PTA Update for Members on Proposed 2021-2022 California Budget

This article was written by Carol Kocivar, California State PTA’s Legislative Advocate.

The proposed California budget for next year targets significant funding to help children, youth and families recover from the health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19. This includes more money for housing, health, small businesses, low income families and education.

While the budget picture is unexpectedly rosy this year, projections are for lean years ahead. Because of this, the budget also socks away money for a rainy day to avoid deep cuts in future years.

Investments in Education

The Governor proposes to use some of this year’s economic windfall for three big education priorities

Pay Down Deferrals

What does this mean? Last year, the state did not have enough money to pay schools the full amount of money they were owed. So they delayed making full payments to schools for the year. This is called a deferral. Last year’s budget deferred $12.5 billion in payments to schools and community colleges. The Governor proposes to pay down $8.4 billion of this in 2021-22. Slightly more than $4 billion would remain deferred until 2022-23.

Money to Open Schools and Expanded Learning

The budget proposes one-time grants totaling $2 billion to help schools offer in-person instruction. These grants can be used for:

  1. Salaries for certificated or classified employees providing in-person instruction or services
  2. Social and mental health support services provided in conjunction with in-person instruction
  3. COVID-19 testing
  4. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  5. Ventilation and other site upgrades necessary for health and safety

Education organizations want funding for health, safety and testing to be paid with non Prop 98 funds, such as federal money.

Also in the budget is $4.6 billion in grants for additional academic support targeting disadvantaged students. This could include summer school, longer school days, community learning hubs, and other locally developed interventions. Expanded learning is a long-time PTA priority.

Cost of Living Adjustment

Last year there was not enough money to pay for an increase in the cost of living for education. This year the state is making up for this by giving a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) of $2.2 billion ongoing.

Other Education Investments

K-12 per-pupil spending is projected to increase from $12,354 this year to $12,648 next year. Other education investments include:

  1. Money to support pension payments
  2. Training and recruitment for teachers and other educators
  3. Special education services for infants, toddlers and preschool
  4. Community schools
  5. Student mental health
  6. Early education
  7. School to career data system

Investments Outside of Education

Business/individuals

The budget makes significant investments that support children, youth and families who suffered from the economic consequences of the pandemic. California’s unemployment rate increased from a record low of 3.9% in February to a record high of 16.4% in April and May. Small businesses struggled to stay afloat. The budget provides a variety of investments to create a financial recovery. Among the important supports for families is the Golden State Stimulus, a proposed tax refund for low-income earners who suffered economically from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pandemic

The pandemic recovery investment includes vaccine distribution, preparing and expanding the health care system for a surge of cases, protecting at-risk populations, and emergency response activities.

You can find additional details about budget investments below:

California State PTA Responds to Governor’s Proposed 2021-22 Budget Plan

SACRAMENTO, JANUARY 13, 2021 – California State PTA has released the following statement in response to the Governor’s budget plan for 2021-2022:

“This has been an unprecedented time for students and families,” said Celia Jaffe, President of California State PTA. “The global pandemic and civil unrest has rocked the foundation of our public school system. The state and federal budget investments we make this year are critical to restoring the health, safety, social, emotional and academic support needed for all children and families.”

“In the view of California State PTA, the Governor’s proposed budget holds promise. The $6.7 billion to mitigate the COVID pandemic impact on schools will support students and staff. We must keep the health and safety of our students, staff and families first in any early action plan. Addressing learning loss and ensuring equity are crucial.”

“PTA is also pleased to see investments in student mental health, early childhood education, extended education, and the cradle-to-career data system as well as the ongoing commitment to professional development for educators. Use of one-time funds to spend down funding deferrals owed to K-12 education and to defray costs of employee pensions makes sense.”

“We appreciate the focus on investments in special education, but a greater financial commitment will continue to be necessary to fully fund the costs for our most vulnerable students.”

“PTA believes that prioritizing the needs of vulnerable families is more critical now than ever, and we look forward to working with the Legislature and Governor as the proposed 2021-2022 budget moves through process during this unique and challenging time.”

###

About California State PTA: California State PTA connects families, schools and communities. We are part of the foundation of our public education system and a trusted messenger to millions of members, parents, families, educators and allied agencies throughout the state. PTA is the nation’s largest volunteer-led child-advocacy association working to drive improvements in the education, health and well-being of all children and families. For more information, visit www.capta.org.

MEDIA CONTACTS

Heather Ippolito
Vice President for Communications
communications@capta.org

Ignacio Barragan
Assistant Executive Director
ibarragan@capta.org
916.440.1985

California State PTA Responds to Riots at the U.S. Capitol

SACRAMENTO, JANUARY 11, 2021 – California State PTA has released the following statement in response to the riots at the U.S. Capitol, which shook the nation.

“We at California State PTA denounce last week’s attack on our Capitol,” said Celia Jaffe, President of California State PTA. “This assault on our government was shocking and intolerable. As a nonpartisan organization, PTA supports full participation in, and respect for, the democratic process, affirming that free and fair elections and an orderly transfer of power are cornerstones of our democracy that must not be compromised.”

“Our body of dedicated parents and teachers has a long history of empowering children and families by fostering civic engagement in our communities. We concur with National PTA that the divisive actions of Wednesday provide parents, as first educators, an opportunity to have open and critical discussion about how democracy and civics work in our country.”

“We should also remind our children that the uncivil actions of a few cannot thwart the positive impacts of the many that are committed to the advancement of greater diversity, equity and inclusion in our schools and communities.”

California State PTA encourages the review of our resolutions on civics education (Support for the Civic Mission of Schools (2006) and Citizenship Education (1989)) and information on how civics create educated citizens.

Supporting children as they witness upsetting news stories is crucial. Here is a PTA resource:  https://www.pta.org/home/family-resources/health/Emotional-Health/Discussing-Difficult-Situations-With-Your-Children

###

About California State PTA: California State PTA connects families, schools and communities. We are part of the foundation of our public education system and a trusted messenger to millions of members, parents, families, educators and allied agencies throughout the state. PTA is the nation’s largest volunteer-led child-advocacy association working to drive improvements in the education, health and well-being of all children and families. For more information visit www.capta.org.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Heather Ippolito
Vice President for Communications
communications@capta.org

Ignacio Barragan
Assistant Executive Director
ibarragan@capta.org
916.440.1985

CHHSA Releases Master Plan for Early Learning and Care: California For All Kids

The California Health and Human Services Agency has released the Master Plan for Early Learning and Care: California For All Kids.

The Plan will help the state better understand the crisis families, children and early learning and care providers are facing amid the COVID-19 pandemic and identifies key policy goals to ensure that all California children can thrive physically, emotionally and educationally in their early years through access to high-quality early learning and care programs.

These goals include universal preschool, enhanced workforce development and equitable career pathways for educators and caregivers, and funding reforms to promote equitable access to high-quality early learning and care.

You can find get a quick overview of the plan and download the full report at https://californiaforallkids.chhs.ca.gov.

You can read the official press release here.

Webinar: Navigating a Safe Return to In-Person Instruction – Dec. 10, 2020

CCEE will be hosting a statewide webinar this Thursday, December 10th from 4:45pm-5:30pm titled Navigating a Safe Return to In-Person Instruction: A Conversation with State Public Health Leaders.

During the webinar, state public health leaders and educators will share the latest insights and related guidance for K-12 schools, as state public health leaders share information regarding Governor Newsom’s Regional Stay-At-Home Order.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency and Dr. Erica Pan, Acting State Public Health Officer of the California Department of Public Health will be discussing how local educational agencies can continue to safely bring students back for in-person instruction under the Elementary School Waiver Process or Cohorting Guidance.

Click here to learn more, or click here to register.

New English-to-Spanish Translation Feature on Website

Para leer este mensaje en español, desplácese hacia abajo en la página.

California State PTA is excited to announce that capta.org now offers English-to-Spanish translation*, using the Google Translate plug-in tool.

How to use it: Simply navigate to the page you want to translate, then click the “Translate” icon in the upper right corner and select “Spanish.” When the page automatically reloads, it will be all Spanish! No need to do this on every page you navigate to, but you can always toggle back to English if you’d like, using the same procedure.

We think this tool will make our website more accessible to the thousands of PTA members who primarily communicate in Spanish. Of course, Google Translate is not 100% perfect, but it comes pretty close!

Make sure you use the right web browser: The translation feature is only visible by navigating to capta.org using one of the following web browser versions:

  1. Microsoft Edge, Version 84.0.522.40
  2. Google Chrome, Version 84.0.4147.89
  3. Firefox, Version 7.8.0.2

* PDF documents on the website are not translated by this tool

Nueva función de traducción del inglés al español en el sitio web

La PTA del Estado de California se complace en anunciar que capta.org ahora ofrece traducción del inglés al español *, utilizando un sistema de Google Translate.

Cómo se usa: simplemente navega hasta la página que deseas traducir, luego haz clic en el ícono “Translate” en la esquina superior derecha y selecciona “Spanish”. Cuando la página se recargue automáticamente, ¡todo estará en español! No es necesario hacer esto en cada página a la que navega, pero siempre puede volver al inglés si lo desea, utilizando el mismo procedimiento.

Creemos que esta función hará que nuestro sitio web sea más accesible para aquellos de ustedes que se comunican principalmente en español. Por supuesto, Google Translate no es 100% perfecto, ¡pero se acerca bastante!

Asegúrese de usar el navegador web correcto: La función de traducción solo es visible al navegar a capta.org usando una de las siguientes versiones del navegador web:

  1. Microsoft Edge, versión 84.0.522.40
  2. Google Chrome, versión 84.0.4147.89
  3. Firefox, versión 7.8.0.2

* Esta funcion no traduce los documentos PDF del sitio web

SkyOne Unit Perks – Limited-Time Offer

Special Limited-Time Offer for PTA Units: If your PTA opens an organizational account by the end of Q1 2021, SkyOne will donate $1000 to your PTA for every 10 members who open individual SkyOne accounts — plus, they’ll reimburse their PTA membership dues for the first year!

Click here for more information and eligibility requirements.

Click here to view or download a shareable flyer.

To watch our recent webinar about this unique Unit Perk, click here and enter passcode vm3B%$3Z.

 

Convention 2021 is Going Virtual!

After many weeks of careful consideration, California State PTA has decided to hold an all-virtual convention next May.

On Saturday, November 7, the Board of Managers acted upon the recommendation of the Board of Directors and approved a virtual Convention 2021. The BOD & BOM concluded that this is the most responsible choice, based on the results of the convention survey, analysis of numerous financial scenarios, and evaluation of the latest public health guidelines and predictions about the COVID-19 pandemic.

While we are disappointed that we will not be able to see all of you in person, we feel that health and safety factors outweigh the joy of bringing everyone physically together. Furthermore, based on the success of the all-virtual Statewide Association Meeting last June and the Virtual Summer Leadership Academy in July and August, we are confident that Convention 2021 will be an engaging and exciting event.

We look forward to bringing you an innovative virtual experience during 2021, including an online vendor fair, numerous training sessions, 2021-2023 officer elections, the Reflections art gallery, and other business of the association.

Look for information on the convention page, in your email and on social media in the coming weeks and months about dates, registration procedures, and the program of events.

We hope to see you there!

State Board of Education Approves Shorter Standardized Tests to Give Schools Flexibility Amidst COVID-19 Uncertainties

The following November 6 press release is from the California Department of Education:

SACRAMENTO — The State Board of Education on Thursday unanimously approved the use of shorter standardized tests in English language arts and math this spring, creating a path for collecting critical student data amidst COVID-19 uncertainties.

The Board’s action also recognizes the need for innovative solutions to support students, schools and districts as they confront myriad challenges associated with the pandemic.

“Our schools and educators need flexibility, options, and ongoing support as they continue to navigate tremendous challenges and collect data across multiple measures to fully understand student learning,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond.

Like other states, California is required by the federal Every Student Succeeds Act to assess student learning as a condition of receiving certain federal funds. In a letter to state education chiefs, the U.S. Department of Education indicated they would not currently consider a waiver and that states should prepare to administer tests in the spring.

The State Board’s approval of shorter Smarter Balanced assessments in English language arts and math for grades 3–8 and 11 reflects California’s commitment to supporting schools by providing testing options.

The shorter assessments will reduce student testing time, which now takes from seven to eight hours in total. Guidance regarding test administration will include flexible options to meet the unique contexts of each district or school.

The tests will cover all academic standards, which describe what students should know and be able to do at each grade level. Spring testing will provide the first statewide snapshot of the impact of COVID-19 on student learning.

“Because we have been supporting and encouraging districts to use formative and diagnostic assessments this fall, schools will have data to guide individual student learning. Meanwhile, a shorter summative test can provide a more manageable way to offer district and state-level information in these unpredictable times,” said State Board President Linda Darling-Hammond.

Now that the shorter tests are approved, CDE will work closely with districts and charter schools to strategize test administration, ensure student participation, and communicate with families.

Click here to read this press release on the CDE website.

California State PTA Disappointed by Proposition 16 Defeat

SACRAMENTO – November 5, 2020 – California State PTA announces its disappointment over the defeat of Proposition 16 in the general election on November 3rd. The passage of this initiative would have changed how factors like race, gender and ethnicity can be considered in state hiring, contracting, and education admissions decisions, and would have restored equal opportunity in California.

“We are disappointed that Proposition 16 did not pass, as it would have allowed for greater equity in every aspect of life for the children and youth of California,” said Celia Jaffe, President of California State PTA. “However, California State PTA will continue to advocate for legislation and ballot measures that attempt to address the legacy of unequal treatment of underserved communities.”

Proposition 16 was intended to repeal 1996’s Proposition 209, which banned consideration of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in public employment, public education, and public contracting. It would have permanently altered California’s constitution, and put our state in line with federal law and most other states.

“Governance systems and practices that are rooted in social justice are essential to serving the needs of children, youth and families,” said Shereen Walter, California State PTA’s Director of Legislation. “This initiative would have promoted fairness, and advanced upward mobility, pay equity, and racial wealth gap reduction among people who face inequality.”

Proposition 16, which would have restored affirmative action in California, was in alignment with PTA’s mission to advocate for equal opportunity in education and in every aspect of life for all children and youth. California State PTA recognizes that everyone deserves the opportunity to succeed – regardless of their gender, what they look like, or where they were born.

###

About California State PTA: California State PTA connects families, schools and communities. We are part of the foundation of our public education system and a trusted messenger to millions of members, parents, families, educators and allied agencies throughout the state. PTA is the nation’s largest volunteer-led child advocacy association working to drive improvements in the education, health and well-being of all children and families. For more information, visit www.capta.org.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Heather Ippolito
Vice President for Communications
communications@capta.org

Ignacio Barragan
Assistant Executive Director
ibarragan@capta.org
916.440.1985