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March 13, 2012 > Letter to the Editor: Open letter to State PTA

Letter to the Editor: Open letter to State PTA

I support a tax increase that will fund CA schools, and I respect Molly Munger's and the CA PTA's efforts to secure more education funding for CA's youth through grade 12.

If possible, I would appreciate CA PTA's response to one question:

Have Molly Munger and CA PTA considered postponing the "Our Children Our Future" (OCOF) initiative until Nov. 2013 and unite with California Teachers' Association now in supporting Gov. Brown's attempt to rescue the CA General Fund this Nov. 2012?

My greatest concern is that if the Nov. 2012 ballot presents multiple tax measures funding schools, then the votes will be split, reducing chances of any of the measures passing.

Right now, we should not gamble with CA education and the CA General Fund.

Let's unite now to address the greater problem of this State's solvency. If Gov. Brown's proposal does not pass then many more public programs (public health, etc.) that provide essential services to children who need it, will be in further jeopardy, not just education.

If Gov. Brown's proposal does not pass, there will be more children whose parents will lose their jobs... possibly their homes.

Of course Gov. Brown shares the same sentiment as CA PTA = CA schools are under-funded. Gov. Brown not only has to address issues of proper funding for grades K - 12, but also proper funding for colleges and other public services. Given the uncompromising behavior of the CA Legislature, Brown's proposal for the Nov. 2012 Ballot is probably his only chance at rescuing the CA General Fund. The best chance for his proposal to succeed would be if CA PTA backs him now.

After Gov. Brown's proposal passes, then Molly Munger and CA PTA can support a "follow-up" OCOF initiative in 2013 that compensates for the difference between Brown's proposed funds to grades K - 12 and OCOF funds to K - 12. As a result, the new 2013 OCOF should have a lower adjusted income tax hit to CA taxpayers, making it more likely to succeed at the voting booths. By Nov. 2013, the CA State and national economies will have hopefully had an additional year of recovery and job growth from this recession, boosting the revenue pool and boosting voters' ability and confidence to afford higher taxes.

On my own unit's PTA Board, I am the source of tension and competition, unyielding with my difference of opinion from the rest of the Board on particular budget issues. But I am honored to have united with my Board during our devastating crisis last spring when one of our Board members suddenly passed away. Our PTA unit joined by members from neighboring schools pulled together instantly to help the three children left behind and their father.

The CA General Fund is in a state of "devastating crisis." CA PTA can unite now with California Teachers Association endorsing Gov. Brown's proposal. Then, in turn, in Nov. 2013, CA PTA and an adjusted OCOF could hopefully earn the reciprocal support of CTA and Gov. Brown.

In closing, I express my admiration for the dedicated service of our local PTA leaders here in Fremont. My unit's PTA President, Monique Manjarrez, Warwick Elementary School, and Melinda Kufeld, Fremont Council PTA President, along with other Board Members of Fremont Council PTA, have taken the time to respond to my long list of questions regarding OCOF.

I was only disappointed to learn that our Fremont Council PTA did not ask our local Fremont School District Superintendent and School Board members, whether OCOF might compete with (deter votes away from) Fremont Unified School District's tentative local Nov. 2012 measure to raise funds for the repair of aging school facilities.

Again, postponement of OCOF until Nov. 2013 may also help individual school districts this Nov. 2012 like Fremont, succeed with their own local initiatives to repair aging school facilities.

Thank you,
Mary Biggs, Fremont

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