Flunk the budget

A rally was held at Mountain Avenue Elementary early in the morning on March 21 where PTA members asked all to send a message to Sacramento to “Flunk the Budget.” Parents, district staff, school board members and children showed their solidarity with the PTA in their concern over Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's purpose ten percent cut in the educational budget.

“This rally is part of the PTA's campaign where we are asking parents and community members to visit their local officials who are usually in district on Fridays and tell them that this budget flunks the test of good government,” said Patty Scripter, vice president of legislation for the First District PTA, which includes Glendale.

Scripter said that because of the estimated $16 billion state deficit, getting government officials to commit to a position against the educational cuts has been difficult.

“We have an incredible deficit, but we have to stop using our children's education as a piggy bank,” she added. “If this purposed budget goes through it's a cut of over $750 dollars per student per year.”

“We have been operating on a shoe string budget for the past decade,” said Greg Krikorian, president of the Glendale school board. “The budget has been cut many times before and now we are at the point where we are running out of areas to cut.”

Glendale Superintendent Dr. Michael Escalante added that the rallies are important to help get the word out to the community.

“What we are doing is trying to make people aware of the fact that we have a significant problem,” Escalante said.

Districts are still working at a deficit from the last time Proposition 98 was suspended.

“It has only been three years since the last time they [government] went after Prop. 98 and suspended it,” Scripter said. “And Prop. 98 was a minimum funding guaranteed for schools. What this has done for us is made us 46th in the nation in per pupil spending so every year our kids get $1900 less per student per year than the average state.”

Parents have already begun seeing Flunk the Budget tables at many school events where they have been, and continue to be, asked to sign so they can be taken to the local legislature offices. There are also scripts available for parents to call those legislators and tell them of their concern. For more information, or for copies of the letters, visit the Glendale PTA website at http://www.glendalecouncilpta.net

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