Friday, December 18, 2009

Make a Commitment to Birney!

Hi All,

This is to announce that we have formed several new committees. Many will be meeting over the next month or so. You do not have to be on a committee to help out or participate in an event, but anyone willing to step up and help with the planning will be greatly appreciated. For the event committees, specific volunteer opportunities will also be available as we get closer to the date of the event. Please either contact or one of the committee chairs listed below.

Garden Committee
The Birney Garden is an amazing asset and something we should all be proud of. Shelley and Stephanie are doing their best to hold things together, but really desperately need help from Birney parents who can help with watering and caring for the garden and figuring out ways to make the most of our valuable resource. Check out the winter harvest and help in the garden during winter break on the second Saturday of January, January 9th, 9am-12pm. The Garden Committee will meet from 11am-12am to pin down our next steps. Contact Stephanie and/or Shelly at for more information.

Rummage Sale Planning Committee
Our annual Rummage Sale is schedule for February 27. If you'd like to help with the planning, please contact Susie Villareal at The Rummage Sale Committee will meet at Susie's house on Thursday, January 14. Susie will forward more information and details to anyone interested in joining.

Political Action Committee

The current budget crisis is threatening to jeopardize many of the programs that make Birney such an amazing place for our children to learn. Come find out how we can start to mobilize Birney families to fight these cuts. If you're interested in helping, please contact Laura Dadmun at The Political Action Committee will meet at my house on Thursday, January 7. Laura or I will forward more information and details to anyone interested in joining.

Business Relations/Development Committee
Our local businesses have resources that we haven't taken advantage of as well as we could. This committee will start to open the lines of communication with the business community and find out how to tap those resources for donations and expertise. If you are interested in getting involved with this effort, contact and include a few dates and times you might be available to meet.

Passport to Adventure Planning Committee
The Passport to Adventure, our international fair, is planned for June. Our first event was a great success, where we featured six different countries with booths highlighting their history, customs, art, culture and food. The first order of business is for each grade-level to select their featured country. Further planning will begin after the Rummage Sale. If you are interested in helping out or offering suggestions for countries we might highlight, please contact Michelle Livermore at

Thanks for helping to make Birney such a great place for our kids to find their passion for learning. Every time you take the opportunity to engage in the events at Birney, even in small ways, shows your children how important their educcation is to you all.



Monday, December 14, 2009


Don’t let Sacramento balance the state budget on the back of our kids’ education again. Get involved and make your voice heard! Go one of to: and click on “budget crisis” on the right of the page. Then do one or all of the following:

• Click on “Budget Reports,” or “State Budget Information” (left side of the page) and educate yourself

• Click on “Budget Blog.” (left side of the page) Share your ideas and read others’ ideas.

• Click on “What can you do?” (left side of the page) and call or send and email to any or all of the legislators listed telling them education funding as a means to balance the state budge is OFF LIMITS this time

Join the Birney PTA!

• Download and Sign the form letter in English or Spanish and either mail it to your state legislator or drop it in the box marked “letters to Sacramento” in the office and we will mail if for you

Race to the Top Funds
This is an Obama Administration initiative. It is a competition among states to secure stimulus money for education. To qualify, a state must implement certain educational reforms, including merit pay for teachers.

On Friday, December 11, the California Assembly passed Assembly Bill ABX5 8 which is designed to make the reforms necessary in order to compete for up to $700 million dollars. ABX5 8 was sponsored by Julia Brownley, (D-Santa Monica) and her bill won out over Gloria Romero’s (D-East Lost Angeles.)

Romero’s bill, supported by Governor Schwarzenegger, charter school advocates, the California NAACP and some Latino legislators, would have maintained much of the freedom of charter schools to serve as “laboratories” for educational methods and gave parents more power to trigger reforms in schools they deemed unacceptable. Brownley’s bill, which passed, is supported by the California Teacher’s Association, the California State PTA, the Association of California School Administrators and the California Federation of Teachers, among others.

Governor Schwarzenegger said in a press release the if Brownley’s bill reaches his desk in it’s current form, he will veto it. The bill could be in the Senate for consideration as early as next week.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Women's Basketball Time Again

Spread the word!

Basketball season is off to a great start! SDSU's Women's team has been great so far and their schedule gets even more intense over the next month. Coach Lord will be getting free tickets to all the home games.

She still has several available for the first two games (12/8 and 12/11) and be taking orders for the remainder of the season. Besides just being a great time, this year SDSU is promising $1,000.00 to the school that sends the most students to the games throughout the season -- we actually had the highest number last year so we have a shot at the prize. Get on your black and red, hit the Mesa and help cheer on the girls to a successful season!

The home schedule for the next month is as follows:
  • 12/8 Aztecs vs. Pepperdine @ 7:00pm
  • 12/11 Aztecs vs. Long Beach State @ 7:00pm
  • 12/28 Aztecs vs. Wake Forest @ 5:00pm
  • 12/30 Aztecs vs. Valparaiso or Auburn @ 5:00pm or 7:00pm (check the website!)
  • 1/9 Aztecs vs. Wyoming @ 2:00pm
  • 1/13 Aztecs vs. UNLV @ 7:00pm
  • 1/20 Aztecs vs. Utah @ 7:00pm
Contact Coach Lord ( if you are interested in tickets or more information.