California Public Education Budget Horrors

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20 thoughts on “California Public Education Budget Horrors

  1. Supermom Jacqui Viale from Lowell Elementary in Long Beach urges us to copy and snail mail the text below, preferably by Nov. 21, and cc’-ing your legislators. Her dream is to flood our elected officials’ offices before their next budget session. (Also note an excellent source for tracking all things legislative is the California PTA’s website at capta.org.)

    ———-

    November 14, 2008

    Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
    State Capitol Building
    Sacramento, CA 95814

    Dear Governor Schwarzenegger:

    I am writing this letter to you regarding the ongoing cuts to the State of California Education budget. This absolutely has to stop. Due to the budget cuts over the last several years many basic programs and needs of our schools have been funded by parents throughout California. These basic items, programs and support services include classroom supplies, library books, computer software and hardware, playground equipment, custodial supplies, school librarians, reading specialists, technology and science teachers, school counselors, school nurses as well as funding for Class Size Reduction. The parents are now at a breaking point and cannot fund any additional shortfalls caused by additional budget cuts.

    California has one of the top ten economies of the world – our children deserve to have a world class education. As such, I strongly urge you to fight for the children of Los Angeles County and California, reject additional cuts to the education budget and urge the California Legislature to do so as well. Children are the future of our great state and education must be a priority for all Californians, especially in times of economic strife.

    Thank you for your consideration and service to the state of California.

    Regards,

    Name:
    Address:

  2. Sandra,
    Great Letter! Thanks for speaking out.

    In my opinion Booster clubs,PTO’s and PTA’s, need to STOP paying for teachers, programs that supplement schools budgets! The more we do this the more the state takes away! In LAUSD we have parents at schools spending 40-80 hours a week volunteering to get $50,000.00-$300,000.00 per year writing grants, greasing elbows with local politicians and outside fundraising. With the economy funds are becoming more and more difficult to come by and our friend Arnold just keeps cutting. As a body parents across the state need to show their discontent!

    “It is not too early to begin to start raising
    our voices on behalf of children. Now that the Legislature
    has adjourned and members are back home in
    their districts, it is important to communicate to
    them the simple fact that California schools need
    additional revenues.”
    Want more information-Read the 8 page Sacramento update from the CA State PTA
    http://www.capta.org/sections/advocacy/downloads/sac-2008-10.pdf

    PTA has a State Legislation committee Which is a great resource to all parents –

    read more-http://www.capta.org/sections/advocacy/downloads/LegislationPriorities.pdf

    California State Senate

    http://www.sen.ca.gov/~newsen/senate.htm

    California State Assembly

    http://www.assembly.ca.gov/acs/default.asp

    Find My Legislator

    Find your California legislative representatives using this zip code search engine.

  3. I don’t know if this should go here or not, but I toured my neighborhood school finally today, and the woman who led the tour (director of the on-site magnet program) said that LAUSD was ending open enrollment. My googling does not seem to support this, but she says “it just happened”. Does anyone here know if this is true? It would certainly shorten my tour list…..

  4. Hi Amy.

    Last year our school dropped from 25 spots to 5. The principal was told at the road show with all this incessant building, LAUSD is attempting to remove all trailers by 2010 or 2011. This of course would force kids back to neighborhood schools.

    The bigger elephant in the room, however is the budget cuts. If ratios jump to 25:1 or 29:1, the grade levels will be so off at most schools they’ll be needing splits at every grade unless they bring in some open enrollment.

    But we’ll just have to take a wait and see attitude until we know more. I do know schools prefer child care permits because they are renewable yearly (and can be NOT renewed), and they are grade specific (we only have 3 spots in second grade, sorry).

    They’ll have bigger issues if they try to end open enrollment, including more parents bailing out than they have now. We are essentially in uncharted territory.

    Ang

  5. Response to Theresa’s blog of 11/22/08……….
    I agree, PTAs and booster clubs should long ago have stopped paying for ependitures that should be coming from the LAUSD budget. E.g., Kester Ave. Elementary/Magnet PTA, pays to keep our nurse fulltime(CHA-ching $$!!). PTAs and boosters have fed the Beaudry Street Lion too long, and the the beast is always ravenous for more. Unfortunately in this LAUSD budget slash/burn we are unlikely to convince parents not to fundraise; their Fear Factor is already pretty high about the impending loss of monies to schools.

  6. Just got wind of a Cortines sighting THIS week. Sorry for the late notice, but here goes: That’s right folks, Cortines is coming over the hill!

    LAUSD Board of Education member Tamar Galatzan is hosting a community town hall meeting with Cortines this Thursday, Feb. 19 at Grant High School.

    The meeting is scheduled to run from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

    Considering Cortines rises by 4 a.m., this is a late night, but also know that if past meetings are any example, he’ll speak for 15 minutes tops then reserve the rest of the meeting to answer questions from parents and community members.

    Grant High School is at 13000 Oxnard St. in Valley Glen 91401 between Woodman Ave.& Coldwater Canyon Ave.

  7. There’s another Galatzan sponsored Cortines Town Hall Meeting at Notre Dame High School on March 18th. If I can get more info, I will provide it ASAP.

  8. It is late notice but Cortines has asked to speak with the parent leadership from the District Advisory Committee (Title 1), District English Language Advisory Committee (DELAC), Parent Collaborative and Community Advisory Committee (CAC for Special Ed). Meeting is 12:30PM Monday, March 9, 2009 at the PCSB Auditorium within the Parent Community Services Branch at 701 W. Cesar Chavez, LA 90012.

    This is a public meeting – anyone is welcome. Parking is validated and garage entrance is not on Cesar Chavez.

    Bill

  9. A Very Special Board Meeting

    On March 31st at 1 p.m. the LAUSD Board will be voting on two big components of the latest budget submitted by Cortines. The first vote will include moving all categorical funds to “unrestricted use,” i.e. that $10 million the voters wanted designated as Arts Block Grant – meaning use specifically for music, theatre, visual art and dance – now will get moved to the “trust us” category.

    The second big vote will be to approve the staff reduction to balance the budget.

    Be a geek like me and sign up to get board agendas and minutes by going to the following page and click on the links that say “click here to get board meeting agendas.” You can even download the agendas and minutes to see what’s up.

    Yours in the belief that knowledge is, in fact, power,

    Katy (lausd parent and teacher)

  10. Hey all,

    With all the talk about the stimulus money, and what each school can expect to receive, I ended up writing an editorial in the Daily News this weekend.

    You can find it here: http://www.dailynews.com/search/ci_12021749?IADID=Search-www.dailynews.com-www.dailynews.com

    The budget is expected to be voted on tomorrow (3/31). I get that class size has to go up, and that teachers will lose their jobs, because we can’t violate contract agreements. I’d just like a little flexibility at the school site since the district keeps mentioning “choice.” I want my daughter’s school to have some real choices, even though they won’t get Title I stimulus. I’m thinking specifically of those 73-74 schools who feel like the red-headed step children of LAUSD. We do more with less.

  11. planetmort, I tend to agree with you. Since some of the employees must be told by contract by May 15, there will be a MAD scramble to deal with these budgets and make decisions at the school level.

    Galatzan’s Thursday newsletter is throwing around bigger numbers, $800 for Title I and $195 for grades 4-5-6 in non-Title I, and honestly, it’s still not going to buy us back anything close to a teacher–a part time aide, maybe.

    I know some of the unions are talking about furlough days, but UTLA isn’t budging. Hopefully, folks will talk to Duffy and explain to him we’re ALL in this together.

  12. OK, we’re now facing the worst case scenario threatened for months.

    What are non-negotiables for you? What could you conceivably deal with? Given how many movies are shown after June 1st and the text books start going back, would 5-7 days off the school year be so bad?

  13. Anyone have any comment on the shortened kindergarten days starting in September 2010? Just when I thought we were out of the woods, my kids are going to get out of school at noon or – worse – start school at 1??!!

    Anyone have more info or thoughts?

  14. As a LAUSD Kindergarten teacher and a LAUSD mom, I think that Full Day Kindergarten(FDK) has been really successful. I know Cortines put the idea of axing FDK out there in a speech in June. I haven’t heard anything else.
    The only reason to get rid of the FDK program is to save money. The only way to do that is to have teachers teach a double session. This would be insane! (Before FDK, 2 teachers shared a class and team taught together and going back to this model wouldn’t save any money.)

    Assigning one teacher 48 students is ridiculous. I hope for our kids, this idea does not play out like this.

    • Hi Julia,

      I can only speak as a mom, and not as a teacher, but I was less than thrilled with full day kindergarten. I felt forced to choose it, since it seemed like the amount of reading and math were the same, it was the “extras” the kids lost out on. As someone who can enrich at home, I felt 3 hours at 5 years old was enough, and the curriculum of kindergarten today is essentially the curriculum my son didn’t see until first grade. I also know I’m in the minority.

      As for cutting full-day kinder, I’m sure you’re safe. The reason that the district mentioned what will need to be cut in 2010-11 is to find funding sources. Most parents want full-day kinder, so whether the district finds the money or charges parents (like they used to), it will still exist.

  15. Craziest question of the century – I am now officially so painfully unemployed my kids qualify for FREE preschool – 9am-3:30pm – M-F at Toluca Lake EEC That’s the AWESOME news – we really love the place.

    Now the bizaare question. Isn’t there some law or rule about how blankets and pillows should be brough from home home, bagged separatley, and every other possible lice preventive tactic we can use?

    My daugter contracted then at her hoity toity school and now I’m really really careful about it – hope to not be one of “those parents’ but present the information in a way (and even provide the bags if funding is an issue.).

    Anyone? Help?

    xoL

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