May 13, 2009
For Immediate Release


Carol Kocivar
Vice President, Communications
(415) 577-1125

Alison apRoberts
Communications Manager
(916) 440-1985, ext. 106

State PTA Survey: Budget Cuts Hurting Schools and Children
Calls for Investment  in Children and Support for Props 1A, 1B and 1C
California's downhill slide in investing in children's education means schools are turning to parents for more and more funding, according to a new California State PTA survey. The finding underscores the devastating impact of budget cuts and the pressing need for voters to support Propositions 1A, 1B and 1C in the special election May 19.

"We support these propositions because they help prevent deeper cuts to schools at a time when California already ranks almost dead-last in the nation in supporting education," said Pam Brady, president of the California State PTA, which has nearly 1 million volunteer members.

"The recent budget cuts put an entire generation at risk," Brady added. "Our students need access to a comprehensive education to ensure a prosperous future for themselves and for California. Propositions 1A, 1B and 1C are a step in the right direction."

More than 240 PTA leaders surveyed throughout the state reported that many categorical programs at their schools have been slashed - or even eliminated - as schools struggle to cope with state budget cuts.

The hardest hit programs, with the percentage of PTAs reporting cuts, include:
  • Librarians and/or media center specialists: 62.4 percent

  • Class size reduction for grades K through 3: 58.4 percent

  • Counseling for students in grades 7 through 12: 56.3 percent

  • Deferred maintenance: 56.1 percent

  • Sports programs: 52.3 percent

  • Library and/or media center materials: 49.2 percent

  • School nurses: 48.5 percent

  • Instructional materials: 47.2 percent

  • Intensive instruction and services: 45.3 percent

  • Pupil transportation: 45.2 percent

  • Professional development: 45.1 percent

  • Physical education: 43.3 percent

  • Summer school: 40.8 percent

  • Arts: 40.4 percent

  • English learners programs: 35 percent

  • Professional development for math and reading: 33.8 percent

In addition to the number of PTAs reporting cuts, 20.9 percent of PTAs reported that class size reduction for grade 9 has been eliminated; 20.2 percent reported that class size reduction for grades K through 3 has been eliminated; and 20.7 percent reported that summer school programs have been eliminated.

In the wake of these cuts, PTAs have raised - or are being asked to raise - more and more money to support programs and services in the next year.

"This creates greater inequities among our schools because not all parent and community groups can pitch in to backfill services in the same way," Pam Brady said.  "At a time when California's schools must work to ensure that every child meets high academic standards and every child has access to quality programs, we're stripping away essential support."

For more about the California State PTA's positions on the special election, click here.

The California State PTA has nearly 1 million members throughout the state working on behalf of public schools, children and families, with the motto, "Every child, one voice." The PTA is the nation's oldest, largest and highest profile volunteer organization working to improve the education, health and welfare of all children and youth. The PTA also advocates at national, state and local levels for education and family issues. The PTA is nonprofit, nonsectarian and noncommercial.
For more information about the California State PTA, visit www.capta.org