http://tweetgrid.com/grid?l=5&q1=%40MomsLA&q2=%40EducateOurState&q3=%23Yes4Ed&q4=%40LosAngelista&q5=%40craigcheslog&q6=&htag=MomsLAChat

Educate our State is a grassroots, parent-led, statewide campaign uniting the voices of Californians in support of high-quality, K-12 public education and to demand real, systemic change. We believe parents, together with community leaders, can organize, mobilize and put pressure on all stakeholders to work together and agree on fundamental changes that put our children’s achievement and success first. For more information visit: www.educateourstate.org.

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For Immediate Release    October 16, 2012 

Contact: Teri Levy (323) 445-6641

PTA PARENTS GO GANGSTA WITH COMEDY RAP VIDEO – Prop 30 & Prop 38

Arroyo Filmworks partners with Educate Our State to bring attention to school funding crisis

Los Angeles, CA – Faced with budget cuts that threaten the education of their kids, a group of public school parents have written and produced “Shake You Down,” a five-minute comedy rap video about a PTA that turns to gangster tactics to raise money for their school.

 After garnering thousands of views on YouTube and Funny or Die, the video will now be featured through EducateOurState.org, an organization focused on bringing a high-quality education to every child in California.  “The video is a great way to help us spread the word about the importance of the two education initiatives on the November ballot,” says Crystal Brown, president of Educate Our State.  “If Propositions 30 and 38 fail, what happens in this video might become reality!”  Educate Our State was founded by parents who, like the parents in the video, had reached their boiling point of frustration about the dismal funding in California’s public schools. “Our 45,000 supporters are sure to love this video… and relate to it!” Crystal continued.

 “The video is funny, but the message isn’t: if we don’t fix the funding crisis for public schools, we’ll have a serious problem. Educate Our State shares our goals, so it’s a natural fit to work together,” says writer and producer, Mouncey Ferguson.

Click Here to see video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8wZFB20Aq0&feature=youtu.be

 Art Imitates Life

“The idea for the video sprang from our actual experiences raising money for our own PTA,” says director Elise Robertson, who also stars. In addition to being the creative team behind Arroyo Filmworks which released the feature “Donner Pass” in January 2012, Robertson and Ferguson are married and have two children in Aldama Elementary, a public school in northeast Los Angeles.

“Every year we’ve watched the school budget get cut more and more. And every year the PTA tried to make up the difference,” says Ferguson. “First, they had no money for a P.E. coach, so the PTA raised the money. This year, we found out the school nurse had to be let go. Really? A school without a nurse? It’s unbelievable.”

“If you don’t have school-age kids, you may not know how bad things have gotten,” Roberson continues. “Comedy is a great way to spread a message, which is why we created this video – to create awareness.” The team used members from their own PTA to play parents in the video – and their own kids were cast as the kids. “Our children had a ball!  They’d never been encouraged to destroy stuff before,” says Ferguson.

 To learn more about Educate Our State’s “Yes for Education” campaign, please go to www.YesforEducation.org. For bios and information about the web series stemming from the “Shake You Down” video, please go to www.JointheAssociation.com.

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Press Release - September 11, 2012

Parents Urge Californians to Protect Public Education and Vote "Yes on Prop 30 & Yes on Prop 38!"

Educate Our State, a parent-led grassroots education advocacy group, mobilizes its 45,000 supporters in order to protect education funding on the November ballot. The group is endorsing both Prop 30 and Prop 38.

 San Francisco, CA, September 12, 2012: On behalf of the more than six million California public school children, Educate Our State is organizing parents and supporters to vote for education this fall and restore K-12 funds to the state budget.  Educate Our State is urging a Yes for Education! vote on November’s two education ballot initiatives: the Governor’s Proposition 30 and the Advancement Project/PTA’s Proposition 38.  In order to prevent a split vote, and to ensure that one of these measures - which will restore education funding - will pass, Educate Our State is asking Californians to vote Yes on 30 and Yes on 38.  To get out the vote, Educate Our State’s 45,000 supporters are organizing voter pledge drives and voter registration drives in time for the November election.  

 “It is ludicrous that these campaigns are being considered a competition.  There is no question that what is best for kids - preschoolers to college students - is for both initiatives to pass!” said Crystal Brown, co-founder and Board President of Educate Our State. “Without the funding provided by these initiatives, schools will face cuts of nearly 20,000 teachers, a shorter school year, larger class sizes and elimination of all or nearly all enrichment programs.” California already lags behind all but a few states with respect to funding (lower than 43rd), standardized test scores (math 43rd and reading 46th; NAEP 4th Grade 2009), and staff to student ratios (50th, NCES Common Core of Data, 2007-2008). For a synopsis of these propositions produced by Educate Our State, please click here.

 “Educate Our State parent leaders, from one end of California to the other, will be mobilizing voters to ensure they are prepared and committed to voting for education this November,” said Annie Bauccio, co-founder of Educate Our State, and campaign coordinator. Educate Our State, along with many other organizations, demanded the legislature protect education in this year’s budget.  Instead they passed a budget that leaves the security of education funding dependent upon the results of this election.  “We can no longer allow political bickering to stand in the way of what is best for California’s future.  Parents are going to do everything in their power to ensure the vote comes out in support of education this year,” said Teri Levy, co-founder and Los Angeles leader.

 For more information about the campaign, “Yes for Education!”, as well as pledge events scheduled in specific areas, please visit www.educateourstate.org. Educate Our State can also be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/educateourstate and can be followed on Twitter at #yes4ed or #educateourstate.

 Educate our State is a grassroots, parent-led, statewide campaign uniting the voices of Californians in support of high-quality, K-12 public education and to demand real, systemic change. We believe parents, together with community leaders, can organize, mobilize and put pressure on all stakeholders to work together and agree on fundamental changes that put our children’s achievement and success first. For more information visit: www.educateourstate.org.

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For Immediate Release - May 9, 2012 (Download Release Here)

“STOP THE CIRCUS”: PARENT GROUP RELEASES PSA DEMANDING CALIFORNIA STATE LEADERS FULLY FUND PUBLIC EDUCATION NOW

Los Angeles, CA, May 9th - Educate Our State will release “Stop the Circus” public service announcement today as part of their This Budget Blows! campaign that is demanding state leaders stop cutting education funding. This one minute video urges voters to tell state leaders: stop clowning around – put California’s children first!

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5P5gfyu7rk

The 2012-2013 budget decisions are decimating public schools across the state. The “Stop the Circus” PSA further publicizes the need for parents, students, teachers, administrators and community members to join forces and put pressure on California’s lawmakers. This call to action asks Californians to send letters to their state legislators which takes less than one minute at www.thisbudgetblows.com

Created by two public school dads in Los Angeles, the video exemplifies their frustration with an education system that is failing our children. “Whatever your agenda, slashing the school budgets will exacerbate an already untenable situation,” said Greg Bartlett, video producer. The dads are Educate Our State supporters and wanted to do something to help the dire situation. "The recent documentary, Waiting for Superman, really opened my eyes to the dysfunction. When I saw the little girl cry when she found that she had lost the lottery to get into a better school, it broke my heart. Children shouldn't have to rely on luck for an education. What are we supposed to say to future generations, ‘Sorry, we couldn't figure it out?’ In my video, the little girl wants to know who is responsible. We are all responsible and we owe it to the children to fix it now," said Brent Jones, director and creator .

On behalf of the over six-million children educated in public schools in the state of California, Educate Our State is raising awareness about California’s failing education system and urging legislators to make education a state priority. This year, as has been the trend for the past few years, cuts are being made, class sizes are ballooning, the school year is shortening and important programs like PE, library time, and art have been slashed.

Educate Our State is a grassroots parent-led organization with 40,000 supporters statewide. It was founded in 2009 by seven moms who have kids in the California K-12 public school system. The This Budget Blows campaign launched on March 15th with dozens of school-site rallies up and down the state, and has since released a PSA entitled “Take the Sting Out of Education Cuts” which details how low California ranks in education spending compared to the rest of the country. Educate Our State leaders stress this latest video is not just about funding for education – rather, it is about making education the priority it needs to be in order for California to thrive.

For more information about the campaign, please visit thisbudgetblows.com

PRESS CONTACTS:

San Francisco Crystal Brown crystal@educateourstate.org (415) 279-3920 Los Angeles

Teri Levy teri@educateourstate.org (323) 445-6641

San Diego Fran Shimp fran@educateourstate.org (858) 490-1116

Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/educateourstate and follow us on Twitter at #stopclowningaround or #educateourstate

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Crystal Brown (415) 279-3920

crystal@educateourstate.org

www.thisbudgetblows.org

 MARCH 12, 2012

 Fed Up with Budget Cuts – California Parents and Students Tell State Leaders, “Don’t Blow It!”

 On March 15th, parents and students in cities from across the state will join the launch of Educate Our State’s new campaign, “This Budget Blows!,” by holding bubble-blowing rallies to send the message to our state leaders, “Don’t blow it!  Pass a budget that fully funds education now!”

On behalf of the over six million children educated in public schools in the state of California, Educate Our State is organizing parents, students and community members to express their frustration with the current budget proposal.  “The current budget ties education funding to a not-yet-passed initiative in November despite the fact schools need to pay for their teachers and programs now. We are fed up with the state of education in California and the inability of the legislature to provide the leadership to support our schools,” said Kalimah Salahuddin, an Educate Our State board member from Pacifica, California. On March 15, the notorious “Pink Slip” day, thousands of teachers will get lay-off notices.  In protest to these and other devastating cuts, students, parents and community leaders will be blowing bubbles in rallies throughout the state to tell our leaders, “Don’t blow it! You have the power to fund education now!”

These launch events will publicize the need for parents and their communities to take action by sending letters to state legislators as well as upload pictures of their students blowing bubbles to use in advertisements and other media.  All actions can be done through Educate Our State’s website. “Parents are bringing attention to the crisis facing our schools,” said Teri Levy, Educate Our State co-founder from Los Angeles. “Districts across the state are looking at increasing class size, shortening the school year, and eliminating counseling, art, music and other programs just to open their doors come fall - it is a tragedy” California lags behind all but a few states with respect to funding (lower than 43rd), standardized test scores (math 43rd and reading 46th; NAEP 4th Grade 2009), and staff to student ratios (50th, NCES Common Core of Data, 2007-2008). For a detailed review of the proposed budget with regards to education, please sign on to  www.educateourstate.org.

Educate Our State, a parent-led, grassroots movement with 40,000 supporters statewide, is launching the “This Budget Blows” campaign to bring public awareness to the dire situation facing California's public education system.

Educate Our State leaders stress that this event is not just about funding for education – rather, it is about making education the priority it needs to be in order for California to thrive. 

For more information about the campaign, please visit www.ThisBudgetBlows.org, Facebook at www.facebook.com/educateourstate and follow us on Twitter at #thisbudgetblows or #educateourstate.

Click HERE to download press release

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