January 14, 2011 > Parents single out school funding as top priority
Parents single out school funding as top priority
Submitted By California State PTA
Parents across the state overwhelmingly support the need to advocate for school funding, according to a survey released by the California State PTA (Parent Teacher Association), which represents nearly one million members.
Conducted in the fall of 2010, the survey of PTA leaders throughout California rated adequate school funding as the highest priority; 97.5 percent said they are interested or extremely interested in PTA continuing to advocate for it.
"As the Governor prepares to release a budget that may include new, deeper cuts to schools, it's critical that the public understands just how strong the desire for adequate funding is," said Jo Loss, president of the California State PTA. "The children in our schools right now can't wait another two or three or 10 years for the economy to improve or the legislature to make a bigger commitment to education. We can't keep struggling to balance budgets by making only cuts without suffering huge consequences for the future of our children and the future of California's economy."
The more than 900 survey respondents represent about 25 percent of all PTAs at individual schools in California. Respondents were asked to rate the importance of more than 20 policy and legislative issues in education, children's health, and safety.
Other major concerns:
- Complete curriculum that includes arts: In addition to funding, parents also reacted to what they see as a narrowing of the curriculum being offered to students, with 90.6 percent indicating they are interested or extremely interested in advocating for a more complete curriculum that includes arts education.
- Small class size: Eighty-nine percent indicated they are interested or extremely interested in advocating for class-size reduction, especially as school districts have been forced to drastically increase class sizes due to budget cuts.
- Highly qualified staff: Other issues of utmost importance to parents included recruiting and retaining qualified teachers and administrators (88 percent are interested or extremely interested), and supporting teacher effectiveness (91 percent are interested or extremely interested).
"We will carefully examine and respond to the budget that the new Governor proposes, as well as new legislation that is introduced," Loss said. "And we will continue to do everything we can to ensure that the Governor and the legislature puts the needs of children first."