What’s in the Governor’s Proposed Budget for Children and Families? Here’s a Quick Overview

Governor Newsom’s May 2021 Revise budget, buoyed by an unexpected surge in California’s tax revenues, helps repair the deep budget cuts of the pandemic and allows the state to start to invest more to support children, families and schools.

In just one year, the California budget has moved from a $54 million deficit to a projected $75 billion surplus. When combined with new federal funding under the American Rescue Plan, California has an additional $100 billion in funding surplus.

California State PTA is delighted that the proposed budget invests in long-time PTA priorities, including early education, summer school and after school programs, mental health, nutrition, community schools and targeted support for our most needy students.

We also strongly support many of the investments in families and children outside of the education budget that address poverty, climate change, and health and human services, particularly efforts to reduce child poverty.

Source: https://lao.ca.gov/Publications/Report/4432

Education Proposals

  • Early Education: Universal access to transitional kindergarten.
  • Expanded Learning: Year-round access to enrichment activities and before/after-school supplemental education programs for children in low-income communities. Note: additional funding needed to adequately address the needs of all students.
  • Quality Teaching: Funding to retain, recruit, train and support teachers.
    Student Support. Funding for additional teachers, including more school counselors, social workers, and nurses.
  • Nutrition: Increased access to school-wide nutrition programs.
  • Community Schools: Better integrated relationship between schools and health care plans, county health, and social services to provide school-based services to children. Grants for up to 1,400 local educational agencies (more than 60 percent of local educational agencies statewide) to convert school campuses into full-service community schools.
  • Closing the Digital Divide: Greater student access to broadband internet and computer technology, both in the classroom and at home.
  • Special Education: Federal and state funds for special education, particularly to address the impact of the pandemic, dispute resolution and inclusive practices.
  • Distance Learning: Not Properly Addressed

We are deeply concerned that the state has not created a plan for high-quality distance learning. Not only is this important for students and families who can not or do not want to return to in person learning but also for innovative instruction going forward to meet the needs of students who thrive in this environment.

We believe families need quality distance learning options for the coming school year and beyond. The Governor’s current proposal to incorporate distance learning into independent learning fails to provide the on-going quality options students need.

PTA is advocating for a quality distance learning option that is equivalent to in-person learning for any family or student that needs it.

Maintaining a quality distance learning option will serve us as a state in the event of future unanticipated events. We should not waste this opportunity to prepare for the future.

Education Funding

Even with this welcome increase in state revenue, California per pupil funding still remains below the national average when adjusted for regional differences. Funding is estimated to be $13,977 per student in the coming year.

Summary of Major Proposals with Funding Allocations

You can find a quick summary of major state and federal education budget investments here.

Next Steps

Now the Governor’s May Revise will be heard by the budget committees and be voted on by June 15th with a deadline of July 1 to be signed by the Governor.

Resources to Dig Deeper

Ed100 Advocacy Flyer

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Sure, California’s education system is big and complex.

Think that’s gonna stop parent and student leaders from speaking out?

Think again. We got this.

To have credibility and influence, it helps to know your stuff.

Ed100.org explains the system plainly, one clear lesson at a time.

Understand California’s education system and take a seat at the table, where you belong.

Join hundreds of others who have become Ed100 graduates.

✓ Short lessons are clearly written in English and Spanish.
✓ Each lesson takes a few minutes to read. Each quiz you pass earns a chance to win $1,000 for your school.
✓ Complete all of the lessons to join hundreds of others who have earned their Ed100 graduate certificate.
✓ Just go to Ed100.org and sign up. It works great on your phone.
✓ Ed100 is used in over 2,000 school communities.

Yes, it’s free.

Sign up now at Ed100.org

Student Leaders Academy June 21-23 ed100.org/academy

Use Ed100.org to develop informed advocates

Will your school be represented at the Ed100 Academy for Student Leaders?

It will be held July 20-23. Every high school should be represented. Will yours? Go to ed100.org/academy

Celebrate Success!

At your meeting each month, congratulate new graduates, take a picture with their Ed100 graduate certificate, and share it on Instagram.

Have some fun

Search online for the “Ed100 Toolbox.” You’ll find videos you can use in your meetings, discussion guides, and a trivia game you can use for an icebreaker.

Win the May 26, ‘21 drawing!!

Use the drawing to lend a sense of urgency. Your school could win! Each lesson quiz you pass earns a ticket.

Use the Discussion Guides

Each chapter of Ed100 includes a discussion guide in English and Spanish. Try it!

“I use Ed100 to keep up to date with education policies in a way that helps me explain the issues clearly to others.”

Shereen Walter
Director of Legislation, California State PTA

 

California State PTA’s Equity Agenda

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Why focus on EQUITY?

California State PTA believes that all children deserve a quality education regardless of the community in which they live, the color of their skin, their language, their gender identity, or their immigration status.

But too many California students from underserved communities are deprived of an equal opportunity to learn.  At this year’s Legislation Conference, we explore how we can use our collective voices to influence legislation and the state budget to improve equity, access, and
opportunity for all of California’s children.

Advocacy Agenda for Equity

  • Poverty, Income, and Racial Inequality: The effects of discrimination, past and present, perpetuate today’s
    economic inequalities, destabilizing family security at its most basic level. PTA seeks legislation to address poverty, and the income and racial inequities that affect millions
    of California families.
  • Early Learning: PTA supports quality childcare, pre-school and early learning for all children.
  • Health and Welfare: Physical, social, emotional, and mental health needs must be met before students can thrive. PTA supports school and community programs that protect the health and welfare of all children and families, including community schools, school-based health services, counseling, nutrition, and other support services.
  • Education Funding: California’s school finance system must provide stable, sustainable,
    equitable, and adequate funding to meet the diverse needs of all our students, including before and after-school programs, summer school, and distance learning.
  • Teaching: PTA supports the recruitment and development of an educator workforce that is
    reflective of the student population, and that all students have qualified and effective teachers
    delivering a full curriculum.
  • Curriculum: PTA believes that all students deserve an education that prepares them for successful entry into society, college, and the work force. All students should be taught a full curriculum including the arts, P.E., and civics that provides them with the knowledge, skills, and support they need to thrive and become engaged members of society. Instruction should be personalized, culturally relevant, and responsive.  Coursework must address racism and bias to counteract the institutional and structural biases and related traumas that often drive inequitable outcomes for students.

Report on Legislator Visits

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PTA TEAM MEMBERS:                                                                                                                                                                                        

 

REPRESENTING (Name of PTA District, Council or Unit):                                                                                                                         

 

LEGISLATOR PRESENT
(Y/N)
STAFF MEMBERS PRESENT MESSAGE(S)
DELIVERED
LEGISLATOR & STAFF COMMENTS
         
         
         
         
         
         

 

Legislator Visit Organizer

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Date/time of appointment:                                                                       (gather with your group 10 minutes in advance)

Meeting location / Room # / Link:                                                                                                                           

LEGISLATOR

¤ Assembly Member  ¤ Senator

Legislator’s Name:  __________________________________________________________________________________

District #________    Area(s) served:  ____________________________________________________________________

Party:  Republican / Democrat / _______________

Committees:  _______________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

STAFF

Remember to collect business cards if meeting in person.

Meeting with:

¤ Chief of Staff:  ________________________________

¤ Staffer: ______________________________________  Title:_______________________________________

¤ Staffer: ______________________________________  Title:_______________________________________

¤ Staffer: ______________________________________  Title:_______________________________________

PTA Representatives

PTA Team Leader (will open meeting and introduce other PTA members):  _____________________________________________

PTA Note Taker (will take notes and complete the Leg Visit Report):  __________________________________________________

PTA Member Name Representing (city) Chief concerns/topics
   

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Legislator Visit Talking Points

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MEET California State PTA:

  • PTA members in over 3,300 schools across the state
  • 160 volunteer advocates meeting with their legislators this week as part of our conference!

Choose 2 or 3 of these that are important to your community:

INTRODUCTION

  • PTA believes that all children deserve a quality education regardless of the community in which they live, the color of their skin, their language, their gender identity, or their immigration status.

POVERTY, INCOME AND RACIAL EQUITY

  • PTA is seeking legislation to address poverty, and the income and racial inequities that affect millions of California’s families.

HEALTH & WELFARE

  • PTA supports school and community programs that protect the health and welfare of children and families, and support items in the state budget including money for:
    • Community schools
    • School based health services
    • Counselors
    • School nutrition

EDUCATION

  • California’s school finance system must provide stable, adequate and equitable funding to meet the
    diverse needs of all our students, including before and after-school programs, summer school and
    distance learning.
  • We support the recruitment and development of an educator workforce that is reflective of the students
    at each school with qualified and effective teachers delivering a full curriculum that includes the arts,
    P.E., and civics.
  • All students deserve an education that prepares them for successful participation in society and entry
    into college and the work force.
  • Coursework must address racism and bias to counteract institutional and structural biases that often
    drive inequitable outcomes for students.

SCHOOL REOPENING

  • Schools should not open in person unless it is safe for students, staff and their families.
  • School districts must provide opportunities for input and feedback from parents before and during
    school reopening planning and implementation.
  • Parent and families should be provided with choice in determining whether their child returns to the
    classroom full or part time.

Six Practical Tips on How to Advocate With Your Legislator or Elected Official

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1. Establish your agenda and goals.

  • Know what subject you are going to address. Don’t overload with issues – stick to no more than two or three.
  • Decide what you would like to get out of the visit, ie. a commitment to vote for your issue, leadership on the issue, or you may decide the visit is simply informational.
  • Allow time for small talk at the outset, but not too much. Remember, it’s your visit.

2. Listen well.

  • Much of lobbying is listening, looking for indications of the elected official’s views, and finding opportunities to provide good information.
  • Listening can allow you the opportunity to find areas of common ground on an issue.
  • If you are meeting with a “silent type,” draw her/him out by asking questions.
  • If you are confronted with a “long-winded type.’ Look for openings to bring her/him back to the point.

3. Be prepared, but don’t feel that you need to be an expert.

  • Most elected officials are generalists, like many of us. Do your homework, but don’t feel that you need to know every little detail of an issue. Air personal feelings and experiences where appropriate. Relate the concerns of your friends and members of the community.
  • Know when to admit “I don’t know,” and offer to follow up with the information.
  • Be open to counter-arguments, but don’t get stuck on them. Don’t be argumentative or confrontational.

4. Don’t stay too long.

  • Try to get closure on your issue. If you hear what you had hoped for, express your thanks and leave. If you reach an impasse, thank the legislator, even if disappointed, and say so. End the meeting and continue the discussion at another time.

5. Remember you are there to build a relationship.

  • If the elected official is good on an issue you’ve been involved in or has supported your position in the past, be sure to acknowledge your appreciation during the course of the visit.
  • If the opposite is true, think of the phrase, “No permanent friends, no permanent enemies.” Someday, on some issue of importance to you, they may come through. In the meantime, your visit may prevent the official from being an active opponent of your issue.

6. Follow-up is important.

  • Be sure to send a thank-you note after the visit. If commitments were made in the meeting, repeat your understanding of them. If staff members were present, write to them too. They can often be important allies.

Statement from California State PTA Regarding Ban on Flavored Tobacco Products

Thanks to the efforts of California State PTA and a broad coalition of health organizations and local municipalities, California just outlawed the sale of flavored tobacco products. Senate Bill 793 banned all sales of flavored tobacco and vaping products to both adults and children.

The tobacco industry waged a major opposition campaign, making this a sweet victory.

California State PTA had strong PTA authority for this bill. It had just adopted a convention resolution this summer that specifically called for the prohibition of all sales of flavored tobacco, not just to kids.

Recognizing that tobacco companies were more than happy to prohibit the sale to kids as long as they could continue marketing and selling to adults, convention delegates voted to outlaw all sales. This was to ensure flavored tobacco would not be available as an entry level product to create a lifetime of addiction.

In writing to the legislature, the PTA said:

“Flavored tobacco, and specially flavored e-liquids for vaping promote tobacco use by California’s youth. Over 5.3 million kids in the U.S. now use e-cigarettes. 27.5% of high school students used e-cigarettes in 2019 compared to 11.3% in 2016. Flavors are driving the demand for use. 97% of youth e-cigarette users report using a flavored product, and 70% cite flavors as the reason for their use. While we understand the tax implications and potential loss of revenue as a result of this bill, we believe the health benefits to our children and youth should hold more sway when deciding the future of this legislation.”

Several PTA districts drafted the resolution and worked with the California State PTA advocate in contacting key legislators and the Governor as the bill went through the legislative process. PTA worked closely with a range of state and national organizations to pass this legislation and used Action Alerts as well as the Advocacy Insider newsletter and social media to engage PTA members in this advocacy.

Governor Newsom said, “It will be a point of deep pride and personal privilege as a father of four and as someone who’s had many, many family members die at the hands of the tobacco industry to sign that bill.”

PTA Resolution and Background StatementE-Cigarettes/Vaping, Flavored Tobacco Products and Youth Health

CALIFORNIA STATE PTA RESPONDS TO NEXT PROPOSED ECONOMIC STIMULUS ACT

California State PTA sent the following letter on July 29, 2020 to Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, House of Representatives Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer:

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader McCarthy, Majority Leader McConnell, and Minority Leader Schumer:

On behalf of our 700,000 members, California State PTA is writing to express our deep disappointment that the proposed HEALS Act does not respond adequately to the funding needs of our schools and the health and safety needs of our students and school staff.

The Senate HEALS ACT provides little healing and in fact tries to force schools to open with in-person learning despite the worsening of the coronavirus pandemic throughout the country.

Instead of protecting public education by funding at the levels school experts recommend, the HEALS Act shortchanges kids and teachers.  The Council of Great City Schools estimates that schools need at least $200 billion to meet the needs of students   The HEALS Act provides far less: $70 billion is allocated to the country’s K-12 schools BUT only one-third, or about $23.3 billion, will be available immediately.

The bill tries to persuade schools to reopen in person by dangling about two-thirds of the funding ($46.6 billion) — only to schools that reopen with more than 50% in-person instruction.

Schools that are reopening mostly with distance learning will not be eligible for any additional funding outside the initial $23.3 billion.

This punishes states that are opening primarily with distance learning and prioritizing the health and well-being of students and staff.  California, the state with the most students in the nation, will not get enough money to support its schools because it is putting safety and health first.

The timeline for the reopening of schools should be based on the current impact of the virus on individual communities.  Using the promise of extra money to re-open schools in person violates our responsibility to protect the safety and health of our children.

California State PTA has several additional concerns beyond the low level of funding for schools to open safely.

  • Oppose Private School Tuition Scholarships The bill provides money for private school tuition scholarships.  Public money should be used for public schools.  Private school voucher programs undermine our nation’s public schools by diverting desperately needed resources away from the public-school system to fund the education of a few, select students in private, often religious, schools.
  • Increase Funding for Childcare The HEALS Act would allocate $15 billion to help childcare providers reopen, including $190 million for programs aimed at preventing family violence and promoting child welfare.  Childcare experts estimate that $50 billion is needed to provide for personnel, sanitation, training and other costs associated with reopening and running childcare facilities. Childcare is one of the most critical needs to allow parents to get back to work.
  • Fund Special Education Missing from the bill is what most school districts put as one of their highest needs: fully funding special education. The costs of special education have grown much faster than revenues and schools are forced to reduce services for other students to meet their legal obligations.
  • Support Internet Connectivity It is unacceptable that Congress is not providing needed resources to connect students and teachers to the internet as schools have already announced plans to conduct remote learning or a hybrid combination to start the school year. This is an equity issue that prevents students living in poverty from accessing public education.

Congress must invest at least $175 billion for K-12 education to ensure that students can keep learning and schools can reopen for in-person instruction when it is safe to do so.

Sincerely,

 

Celia Jaffe
President California State PTA
president@capta.org

cc:  Senator Diane Feinstein
Senator Kamala Harris

Shereen Walter Speaks at Press Conference in Support of Proposition 15

Shereen Walter, California State PTA’s Director of Legislation, spoke at a press conference on Thursday July 2 in support of Proposition 15, also known as the Schools and Communities First ballot initiative or the “split-roll” initiative.

The press conference was organized by the California Federation of Teachers (CFT) and the Schools and Communities First campaign. Other participants included State Superintendent Tony Thurmond, CFT President Jeff Freitas, and Los Angeles Community College District Trustee President Andra Hoffman.

To watch a video of the virtual press conference, click here. Shereen’s portion starts at 13:42.

To read more about this ballot initiative, click here.