Numbers are important to parents. We count down the days until our children enter our lives by gestational weeks. Doctors proclaim their overall initial health with Apgar scores. We even proudly announce their arrival with a slew of numbers representing pounds, ounces, inches and hours of labor. And as our children grow, the numbers continue to increase in importance. Parents in California particularly have been paying attention to some very important numbers. Numbers like 49, which represents our state's staff expenditure per pupil. (Only Arizona and Utah rank lower). Number 49 is also the ranking of overall teacher-pupil ratio. And $15.7 billion is the estimate for our state's budget gap—$6.5 billion is the latest estimate for additional educational budget cuts expected to be absorbed by the school system this year alone.
Can a grassroots parent group convince California's state legislators to create a balanced budget without deeper education cuts? That's the goal of the "Stop the Circus" public service announcement produced by Educate Our State, a 3-year-old 40,000-member organization hoping public pressure can force legislators to protect schools from the latest wave of slash-and-burn fiscal policy.
Editor’s Note: The following news release is from Educate Our Sate.
Fresh off the highly-publicized launch of their campaign, “This Budget Blows,” and determined to get the attention of California’s leaders, Educate Our State has released a new video titled, “Let’s Take the Sting Out of Public Education Cuts.”
Nearly 80 percent of Californians oppose $5 billion in so-called trigger cuts to state schools this fall, but only a slight majority of voters support the governor's tax plan to stop it, according to a survey of 2,000 voters released Wednesday.....
Indeed, San Francisco parent Crystal Brown said she believes parents are tired of the annual scramble to find enough money for schools, relying on Band-Aids and temporary taxes to make due.
"I think people are tired of feeling that," said Brown, board president of Educate Our State, a grassroots organization that supports long-term solutions to school funding problems. "It can't be year-to-year, knee-jerk" reactions.
At the same time, Brown said she doesn't see parents rejecting the governor's ballot measure if it will protect schools from more cuts.
"I will be willing to bet parents will come out and support anything on the ballot to tread water," she said.
Bake sales and band-aids are no longer the solution to California's public education budget crisis.
Challenged by a complex school funding formula few understand, the Parent Partnership for Public Education (PPPE) hosted an education forum on March 21 in Tauxe Hall at the Methodist Church to address the situation.
Four speakers, including Dr. John Deasy, Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), addressed the forum topic''Our Education Funding Crisis: How We Got Here and How We Can Fix It.'
The PPEE is a local group founded two years ago by two Pacific Palisades mothers, Amy Baker and Rene Rodman, who were concerned not only about their own children's education (at Palisades Elementary), but the rest of the state's children as well.
'California educates one out of eight public school students in the United States,' Baker said, 'and that my friend is a huge chunk of the future of our country.
Recent handout of pink slips and approval of ballot measure show just how dire funding situation has become at Cabrillo Unified, superintendent says.
It’s an uncertain time for Coastside schools.
Without continued support from the school community, good news from the state of California about the budget, and a positive vote on an $81 million bond measure to take care of the $2.5 million structural deficit, the Cabrillo Unified School District will run out of options and money, said Superintendent Rob Gaskill.
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board of Education addressed two contentious and emotional issues last week, when they followed through on issuing more than 11,000 reduction-in-force (RIF) notices and made policy changes to address to sexual abuses within LAUSD schools.
According to a statement, LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy said 11,713 preliminary RIF notices had been sent out, though the budget deficit had dropped unexpectedly. He said the layoff notices actually represent 6,700 full-time positions.
Students across Redwood City blew bubbles at a peaceful demonstration, to express their concern for the government to not "blow it" on the public school budget this year.
Despite the rainy forecast for Thurs. March 15, elementary school students from nine schools across the district gathered in protest to the scanty California public education budget. This peaceful bubble blowing rally organized by the statewide campaign, Educate Our State, was aimed at the government, warning state lawmakers not to “blow it” with this year’s budget.
Thursday, March 15, is "pink slip" day at the Pasadena Unified School District, where teachers will get their lay-off notices. (In years past. not all teachers who got notices were actually laid off -- but if they're in danger of losing their jobs, the notice has to go out this week).
Altadena Elementary School isn't taking it lying down: it's joining about 50 other schools around the state with a "Don't Blow It" event that morning during drop-off:. According to Altadena Elementary parent Cushon Bell, the bubble-blowing event is to "educate parents and community members and encourage them to write to their legislators regarding the urgent need for a balanced budget that does not further negatively impact our California public schools."
The bubble-blowing event is sponsored by Educate Our State!, a parent-led statewide campaign to support high-quality K-12 public education.
ANASTASIA LUBARSKY: The school’s not getting enough money for all this fun stuff for the students, like field trips and [unclear] and other fun stuff. Gov. Brown is not getting that message, so we’re blowing bubbles to get him the message.
GREG LAND: If we don’t get the initiatives passed that the governor is proposing, we’re going to have major cuts again. I don’t think people realize what’s going to happen with those cuts; we’ve been taking cuts for years, year after year, and it’s just gotten to a point where education’s going to break.