Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Letter to the PTA Following Education Rally at College Park High School

PTA Article
Submitted by Joseph A. Ovick, Ed.D.
April 16, 2010

Yesterday, April 15, I had the honor and pleasure of attending and speaking at the 32nd District PTA rally hosted at College Park High School in Pleasant Hill. It was a rally to restore adequate funding for schools. There were approximately 100 people in attendance, and we were fortunate that Senator Mark DeSaulnier, Assembly Member Joan Buchanan, Assembly Member Tom Torlakson, and the district director for Assembly Member Nancy Skinner were also present. The event was coordinated by Nancy Vandell with support from other members of the 32nd District PTA.

It is always a pleasure to meet with educators and parents of the children and youth who attend our public schools. It is a sad note, however, that the purpose of the meeting was simply to make known to the general public that our state is currently ranked 47th in the nation with regard to funding per pupil; and with the addition of $2.5 billion in reductions that the governor is requesting in next year’s budget, we will rank 50th among our 50 states.

This is truly a travesty when you consider the wealth of our state. Yes, we are in a deep recession, but we shouldn’t place the loss of revenue as a burden on the shoulders of our children and their future. If the people of California choose to continue to ignore the needs of our children, the impact will be felt for several generations, beginning with our children today. I feel limited by my command of the English language to be able to express how urgent it is for each and every one of us to write to our governor and share our concerns regarding his lack of leadership and his unwillingness to do what is right for our children and their future.

We were once the leader in the nation as a state regarding the dollars we spent to provide a wonderful education for our children. I personally benefited from that, and as Assembly Member Joan Buchanan shared at the rally, we can thank two former California governors—one a Republican and the other a Democrat—for their vision and commitment to our youth. Those men were Earl Warren and Pat Brown. Through their leadership, our K-12 education system, community college system, California State University system, and University of California system were stellar institutions for learning. We need to bring that back, and we need your help.

Thank you.