Arcadia Unified Fights for Fair Funding in Sacramento
-Board of Education Adopts Fair Funding Resolution Urging State Legislators to Act-
Arcadia Unified School District’s collective of students, teachers, parents, staff, and Board of Education recently made its annual journey to Sacramento to advocate for fair and adequate funding for Arcadia Unified schools as well as weigh in on other important education issues at the 2018 California State Parent Teacher Association (California PTA) Legislation Conference.
This annual conference offers a forum for California PTA leaders, volunteers, parents, and school representatives to discuss issues in education policy, strategize lobbying efforts, and rally together in an effort to create a unified voice for students, families, and teachers across the state. California is one of the lowest funded states in the country, ranking at 46 out of the 50 states on a highest to lowest funded scale. This year, California PTA’s top conference discussion items and priorities to present to legislators included ensuring equity and adequacy in public education and ensuring families are involved and engaged in the local decision-making process through the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs).
“The California PTA Legislation Conference is one of the most important events we can attend as PTA parents, teachers and administrators,” said First Avenue Middle School teacher Catherine Keyston who has attended this annual conference seven times and counting.
“In many ways, school funding determines the amount of experiences schools are able to offer students and the quality of education we can give them. We need to have a deeper understanding of how school funding works, and we need our state government to understand why funding schools is one of the most important places they can allocate state funds.”
For the past several years, Arcadia Unified has taken at least one Arcadia High School student to this conference, offering students the opportunity to advocate for themselves, their peers, and their teachers and letting policymakers hear directly from those most impacted by education legislation.
“This conference was eye-opening and exposed me to the inner workings of education and policy-making,” shared Arcadia High School junior Aaron Wu. “I originally thought our school district was doing just fine, but after attending this conference, I've learned that the entire California education system needs major reform. I was honored to represent Arcadia in its fight for needed change.”
“For change to occur, constructive conversations between politicians and those they represent must take place. I’ve always enjoyed the political process and advocating for our outstanding students and teachers not only at Foothills Middle School and in Arcadia Unified but throughout all of California,” said Principal of Foothills Middle School Ben Acker.
The Arcadia Unified School District Board of Education continued the fight for fair funding the evening the 14-member Arcadia delegation returned from Sacramento. With a unanimous 5-0 vote, the Arcadia Unified Board of Education signed Resolution 1361 “calling for full and fair funding of California’s public schools.”
The resolution states that while California has the sixth largest economy in the world, the state falls in the nation’s bottom quintile on nearly every measure of public K-12 school funding and staffing. Resolution 1361 “urges the State Legislature to fund California public schools at the national average or higher by the year 2020, and at a level that is equal to or above the average of the top 10 states nationally by 2025 and to maintain, at a minimum, this level of funding until otherwise decreed.”
For more information about the Arcadia Unified School District, please visit www.ausd.net, and for more information on advocacy efforts and programs in Arcadia Unified, tune into the district’s Digital Education Station series at www.youtube.com/ArcadiaUnified.