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Legislative Alert
November 30, 2011
..
PTA-supported school funding
initiative launches
..

To view a press release announcing today’s filing of the initiative, click here.

Today in Sacramento, The Our Children, Our Future: Local Schools and Early Education Investment Act was submitted to the Attorney General for title and summary for the November 6, 2012 ballot.  
 
California State PTA supports this bold initiative, which will provide approximately $1,300 per student in new funds each year that must be spent directly at school sites with local parent and educator input.

In particular, the funding must be used by schools to provide a well-rounded education that supports college and career readiness for every student, including a high-quality curriculum that includes the arts; music; physical education; science, technology, engineering and math (STEM); and vocational and technical education courses.  It can also be used for smaller class sizes, school libraries and librarians, school nurses and counselors.

“The Our Children, Our Future Act focuses, first and foremost, on restoring essential education programs that have been cut,” said California State PTA President Carol Kocivar. “We have heard, loud and clear, from you, our members, that school budgets have been cut too deeply. We’re calling on everyone who cares about the future of our children and our state to get behind this vital measure.”

The initiative will raise approximately $10 billion a year in new revenue through a sliding scale income tax increase that varies with taxpayers’ ability to pay, with the highest income earners contributing the most. Of the money raised, 85 percent will be allocated on a per-pupil basis to all local public schools, including charter schools, and 15 percent will be used to raise standards and expand access to public preschool and early childhood programs to help prepare children to succeed when they reach kindergarten.  The Governor and the Legislature are prohibited from using the money or directing how it may be spent.

Several other ballot measure ideas are floating around for consideration in 2012, but PTA strongly supports The Our Children, Our Future Act because it will generate the substantial amount of new revenues that our students and schools desperately need. It also proposes important reforms that ensure transparency and accountability, as well as greater parent engagement, by ensuring parents at each school have a real say in how the funds will be spent.  The initiative also focuses on closing the achievement gap by providing additional per-student resources to support low-income children and English language learners, and greater access to early childhood education and preschool programs, which are proven to increase school readiness and help to close the gap.

The Our Children, Our Future: Local Schools and Early Education Investment Act is sponsored by the Advancement Project, a national civil rights organization. It has the financial support of Molly Munger, founding co-director of the Advancement Project and a former federal prosecutor and business litigator who left her corporate life to become one of the state’s most passionate and effective advocates for communities and schools in need.

California State PTA had a role in crafting the final ballot measure language, and we plan to actively engage in the broad, grass-roots effort to qualify and pass this measure.

In the coming weeks we will continue providing information about this important initiative and how you can get involved to help. 

More information, including the full text of the initiative, can be found at: www.OurChildrenOurFuture2012.com.

To view a press release announcing today’s filing of the initiative,
click here
.

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