Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Children across California are back in school, but we don't yet have a state budget.

Way back in January, PTA and our nearly one-million volunteer members around the state raised their voices in opposition to the initial "cuts only" budget proposal that would have slashed funding for education, health and other services for our state's single most important constituency - our children. We gave that initial budget a grade of "F," and we rallied people across the state to "flunk the budget, not our children"

Throughout the spring and early summer we've continued to call on legislators to do the right thing by preventing deep cuts to our schools and children. In July, a legislative committee with representatives from both houses introduced a "balanced approach" proposal. It would close the state's $15 billion deficit with new, ongoing revenues and some cuts. Even this proposal isn't ideal. It still makes dramatic cuts and merits only a "barely passing" grade. But in this very difficult economic year, we recognized that this conference committee proposal reflects a realistic compromise.

Unfortunately, this proposal has not yet been approved by either the senate or assembly. What's worse, in recent weeks, both houses seem to be straying farther from it. We now have counter-proposals calling for all sorts of short-term fixes and stopgaps. We oppose these short-term approaches and urge you to as well. After a record-setting budget-delay, our state legislators and the governor must not simply pass the buck for another year by approving a budget that relies on additional borrowing, gimmicks, or that cuts even more deeply into education, children's programs and the future of California.

We still need now what we needed in January -- a real budget solution with permanent new revenues to provide our children with the education and services they need to be successful.

We know you share our concern for California's children, because they represent the future of our great state. I urge you to forward this letter along to as many people as you know. Ask them to please do this one thing for all children in California:

Call or email your elected state leaders this week.

Urge them to stand up for children. Ask them to prevent deeper cuts to schools and children's services. Ask them to support additional, ongoing revenues for schools. And call upon them, as our elected representatives, to make the tough decisions that must be made now to ensure a prosperous future.

I appreciate your time and attention to this critical matter. There is no job more important than ensuring that our children are given every opportunity to be successful. If we do that, we all win! If you would like additional information about the state budget, I encourage you to visit our website at www.capta.org
Thank you for taking the time to stand up for our state's children!


Pam Brady
California State PTA

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