In light of the new series NPR has started on school funding, Why America’s Schools Have A Money Problem, some more attention should be brought to our CA PTA’s Advocacy Goal to Increase per-pupil funding by $3,000 to move California toward the national average of $11,841 per student. The CAPTA has made increasing the per-pupil funding in the state of California a priority by being a strong advocate in Governor Jerry Brown’s 2016 – 2017 budget proposal, released Jan. 7, 2016. In this proposal, there was an increase of funding by $368 per student and measures to meet 95 percent of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) requirements. The budget proposal had these increases, in part, due to Proposition 30 revenues and a recovering economy. Governor Brown is expected to deliver an updated one in May and our elected state representatives will have until June 15th to provide a final spending bill addressing this proposed increase.
While this is certainly a step in the right direction, it does not bridge the gap between our average state funding and other states across the US. For example, in that radio piece described above, they highlighted a Chicago Ridge School District in Illinois. That school district receives $9,794 per student, an easy $1,000 more than PUSD, and they are highlighted as an extremely underfunded district (The CA average is $8,339/student).
So what can we do? There is time to write to your elected representatives and stress the importance of increasing education spending in CA. Proposition 30 will sunset at the end of 2018 and the funding increases for restoring art, music and PE programs, reducing class sizes, hiring more counselors and nurses and prioritize student learning are all at risk unless we get it in our state budget. Write today – don’t delay; send a message to Senator Marty Block and Assemblyman Brian Maienschein.