Feb. 4, 2010



Connell Lindh
Californians for Improved School Funding
(800) 915-4768

Alison apRoberts
Communications Manager, California State PTA
(916) 440-1985, ext. 106 (office)
   (916) 261-5286 (mobile)
California State PTA Endorses Local Control of Local Classrooms Funding Act
Million-member organization mobilizes to qualify initiative for November ballot
Sacramento - Feb. 4, 2010 - The California State PTA announced that it is mobilizing its nearly 1 million members to support Californians for Improved School Funding's ballot initiative, the Local Control of Local Classrooms Funding Act (www.improvedschoolfunding.com).

If qualified for the November 2010 ballot and approved by voters, the proposed Act would lower the threshold for passage of educational parcel taxes to 55 percent, from the current 66.6 percent - two-thirds - provided certain requirements are met. These include advance disclosure on how funds will be spent, annual audits, oversight by an independent citizens' committee, and offering an exemption to senior citizens. Funds raised under the initiative could not be taken or offset by the state in its educational funding decisions.

"Our members overwhelmingly supported a resolution to reduce the parcel tax threshold at our 2008 convention, so we are excited to support this crucial measure," said Jo Loss, president of the California State PTA. "This act alone cannot solve the problem of chronic underfunding of education throughout the state, but it would empower local communities to support their local schools. It is an important step in the right direction toward providing an education that prepares our children and our state for success in a global economy."

"Having local PTAs throughout California support the campaign is an important step towards making the act a reality," said Delaine Eastin, former California Superintendent of Public Instruction.  "We are asking all parents, educational leaders and citizens concerned about public education to download, sign and mail in a ballot petition, available at the campaign website, www.improvedschoolfunding.com."

The Local Control of Local Classrooms Funding Act will give communities an additional way of showing their support for local public schools. By imposing strict disclosure and accountability standards, and protecting senior citizens, the act will provide assurances to voters that their education tax dollars will be spent on worthwhile programs, including the following:
  • Attracting and retaining qualified teachers;
  • Keeping class sizes small;
  • Supporting strong core academics like math and science; and,
  • Maintaining art, music, physical education, athletics and student support programs.
For more information, as well as to donate to, endorse or support the campaign, visit www.improvedschoolfunding.com. Californians for Improved School Funding is registered with theCalifornia Fair Political Practices Commission, ID # 1319510.

About the California State PTA
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.

About Californians for Improved School Funding
Californians for Improved School Funding is an organization of concerned citizens working to amend the California Constitution so that special taxes for local school districts, commonly known as parcel taxes, can be approved by a 55 percent vote of qualified electors.

The group's initiative, known as the Local Control of Local Classrooms Funding Act, would let communities raise operating funds for their local schools with a 55 percent "yes" vote, provided accountability and disclosure requirements are met.