California State PTA Calls for Action in a Statement on the Elementary School Shooting in Uvalde, Texas

May 26, 2022

SACRAMENTO, CA – In the wake of recent elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, California State PTA, is asking for more than your thoughts – it’s time to take action.

California State PTA stands with National PTA and Texas PTA as one voice demanding safe schools for every child in our nation. We must put an end to gun violence and provide support for our children and families impacted by this trauma.

We must stand up for the 19 students, two teachers that died and the 17 injured in the Uvalde, Texas tragedy. As the country’s largest volunteer led child advocacy association, we must demand that our lawmakers be as brave as the teachers who gave their lives to shield their students from gunfire. As parents and teachers and community members who care about our children we must end this violence.

“For more than a century, California State PTA has advocated for safe schools and for gun laws to protect our children. And now another school shooting is in the news. When will it be enough? How many more children have to die before we do something? Gun violence is a public-health crisis that affects us all – and it is time for action,” said California State PTA President Carol Green. “California State PTA supports state and federal legislation that protect children and youth from gun violence.”

Our position statement on Firearms and Assault Weapons affirms the association’s stance on firearms including minimum age requirements to purchase guns, prohibiting the sale and possession of assault weapons defined as automatic and semi-automatic weapons, and incorporates language from the National PTA position that the safest schools are gun free schools.

California State PTA will be addressing gun violence, school safety and mental health issues with federal lawmakers in Washington D.C. on June 15 during the 2022 National PTA Hill Day – but we are not waiting – we ask our members to take action now and urge congress to protect our children from gun violence.

California State PTA will continue to watch federal legislation including House Resolution (HR)  8 – Bipartisan Background Check Act of 2021 (Thompson) and will keep members informed with action alerts. 

Take Action:

Resources:

Resolutions:

On Tuesday, National PTA shared:

California State PTA Response to Governors May Budget Revise

California State PTA President Carol Green has released the following statement in response to the proposed Governor’s May Budget Revise:

California State PTA is pleased that the Governor’s May budget revision includes many PTA priorities. We are encouraged by the projected increase in Proposition 98 funding and the proposed increase in the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) base grant. Adequate and stable school funding has been a long time PTA priority. Although we appreciate the direction of this proposal, we urge the Governor to embrace the significantly larger LCFF base grant increases proposed by the Legislature and supported by California State PTA.  Further, we renew our commitment to seek stable, ongoing funding rather than fluctuating and one-time funding.

PTA Priorities:

  • Nutrition Adding $611.8 million to the Universal school meals program to ensure reimbursement rates for schools continue when the federal funding ends (current funding ends 6/30/22 unless Congress acts to extend this program).
  • LCFF Base Funding May Revise proposes an increase of $2.1 billion, about three-percent, to the LCFF base funding. This will impact students in all public schools in California and we encourage the administration to go further to increase the funding closer to what is proposed in the legislature.
  • K-12 facilities $3.9 billion in facilities over the next three years for modernization and new construction. To address outstanding school maintenance and energy efficient upgrade, the governor is proposing an additional $1.8 billion.
  • Expanded Learning Opportunities This budget proposal would fully fund the implementation of the Expanded Learning Opportunities per classroom based ADA Program (ELOP) four years ahead of schedule. This proposal would allocate $2500 for every low income student, English language learner and foster youth in grades Tk-6 in the state.
  • Pre-Kindergarten Education
    • State Preschool Family Fee Waivers – waiving the family share cost for children participating in the State Preschool Program for the 2022-2023 school year
    • State Preschool Program – increased funding via adjustment factors for students with disabilities and dual language learners in the State Preschool Program

We are hopeful that the proposed Discretionary Block Grant will allow school districts to use one-time funds to address student learning challenges, support the mental health and wellness of students and staff and allow local decision making on how best to use the funds to support our local school communities.

The increase to 6.56% to the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) from the proposal of 5.33% in January is improving news, although this still puts school districts behind inflation which is just over 8%. This highlights the need to pursue the Legislature’s proposals to further increase LCFF base funding.

PTA is also encouraged to see the Governor’s commitment to invest  in special education, community schools, mental health services, early literacy, community engagement, STEM instruction and teacher and staff retention and recruitment.

California State PTA will continue to work with both the administration and Legislature to ensure the needs of California’s children and families are met. As PTA members, this is an opportunity for advocacy both locally and throughout California.

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Read the statement from California State PTA President, Carol Green in response to the proposed 2022-2023 Governor’s Budget.

Watch On-demand: California Revise Budget Discussion with Special Guest Kevin Gordon

The California State PTA Legislation Team and Kevin Gordon, one of the top West Coast fiscal experts in school funding, met on Tuesday, May 24 at 7 pm for a California budget discussion. Kevin highlighted some of the changes outlined in the Governor’s May Revise budget proposal and answered questions from our members.

Watch the Recording Now

BIO: Kevin Gordon, President and Partner, Capitol Advisors
Widely viewed among the top education advocates in California, Kevin is the President and a founding Partner of Capitol Advisors Group. Kevin was the longtime Executive Director of the California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO), and previously served as the Chief Lobbyist and Assistant Executive Director of the California School Boards Association (CSBA). He also served as Chief of Staff to Congressman Robert T. Matsui and as a legislative advocate for the California Building Industry Association (CBIA). He holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of San Francisco. Prior to that, while completing his undergraduate degree in communication studies at the University of California, Davis, he was recruited by the IBM Corporation and served three years in its national marketing division for large systems.

Read the statements released by California State PTA President, Carol Green in response to the proposed 2022-2023 Governor’s Budget and the Governor’s May Budget Revise.

California State PTA Invites You to a Panel on Student Mental Health in California Schools

Join the California State PTA Legislation Team on March 15th to hear a panel of experts from CA Association of School Counselors, CA School Social Workers Association, CA Association of School Psychologists, and First 5 California discuss how our kids’ mental health is impacting their schooling, and their take on what can and should be done.

When: Tuesday | March 15 | 7pm-8pm
Location: Via Zoom

This event will be interpreted in Spanish. 

 

Register Now

 

 

 

 

SPEAKER BIOS


Cristina Dobon-Claveau
, LCSW, PPSC has been a School Social Worker for 16 years.  She has been on the CASSW Board since 2017,  She began her career in the Minneapolis area serving students in K-12 settings.  Since moving to California she served in various roles in Sacramento area districts as a School Social Worker doing PBIS coaching, ERMHS counseling, and most recently implementing Wellness Centers in a local high school district.  Currently, she is a Coordinator of Mental Health and Wellness for the Sacramento County Office of Education.  She has a passion for ensuring students have access to mental health and social-emotional supports in schools.

Jackie Thu-Huong Wong, MSW, PPS serves as Executive Director for First 5 California and is a professor for Sacramento State’s School Nursing Credential program. She has extensive experience in the non-profit and public sector having served as executive staff for GRACE/the End Child Poverty CA campaign; the National Center for Youth Law; Statewide Foster Youth Services Director at the California Department of Education; and Senior Policy Advisor to California Senate President Darrell Steinberg.  Ms. Wong prides herself in being a school-based social worker who has a focus on strong comprehensive collaborations across agencies and diverse stakeholder groups.

Dr. Maureen Schroeder has been a school psychologist for 22 years, has been a graduate educator for the last 12 years, and has earned her doctorate degree in Educational Psychology.  She is currently working for Elk Grove Unified School District, providing mental and behavioral health support to middle school students.  Aside from being a practitioner, she is also actively involved in our State and National association, currently Immediate Past-President of CASP and NASP California Delegate.  She is also an Assistant Professor for UMass Global, School of Education, and oversees their School Psychology program.

Dr. Loretta Whitson is the Executive Director for the California Association of School Counselors (CASC), the largest state association representing school counselors in the nation.  CASC guides schools towards linking school counseling to their overall mission and vision. Dr. Whitson, well regarded within the profession of school counseling, provides policy recommendations and advises state and local decision-makers on educational issues. Whitson spent 25 years as a school district administrator and school counselor in the Monrovia Unified School District. Dr. Whitson’s work in Monrovia was instrumental in the interconnections between school- and community-based mental health services. She also served as a Commissioner on the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and was an Assistant Professor and Chair of the Educational Counseling Program at the University of La Verne.

 

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS


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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To view or download a PDF version of this flyer, click here.

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
   

1)

2)

   

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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.