Skip to comments.California PTA plans rally to oppose Schwarzenegger budget (traditionally nonpartisan)
Posted on 04/18/2005 5:08:52 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
SACRAMENTO (AP) - The California PTA, traditionally a nonpartisan organization, is adding its voice to the chorus of education advocates opposing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's education budget.
With May budget revisions approaching, the parent-teacher organization plans a "Caravan for Kids" to bring parents and schoolchildren to a Capitol rally next week to urge the governor and lawmakers to restore $2 billion in education funding.
"We don't have any special interest except for our children," Carla Nino, president of California PTA, said Monday. "We want the governor and the Legislature to know that parents are not happy."
The largest share of the governor's $111.7 billion budget proposal goes toward public education - $36.5 billion in 2005-06. That's nearly $3 billion more than the state paid last year, but just covers enrollment growth and cost-of-living increases.
Education advocates complain that they should also get a share of the increased revenue California saw this year - which would add another $2 billion for this year and next - because of a minimum funding guarantee approved by voters.
Though the PTA doesn't track fund-raising efforts, Nino said she has seen an increasing number of local PTA groups raising money for books, materials and teacher salaries.
For example, Nino said a local PTA in Santa Monica raises about $350,000 to $500,000 to pay for teachers aides, art supplies, computers and instructional materials.
In Irvine, a local PTA raised $80,000 this year to keep a class-size reduction program in place because without that, the ratio of students to teachers would rise, Nino said.
But these local efforts often exacerbate the inequities between school districts, she said. "You have areas where parents are able to raise those funds, and areas where they can't."
A revised budget plan is due in mid-May and Nino hopes throngs of parents and schoolchildren will sway Schwarzenegger to put more money into schools.
The PTA is planning local rallies on April 27 to urge the governor and lawmakers to increase the investment in public schools, and are organizing a rally at the state Capitol the following day.
The governor maintains that the funding guarantee - Proposition 98 - was suspended last year and schools are not owed the additional money. Schwarzenegger also notes that he has proposed increasing funds for schools but believes giving any more money to education would hurt other vital programs.
Administration officials acknowledge they are likely to have more money than they thought they would when the January budget proposal was put together. H.D. Palmer, spokesman for Schwarzenegger's Department of Finance, said his office is not sure yet how much more money might be available.
The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office, which reviews and analyzes operations and finances of state government, estimated in February that the state would have about $2.2 billion more in the next fiscal year than the governor forecast in January. That revenue estimate has not changed.
How that might be divided is also not clear, but Palmer said schools are not necessarily at the top of the list. He noted that the governor would like to return some of the $1.3 billion in road and highway money that Schwarzenegger proposed to divert to the general fund.
Palmer also said the governor would like to borrow less money too - Schwarzenegger has proposed using about $1.7 billion of the Proposition 57 bond money that voters approved last spring.
Nino said her members are equally upset with lawmakers, who she said aren't vocal enough in supporting public education.
"The Legislature needs to come out and say, 'We'll fund education,'" Nino said. "They need to say that loud and clear and I haven't heard that yet."
Associated Press Writer Tom Chorneau contributed to this report.
On the Net: California State PTA: www.capta.org or www.caravanforkids.org
The sooner this state belly flops, the quicker the real work can begin..
Until then, the media and 'responsible' parties will continue beating a broken drum about how evil anyone proposing change, ie; real reform, IS.. like they give one rat's fat arse about the children.
I think if the teachers unions would take the huge amount of money they spend on radio and tv ads, and put that loot into class room supplies or what ever is needed, perhaps the PTA would not have to do fund raisers..
The California PTA, traditionally a nonpartisan organization should lose its 501(c)3 tax exempt status.
Who's going to ping the IRS?
"The Legislature needs to come out and say,...
"We're going to dramatically increase income, property and gas taxes to finance education,'"
I'm certain that all the high income, SUV driving, large house owning PTA members will be just fine with that. Hope the Leg. decides to add in mandatory fees for public schools too, maybe progressively tied to income. /sar.
Sheez!!!! Where do you think money comes from!!
This is how Kalifornia got into the problem. There seems to be a bit more money than projected, let's spend it! Nevemind we are the other side of bankrupt. Let's spend what we have and what we can borrow.
PTA exists and PTA units operate at the pleasure of teachers' unions. PTA has never stood against the position of the union, and never will. If it did, teachers would stop paying dues and it would fold within a year.
Can't blame them. They pay few taxes and reap some very expensive benefits for their children.
What would California do if they could return 38% of their public school children to Mexico on one bus?
What would Fox do if 20% of his population returned home with a high school education and no where to utilize it except in the drug trades.
Hey have you still got any PTA connections Passion? If so, go help the Governator out.