A group of more than 50 parents in the Encinitas Union School District came together Friday, May 4 to begin their fight for more education funding in Sacramento. The gathering at Flora Vista Elementary came in the wake of a that revealed major funding issues for the coming school years.
Flora Vista’s incoming PTA president, Jessica Alban, guided attendees through a look at the EUSD budget. A basic-aid district funded through property taxes, EUSD has about $38 million in its general fund. A “fair share” cut enacted by the state to achieve parity with revenue-limit districts funded per pupil will take $3 million from the district this year, and $5 million projected for 2012-’13. To make up the shortfall, the district could increase kindergarten through third grade class sizes next school year to as many as 27 students, up from the current 23; 12 full-time teaching positions are also targeted for elimination.
Alban urged parents to contact state representatives about education funding, through the website educateourstate.org and visits to local representatives’ district offices. Parents were also encouraged to attend the coming May 8 EUSD school board meeting to stay up to speed with the latest budget news.
Several parents also shared ideas about how to alleviate the impact of the budget cuts. They ranged from five districtwide furlough days to using PTA money to hire teacher aides or working with education programs at local universities to bring in classroom help.